How Acupuncture Works

This article was posted Dec 30, 2008  and is from MADISON (MedStar)

For more than four thousand years, the Chinese have used acupuncture to treat many ailments, like pain, stress, and even, addiction. Today, many doctors continue that practice because it works for many people.

Here’s one success story.

Gaylon Jones knew that getting his strength back after surgery for cancer of the esophagus would be tough. “You then begin the process of rebuilding,” he said. But he was not prepared for the intense nausea and vomiting that developed after the operation. Jones added, “mild to extreme nausea. Even dry heaving. Basically I was nauseated from the first thing in the morning to late at night, and it was completely debilitating. I struggled to keep my weight up.”
Gaylon’s life was being controlled by the nausea. Neither diet nor medications could stop it.

That’s when he turned to a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic who, in addition to surgery, also practices the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture. Doctor Ronald Reimer traveled to China to study acupuncture. He describes it as working in this fashion: needles in the skin stimulate pathways that travel through meridians and peripheral nerves to the spinal cord and brain. This is also often coupled with low frequency electrical stimulation. This causes endorphin levels to rise and other chemicals to change, unblocking trapped energy and restoring its flow. “It is a science that is trying to rebalance the flow of qi, or energy in the body,” Doctor Reimer said.

Acupuncture releived the nausea for Gaylon. He said, “I went from probably 12 hours a day of nausea, from mild to extreme, to maybe two to three hours a day. It was life changing.” Gaylon started out having two acupuncture sessions a week. Now he has one every month or so. He is working out with a trainer and has regained the weight he lost after surgery.

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