Acupuncture is a treatment technique that may have originated three or four thousand years ago, though the earliest written evidence of it dates from the first century B.C.E. Chinese medical theory posits that there are pathways throughout the body called “meridians”, along which a substance called qi (pronounced “chee”) , or vital energy, flows. Many kinds of illness are seen as disharmony or disturbance in the movement of this qi throughout the body.
In an acupuncture treatment, the practitioner inserts very fine needles, about the width of a hair, into key points along the meridians to help return the flow of qi to its optimally free-flowing and natural state. As the needles are very, very thin, there is generally no physical discomfort experienced during an acupuncture treatment, though there may be some sensation of tingling or warmth in the vicinity of the inserted needle.
Dr. Allen has been using acupuncture as part of his medical practice for over thirty years. He studied with the renowned Dr. J. R. Worsley at the Center for Traditional Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Oxford, England, and received an advanced degree upon the completion of his studies. Upon returning to the U.S., he became one of what was, at the time, a very small number of Western-trained MDs who integrated this aspect of Chinese medicine into their more standard treatment modalities.