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Acupuncture: A Natural Alternative Therapy

Encompassing 3,000 Years of Wisdom

By Beth Irvine

Stress is a common factor that packs a powerful punch on all of our immune systems. Learning to find ways to help manage our day-to–day pressures is essential for leading a healthy, joyful life. There are many widely available alternative therapies that can help us manage our everyday stress, boost our immune system, and keep us happy and healthy. When it comes to complementary therapies, they can feel esoteric, and it can be over whelming and difficult to know which one to choose.

According to Time Magazine, an estimated fifty percent of all Americans have begun turning to some kind of alternative therapy. About three-quarters of U.S. medical schools are now offering courses in the subject, and some health insurers are beginning to pay for complementary treatments. People are catching the holistic wave moving through America, searching for integrative treatments that work. But at the same time, when it comes to seeking out one of the complementary therapies, they can feel esoteric, and it can be overwhelming and difficult to know which one to choose.

This is the first in a five-part series, “Alternative Therapies Explained,” that I will write for Health Central. My enthusiasm is to encourage you to create wellness – to prevent illness before it occurs. My hope is to bring you knowledge that will help you navigate through unfamiliar terms, territory and create wellness that comes from wholeness within.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been around for some 3000 years surviving the test of time with its ability to heal.  It is only one tool of Chinese medicine, but it is now the most widely used integrative therapy in the U.S. Acupuncture changes a person. It can alleviate physical symptoms, but more importantly, a subtle unconscious change occurs that creates increased self-awareness leading to optimal health.


My little boy Sam, had a compromised immune system and developed a bad cold. A full-blown cycle of “I can’t breath - I am feeling miserable” mode had begun. A trip to our local pediatrician confirmed there was no bacterial infection involved, so we shot off to see our local acupuncturist. Driving closer to Chinatown, Sam noticed the Asian street signs that created the feeling that we weren’t driving across town, but were entering a different world. A nervous excitement filled the car, as any new adventure brings.

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