are the Benefits of Needles?
If there are so many excellent non-needle methods for stimulating acupoints,
why use needles at all? There are some things only needles can do:
and most other non-needle techniques can
only stimulate one, or at most two acupoints
at the same time. Stimulating an acupoint
is like playing a note on a musical instrument.
Stimulating several acupoints at the same
time is like playing a chord. An “acu-chord”,
composed of several acupoints transmits
a more refined and sophisticated frequency
or message to the cells via the meridians
than a single “acu-note”.
There are many classic and modern acupuncture
textbooks that offer effective and time-tested
for the treatment of both common conditions
and complex disorders.
- Acupuncture needles can be retained
in the body for long periods of time.
Needles are usually retained for 10-40
minutes. However, some point prescriptions
require only a minute or two of retention.
Intradermal needles and presstacks can
be retained for several days. Retaining
a selected group of needles for a period
of time sends a stronger message to the
cells than pressing each of those points
sequentially for a moment or two.
- There is a much greater volume of research
demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture
in treating serious diseases, than there
is for acupressure.
- Acupoints are like chimneys or holes
that connect the surface of the skin with
the meridians and deeper layers of the
body. Penetrating an acupoint with a metal
needle helps “vent the chimney”
by bringing the body’s internal
environment into homeostasis with the
external environment. This is particularly
beneficial when treating a weak or over-reactive
immune system, emotional imbalances, arthritic
conditions that worsen in bad weather,
post-viral conditions, fibromyalgia and
many other disorders.
- Needles directly impact the nerve plexuses,
blood vessels and fascia--which relaxes
internal spasm, and improves nerve conductivity
and blood circulation. This is especially
true in orthopedic and Chinese acupuncture
styles in which the needles are inserted
more deeply in order to directly stimulate
specific tissues within the body.
- Acupressure may not be beneficial for
those with severe inflammatory arthritis,
severe circulatory problems from diabetes
or varicose veins, acute pain conditions
that are aggravated by pressure and certain
skin disorders. Acupuncture is the treatment
of choice for these types of conditions.
In my practice, I often first treat patients
with severe pain or acute injuries with
acupuncture. After their symptoms abate
somewhat, I incorporate acupressure and
other modalities into their treatment
- Acupressure does not treat acute infections
such as the common cold, herpes zoster,
herpes simplex, tonsillitis and ear infections.
Acupuncture helps resolve these conditions