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5 Things You May Not Know About Acupuncture | Health

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5 Things You May Not Know About Acupuncture
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Each year, millions of people in America use acupuncture, a traditional Chinese approach to improving health. While acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,000 years, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it has become increasingly popular in America over the past few decades. Still, many people are not familiar with what it is and what it can be used for.

“Acupuncture is an effective way to treat many different ailments that people experience,” explains Dr. Gary Kaplan, founder of The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine (www.kaplanclinic.com), located in McLean, VA.  “While some people may be skeptical at first, they end up as fans, after they try acupuncture and see how it helps improve their health and well being.”

As it is a tradition that is deeply rooted and widely used, there is a lot to learn about all that acupuncture can do for you. Here are five things you may not already know about acupuncture:

1.    How it is used. In the U.S., the most commonly used form of acupuncture is accomplished by placing hair-thin, metallic needles in your skin.

2.    What it does. Acupuncture essentially helps to balance the flow of energy, or “qi” (pronounced “chee”). Additionally, the NIH reports that it may aid the activity of your body’s natural pain-killing chemicals, and may also affect how you release chemicals that regulate blood pressure and flow.

3.    Systems it impacts. There are three major systems that acupuncture impacts: the body’s neurological (nervous), endocrine (hormonal), and immunological (disease-fighting) systems.

4.    Alleviates pain. In 2007 alone, over 3 million people in America used acupuncture for alleviating pain. It can help relieve pain caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, back pain, knee pain, neck pain, and other joint pain. In addition to addressing pain, acupuncture also can be employed against a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, including reducing nausea and vomiting following surgery or chemotherapy.

5.    NIH Consensus. In 1998, a Consensus-Conference Panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that acupuncture is an effective non-invasive modality in treating a variety of medical and pain problems, including migraines, osteoarthritis, and infertility. 

“Acupuncture is an option that everyone who has these conditions should consider,” adds Dr. Kaplan. “You have nothing to lose by giving it a try, and an improved quality of life to gain. Acupuncture may be just the thing you have been waiting for.”

Acupuncture is a part of the array of integrative medicine treatments the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine offers. As specialists in the field,they routinely perform acupuncture to help their patients with a myriad of issues.

About The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine

Located in McLean, Va., The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine has been finding solutions for individuals suffering with chronic pain and illness for over 25 years.  The Center’s founder Dr. Gary Kaplan is one of only18 physicians in the country who is a board-certified specialist in Family Medicine and Pain Medicine.  A leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Kaplan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, a Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and he has served as a consultant at the National Institutes of Medicine (NIH). The Kaplan Center’s team of physicians, physical therapists, and other health care providers combine the best of conventional medicine with the best alternative practices to address chronic pain and illness and to help individuals attain optimal health for life. To learn more about The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine, visit the website at www.kaplanclinic.com.

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National Institutes of Health. Acupuncture. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acupuncture.html

National Institutes of Health. Acupuncture for Pain. <http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm>

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