Acupuncture - Alternative Mesothelioma Treatments

Nov 10, 2011

Acupuncture in History

Acupuncture is known to have been practiced as early as the Stone Age. Many ancient artifacts relating to acupuncture have been discovered in locations such as Inner Mongolia, dating back as far as 3,000 B.C. The way in which this technique was discovered or developed is not well-known. One legend states that Chinese soldiers who received arrow wounds in battle experienced relief from pain in other parts of the body, prompting further research and experimentation into these observations.

The practice of acupuncture is first described in a book known as "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," a medical text compiled approximately around 305-204 B.C. Artifacts such as needle-sharp stones, called Bian stones, point to the use of acupuncture and other earlier techniques (such as bloodletting) for medical purposes.

Acupuncture first saw a rise in popularity in America in the 1970s. Throughout the '70s, Americans who visited China brought back with them reports of patients who underwent surgery with only acupuncture used as anesthesia. These reports inspired many of those seeking relief from pain and other maladies to try acupuncture. This treatment has progressively risen in popularity and has gained widespread acceptance in the medical community. Acupuncture is used for a wide variety of conditions, including headaches, back pain, and infertility.

Theory of Acupuncture

The foundational theory of acupuncture is based on a principle that involves treating the entire body rather than just the affected organ or area. According to this set of theories, diseases are caused by an imbalance of factors called Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood. In this practice, treating disease involves manipulation of the body to improve balance between these four factors.

Acupuncture employs the use of fine needles into the body's defined 'pressure points' to improve the flow of the four factors in the body, and improve the body's balance and harmony. There are almost four hundred different pressure points located all over the body. The pressure points that are stimulated during an acupuncture session may not be in the area where a patient feels pain. For example, a patient who is receiving acupuncture treatment for headaches may actually be treated in the webbing between the thumb and palm.

Many scientific theories have been proposed to account for how acupuncture works in the body. There is no doubt that it does provide symptomatic relief of pain, stress, and anxiety. One theory proposes that it is possible to modify the transmission of pain at many different sites in the body. Another is that acupuncture causes the release of hormones called endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are known to block pain and produce mild feelings of euphoria - these are what kick in during exercise, and are responsible for the so-called 'natural high' that many endurance athletes feel during events.

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Asbestos-Related Diseases

When it comes to the treatment of asbestos-related cancers, acupuncture is one of the most widely accepted alternative therapies. Those coping with asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, can use acupuncture to treat symptoms of pain, stress, and anxiety. Many patients with asbestosis who have tried acupuncture say the treatment helps relieve pain and makes breathing much easier.

During an acupuncture consultation, an acupuncturist asks their patient a number of questions relating to their health and symptoms. They also inspect certain points of the body, such as the face, mouth, and specific acupuncture points, to determine the best course of treatment. This initial examination allows the acupuncturist to determine which pressure points must be manipulated for the patient to experience relief from their symptoms.

During the actual treatment, very thin, sterilized needles are inserted into each pressure point. Once all needles are inserted, the patient may be left to rest for several minutes, or up to half an hour, before the needles are removed.

Acupuncture treatments are particularly desirable because when practiced by a skilled acupuncturist, there are virtually no harmful side effects in most cases. Around 3 percent of patients may experience some minor bleeding at points where needles were inserted. Around 2 percent of patients may experience some bruising at the site, while approximately 1 percent may experience some dizziness (usually as a result of anxiety relating to the treatment). It has been advised that people with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners should avoid acupuncture. In addition, those with infusion pumps, cardiac pacemakers, or any other electrical device are advised to avoid electroacupuncture.

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