Acupuncture as an Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese traditional medicine that involves insertion of thin needles through the skin at specific anatomical sites to relieve symptoms such as pain of unknown cause and obstetric pain. The use of acupuncture as an alternative medicine has spread hitherto and has been adopted by many health facilities as a last resort to patients who despaired on pharmacological medication. Acupuncture, just like surgical operation is now being used as a definitive management in health facilities.
There are five dynamics in acupuncture. To mention, they include the earth, wood, metal, fire, and water. It is believed that this healing technique revolves around these five elements of acupuncture.
Wood is normally the first Qi in acupuncture. The meridians of wood are liver and the gall bladder. Individuals with a strong energy of the wood are believed to be charismatic and loving. Such fellows are capable of chasing their dreams in life to the end. They argue out their facts in a chronological way and often outshine at development and decision making. However, they are violent when their lines are crossed. When the wood Qi is feeble, individuals become uncertain about their main goal in life and may be unable to express their temper. For instance, liver Qi imbalance culminates to arrogance and high risk of substance abuse especially alcohol. They exhibit gastro-intestinal disturbances like bloating and diarrhea. Physical exercise and studying can help restore normal functioning of the liver meridian.
Another element of acupuncture is fire. People with strong fire energy are quite charismatic and take pleasure in commanding other people especially in the work place. The meridians of fire include the heart and small intestines. Weak fire energy presents with inability to express oneself and such fellows tend to be boring whenever they give a speech. The patient suffers from nervousness/ jitteriness, restlessness and insomnia. Other common presentations include increased vulnerability in hot weather, palpitations and congestive heart diseases.
Individuals with metal energy are well disciplined and determined. They are usually pale since the color of metal is white. Such people feel that they can accomplish anything especially in autumn. Weak metal energy predisposes them to interstitial lung diseases such as silicosis and allergic conditions. Large intestinal complications manifests as constipation and diarrhea.
Earth people are compassionate and love bringing people together. Meridians for earth energy are the stomach and the spleen. Weak earth Qi predisposes to eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, nausea and vomiting in association with peptic ulcer diseases and zollinger ellison syndrome. Weak earth Qi makes a person to behave like a soldier or terrorist. These individuals create wild atmosphere and may cause massive killing of humanity without an alloy of regret. It is strengthened by sitting and meditation.
Water energy calls for perseverance. It has the kidney and bladder as the meridians. Water people are fearless and determined. A weak Qi in water energy makes the patient feel neglected. It may present with the symptoms of chronic phase of schizophrenia such as depressive episodes, less interest in pleasure and even maladaptive behavior.
The traditional Chinese medicine underscores the five elements of acupuncture as a mechanism of bringing into equilibrium the flow of energy and life drive. This is popularly referred to as Qi or Chi. It is believed that this energy flows within the meridians of the body. Energy flow is re-stabilized on insertion of thin needles into the patient’s meridian pathways. It is believed that this stimulation of the nerves inhibits the body’s pain perception and promotes blood flow. Pain is relieved by stimulation of secretion of endorphins which are natural pain killers. Some scientists say that acupuncture works only since people believe it will work. This is referred to as the placebo effect.
The goal of acupuncture is to relieve pain. Most common indications include pain as a result of chemotherapy, lower back pains, fibromyalgia, neck pains, labor pains and headaches.
Patient’s and Health Care Provider’s Role
Acupuncture works best for patients that are dissatisfied by pharmacological therapy. Normally, patients who expect too much from this stitching technique are most likely to worsen their condition rather than recover. The role of the patient in acupuncture is to comply with the instructions given by the care giver during stitching therapy. In addition, a patient who has a gut feeling that the health care provider has a central role to play in the healing process does not get the anticipated health outcomes. The role of the healer in this technique is to encourage the patient to maintain positive health provider-patient collaboration and boost patient self-care well-being performance. Thus patients have to only co-operate with the providers to attain a positive outcome.
Scenario: Sample and Procedure
In a certain study, 62 participants were recruited for acupuncture study. The sample involved a highly noble population that had resorted for acupuncture as their ultimate treatment. Most participants were between the age of 30 to49years and 95 5 spoke English as their first language.an advert was made and patients who reported to the advertised acupuncture clinics were recruited. The inclusion criteria were that the participant ought to be above the age of 18 years and is able to speak English. In the exclusion criteria, patients who had undergone prior acupuncture treatments were excluded. An informed consent was made and the code of research ethics observed. Snowball sampling method was used as it ensured that the treatment is restricted to the five elements of acupuncture.
It was noted that 30 % of the patients agreed to participate in the study on their first approach though 67% received positive outcomes. 50% received three stitches whereas the remaining fraction received two stitches. It was noted that 72% received positive health outcomes.
It was concluded that the number of stitches does not influence the healing process. Also, the first compliance or beliefs that acupuncture cures plays no role in determining the positive health outcomes among patients. The patients’ co-operation with the provider played a central role in determining the health outcomes of the study.
In summation, acupuncture as an ancient form of Chinese medication is considered as an effective alternative medicine to individuals who have despaired in other forms of pharmacological medicine. Its main goal is to relieve symptoms that present with pain or tenderness. It works by stitching the skin with thin needles along the meridians of five elements of acupuncture such as earth, water, wood, fire and metal. It will be definitely an eye opener to see acupuncture being used as the alternative and definitive form of therapy. Several hypothesis against acupuncture have been made. However, none is proven correct on exhibition. Thus I recommend the medical field to advice patients to adopt acupuncture where pharmacological medicine has failed.