Acupuncture: An Ancient Practice That Still Applies Today

Dr. Ostrovsky Performing Acupuncture of the Back.

Dr. Ostrovsky Performing Acupuncture of the Back.

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese medical practice that first came into use over 2,000 years ago.  It is now widely used to restore overall health and well-being, as well as to treat a variety of illnesses and disorders such as:

  • chronic and acute pain
  • arthritis
  • allergies
  • migraines
  • digestive problems
  • anxiety
  • Infertility

Today, acupuncture is so incorporated into the modern Western society that people don’t hesitate to use it. Situation was very different even 20 years ago.

I use different forms of acupuncture to treat various conditions and help my patients achieve peak performance:

  • Scalp Acupuncture
  • Body Acupuncture
  • Auricular Acupuncture
  • One Needle Acupuncture

My Practice of Acupuncture

I was introduced to acupuncture during my studies in medical school. The beauty of acupuncture is in its holistic approach to health. All organs, and all parts of the body are connected, and interact with each other. This approach fascinated me and later shaped my integrative approach to medical practice.

I began practicing more than thirty years ago after finishing my medical studies at the First Medical Institute at St. Petersburg. Once I got my medical degree, I took a course in acupuncture at the Medical Military Academy in St. Petersburg. The course was taught by physicians who studied this art in China.

Native Practitioners Enriched My Knowledge and Understanding of Acupuncture

I became even more interested in acupuncture’s many benefits during a two month intensive course at Central Pacific Navy Hospital in Vladivostok, a far eastern city on the border with China and North Korea. My instructor was a surgeon, who studied in China before the Cultural Revolution. He arranged a very interesting trip for me to remote villages over the Chinese border. I observed how local ethnic Chinese and Koreans used acupuncture and its variations. Their techniques were passed down for generations as home remedies. This experience enriched my knowledge and understanding of this method.

A few years later I applied my knowledge of acupuncture and Western medicine to the research study that culminated in a Ph.D. in ‘Mechanisms of Scalp Acupuncture’ in 1988. My studies focused on the changes in the function of hormones and autonomic nervous system (the system that regulates involuntary bodily functions such as breathing, heart beat, digestion, and the fight-or-flight response) during Scalp acupuncture. Later, during my anesthesia residency program at St. Vincent’s Hospital I was sent to study acupuncture in Beijing and Shanghai in China.

The Science of Acupuncture

Another of Dr. Ostrovsky's Patients Receives Acupuncture of the Back.

Another of Dr. Ostrovsky’s Patients Receives Acupuncture of the Back.

Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific points on the body. The needles are so thin that you barely feel them. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the life force energy, qi or chi, flows through specific meridians along the body. Disruption of the life force is believed to cause illness, and the needles redirect the energy to rebalance it. Depending on the condition I am treating, and the state of the patient, I can use one, four, or even 20 needles at a time.

Western medicine explains the outcome of acupuncture as a result of the needles stimulating nerves, muscles, and connective tissue at key points throughout the body so that they affect blood flow and the body’s natural endorphins.