Contemporary Medical Acupuncture is a precise peripheral nerve stimulation technique, in which small, solid, single-use disposable needles are inserted into anatomically defined neurofunctional sites and stimulated manually or with electricity for the therapeutic purpose of modulating abnormal activity of the nervous system and/or the endocrine, exocrine, and immune systems.
Its primary benefit is to restore proper function of the nervous system by either the up-regulation or down-regulation of specific cellular functions. To put it simply, if the nervous system is hyper-active as seen in stress and chronic pain cases or hypo-active as seen in muscle inhibition and weakness, we need to bring it back to a normal, optimal level of function by either turning it down or turning it up respectively.
Acupuncture is mechanism-based, not disease-based. Therapeutic goals and treatment targets are selected based on the identified neurological dysfunctions contributing to the clinical presentation of symptoms. Sometimes treatment results in transient amelioration or disappearance of the symptoms and other times results in permanent resolution of the dysfunction, especially when dysregulation of the nervous system was the underlying pathophysiological mechanism.
Considerable differences exist between Contemporary Acupuncture theory and the traditional Chinese approach. In Contemporary Acupuncture, your practitioner treats you only after a conventional medical/neuro-functional diagnosis has been made. The practitioner will use acupuncture as a treatment modality along with other therapeutic approaches, as needed.