Acupuncture Education

Web Producer: Brad Maglinger

At first glance, it may look like just another waiting room. It has your typical TV, soft music playing in the background and the stacks of magazines. The exceptions are the dozens of tiny needles stuck in everyone's ears. These are patients of acupuncturist Dr. Joseph James.

"We're going to treat a point here that's a balance point, it's called a zero point right in the center of his ear," explains Dr. James.

This is auriculotherapy, or acupuncture of the ear. It works on the principle that the ear is a map of the human body. When something hurts, it's really an imbalance of Chi, the subtle energy that is critical to good health.

Joe Swartz gets acupuncture for his lower back pain and allergies. "Usually after a treatment I feel the result within 24 hours," says Swartz. "I can tell in my back and with my allergy-sinus condition will be relieved."

"It's not an overnight sensation, not a magic bullet by any means," explains Dr. James. "But a lot of times, six to eight treatments with acupuncture can resolve some conditions that a lot of people wouldn't even consider to use acupuncture for."

Walter Russell uses it for his high blood pressure. "Before the blood pressure I still had trouble controlling it, but I take less medicine than I used to," says Russell.

Russell's wife, Delma, has never had acupuncture until now. She thought it would hurt, but explains it as a tiny stick.

Even Newswatch's Shannon Samson tried acupuncture at Evansville's Hamilton Clinic. "It's a needle stick, but it doesn't... it's just a little pinch, ouch!" announces Samson.

But that was it for the pain. If you can get past that, Dr. James says acupuncture can help with just about any medical condition, including weight control, substance abuse and even fertility.

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