article_acupuncture-faq.jpgThough it has roots in Chinese traditions, acupuncture practices combine centuries of Chinese knowledge and tradition with modern medical research, resulting in the unique field that is medical acupuncture.

According to Chinese medicine, there are 71 channels running throughout the body—imagine flowing rivers delivering nourishment throughout. If there are blocks in these channels, that flow is disrupted. The traditional belief is that these blocks cause deficiencies of energy, or qi (pronounced "chee"), which can lead to disease. Acupuncture regulates the flow of qi and brings it into balance. When the qi is flowing, the body achieves balance and good health.

What about side effects? Dr. Francisco Navarro, a medical doctor and acupuncture practitioner at St. Luke’s Medical Center, says that there are very few side effects from acupuncture "when done properly." With sterilized ands single-use needles and the procedure administered by a properly trained acupuncturist, the risk of infection is less than 1 percent, and the risk of puncturing vital organs or tissue is minimal. "A properly trained acupuncturist will know what points on the body should be avoided on patients with particular cases," says Dr. Navarro.

Want to try acupuncture? Browse through the gallery for more facts about the practice.

(First published in the January-February 2011 issue of Women's Health Philippines, Healthy Dose section as "Sticking Points;" adapted for use in Female Network)

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