Back Pain Information for Kids

Acupuncture - Medicine - Therapy: Questions & Answers

What is alternative medicine?
Sometimes alternative medicine is called holistic medicine. The word holistic comes from the Greek word "holos", which means whole. Alternative or holistic medicine treats the patient as a whole person - not just the symptoms. Although many family doctors do not use alternative forms of treatment, it is becoming more popular.

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment from China. Acupuncture is based on the belief that energy flows via channels throughout the body. When disease, injury, or pain occurs, some of the channels may become blocked. An acupuncturist unblocks the channels by inserting thin needles into specific points on the body called Meridians. Each meridian point corresponds to a different area of the body. The meridian points, when drawn on the body, resemble a map.

Why is massage used?
Massage is often used to increase circulation, relax tight muscles, and reduce pain. Massage therapists use their hands to stroke, knead, rub, or tap the body. Massage increases the flow of blood to the affected area. The blood delivers oxygen and food and carries away waste products. This can help healing.

Does medicine come in different forms?
Yes. Some medicines are inhaled (breathed in), injected into the body through a needle, applied to the skin as a gel or cream (called "topical"), swallowed as a pill, capsule or tablet, as a skin patch, or in liquid form.

Where do drugs come from?
Today, scientists in pharmaceutical laboratories have developed many drugs. The word "pharmaceutical" comes from the Greek work "pharmakon" meaning drug. Some drugs are made from plants, others are artificially made.

What is an endoscope?
An endoscope is a special device that allows a surgeon to look inside the body without making a big cut through the skin (incision). An endoscope is similar to a camera attached to a long tube. Surgical endoscopes use small tools. The tools are fed through the tube and moved about to perform the surgical procedure.

Updated on: 12/10/09