YOU Magazine - September 2007 - Acupuncture A 5,000 Year Old Remedy
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Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
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Acupuncture
A 5,000 Year Old Remedy


Acupuncture - A 5,000 Year Old Remedy


The mere thought of needles causes most people to cringe. There's a good reason for this, as these pointy shards of metal are closely associated with the subject of pain. But, here is the irony. For thousands of years, practitioners of Chinese medicine have utilized the insertion of needles to treat not only pain, but various diseases as well. This practice is known as acupuncture and, if you're at all unfamiliar, you'll definitely want to read on.

YOU Magazine sent field correspondent, Stephanie Clark, to experience an acupuncture treatment first hand. Having never undergone this type of procedure before, Stephanie was anxious at first, but she ended up being pleasantly surprised with the results. To watch her full report, simply click on the attached video.

The Practitioner
Gerald Mason, L.Ac. has devoted his entire professional life to the health and well-being of others. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in the study of Health Science, Mason began working for various public health departments. During that time, he oversaw programs dealing with infectious disease control, substance abuse, and lifestyle modification. Mason says, "This was when I first learned about acupuncture and its success with various health issues."

Mason enrolled at the Emperoris College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, eventually graduating with the title of Master. Having been in practice now for roughly a decade, Dr. Mason has provided his service to thousands of patients and dealt with countless ailments. Mason's knowledge and acumen, along with his gentle demeanor and caring bedside manner, eases his patients through the idea of using needles to treat their health problems.

The Practice
While Acupuncture is a very complex form of traditional Chinese medicine, its general principles are easy to understand. The basis for acupuncture is a life energy known as Chi (chee). In Chinese medicine, it is believed that Chi is constantly flowing throughout the body, and it's what separates the living from the non-living and the dead.

It is also believed that Chi flows through the body via fourteen major channels known as meridians. Twelve of the fourteen meridians are located on both the left and the right side of the body. The remaining 2 are located in the center of the body, one in the front and one in the back.

The theory is that as long as the Chi flows uninterrupted and with balance, the body is functioning at a high level. This includes everything from organ function to efficiency within the bodily systems: skeletal, muscular, endocrine (glands), circulatory, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, and nervous.

In turn, blockages or imbalances in the flow of Chi are the catalyst for physical and mental issues, such as general discomfort, pain, and disease. Throughout the centuries, practitioners of Chinese medicine not only mapped the body's meridians, but they also found spots just below the skin (known as acupoints) where the Chi could be accessed and stimulated. Using needles no less fine than a strand of human hair, the acupuncturist deftly makes insertions into the various acupoints. This marks the genesis of the body's return to proper function.

If pain from the needle insertions is a concern, don't worry, as most patients feel only a slight tingle at most. After the acupuncturist completes the treatment plan, he or she allows the patient to lie in a peaceful state for roughly 20 minutes. During this time, many patients experience deep relaxation and calm.

When it comes to the potential applications of acupuncture, the list is almost endless. From addictions and allergies to depression and ulcers, nearly everything can be treated to some degree with acupuncture. If it has to do with discomfort, pain, or disease, chances are that a certified acupuncturist can be of some help.

Gerald Mason, L.Ac. keeps regular office hours at Back to Wellness, a full-service chiropractic and wellness center, located at 12526 Riverside Dr. in Valley Village, California. He is always accepting new patients and can be contacted for appointment by calling
(818) 985-2559.




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