Have you ever had an uncontrollable urge to be pierced by a dozen needles? That is the image most people get when someone mentions the word “ acupuncture “. It comes as no surprise that the majority view this technique with suspicion, even downright horror. The truth is, however, that this comparatively painless ancient Chinese technique has helped relieve the symptoms of thousands and thousands of people. Properly used, it may help in the management of many medical conditions including chronic pain and fatigue.
Practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine believe in energy flows. This energy, referred to as Qi, circulates around the body using pathways called meridians. Meridians run very close to the surface of the skin in certain areas and may be accessed by needles. Much like plumbing, these pipes can get blocked or go the wrong way, inflicting health problems. The insertion of needles at these points is aimed to help loosen blocks and normalize flow. It sounds like a made-up explanation with no foundation in reality, however there are quite a few scientific studies which support the effects of acupuncture . Although the precise scientific basis is still unknown, recent theories appear to suggest involvement of complicated neurochemical effects in the brain, nerve to spinal cord impulse modulation, and microscopic connective tissue changes.
Using issues not fully understood for the treatment of medical conditions is nothing new. Penicillin and aspirin had been used for many years solely on the premise of their beneficial effects, without medical doctors understanding exactly how they worked. Results are what are really important. Nonetheless, it is equally important is to make sure that the method is used safely. Like other strategies used in treating health situations, acupuncture could have some side effects. Medications have side effects and allergic reactions, surgeries have risk of an infection and complications. For needle puncture, there’s a risk of injury, rare infections, minor bleeding, small bruises, and some dizziness.
You can reduce the potential unwanted side effects by choosing a licensed acupuncturist. Most nations either have government licensing in place or have professional organizations with very strict rules and regulations.
An acupuncturist will do an preliminary evaluation of your medical history and your body’s present state. Multiple pressure points are palpated, and a regimen of treatment is formulated. Most programs involve a series of 10 to 20 treatment sessions, each lasting 30 to 90 minutes. Needles will be carefully positioned on the required points and kept in place for some time. Most patients report a feeling of mild sensation on the site of the puncture, but no actual pain.
Right after every acupuncture session, you’ll feel a bit tired and may have to rest. Some folks really feel an increase of their energy levels. The response to acupuncture is very individual. In some cases there’s an immediate relief of symptoms. For some patients, the beneficial effects may only be noticed after undergoing a few sessions. Don’t be alarmed and keep your acupuncturist up to date on what you are feeling to ensure every thing is going as expected.
You need never fear the thought of needles ever again. Acupuncture is a beneficial treatment with a long history of effectiveness. It’s used to complement current medical therapy and should not replace currently existing medications or treatments.
The safe application of this once exclusively Chinese therapy can now be experienced by chronic disease victims worldwide.