In recent years, Chinese medicine and acupuncture have shown an advance among medical treatment options. This 5,000-year old healing art offers us an option to Western medicine and the side effects associated with this type of medicine.

Because it addresses the underlying cause of health conditions, acupuncture is deemed to be a ‘functional” type of treatment. It also a treatment that is customized based on the needs of each patient. Two persons, for example, can receive acupuncture therapies for headaches. But since each individual suffers from different underlying causes, the treatment they receive can be very different from each other. Thus, each treatment leads to a complete disappearance of the symptoms or at least their significant reduction.

Chinese medicine includes four main modes of treatment.

1. Lifestyle – Lifestyle counseling is offered by acupuncturists to help patients not only attain optimal health but also to maintain it perpetually.

2. Nutrition – The foundation of functional nutrition therapy is that food is medicine. Who we are at a cellular level depends on the foods we choose to nourish our bodies. Food therapy as well as nutrient and herbal supplementation herbal is recommended by acupuncturists to help patients attain optimal health.

3. Qi Gong – This literally means ‘breathing practice’ and consists of breathing exercises to aid on the clearing and moving of the meridians (energy channels) in the body. Energy channels that are free of obstructions allow Qi to move freely in the body producing an environment for optimal healing and regeneration of the whole body. Hormone regulation, enhanced immune function, and reduced lower blood pressure are just a few of the benefits Qi Gong can offer.

4. Acupuncture – Nowadays, being treated with acupuncture does not necessarily mean sticking needles in some parts of your body. Patients now can avail of laser, electricity or manual pressure to achieve the same therapeutic effects as traditional Chinese acupuncture. When an acupoint is stimulated, a series of chemical reactions occur inside the body generating an optimal environment for the body to self-heal. As no outside chemicals are used, there are no side effects. Needles used in traditional acupuncture are extremely slender and so an acupuncture treatment is not expected to be painful.

Being a holistic type of medicine, acupuncture treats all aspects of a person: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. When you use a combination of nutritional therapies and acupuncture, almost any health problem can be resolved. The universe gave our bodies the power to heal themselves, for the healing to occur, though it is up to us to provide the spark.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.