What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture therapy is an ancient healing and anti-aging practice of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin. It began to spread rapidly during the twentieth century in Western Europe and North America and has become a popular modality used to offset stress and the effects of aging.
Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system.
By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture therapy can help to resolve pain, balance hormones, and to improve one’s sense of well-being.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), acupuncture treatment is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates its effective therapeutic value for many more.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture therapy seeks to release the flow of the body’s vital energy or “chi” by stimulating points along 14 energy pathways, evoking the body’s natural response through various physiological systems.
In Western societies, acupuncture is explained including concepts of neuroscience.
Acupuncture points are seen by some Western practitioners as places where nerves, muscles and connective tissue can be stimulated.
Does Acupuncture Therapy Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very thin, so even though they can cause temporary soreness, most people feel no pain or very little pain when they are inserted. Many say they feel energized or relaxed after the treatment.
How Is Acupuncture Treatment Carried Out?
Although effects are usually felt after a single session, acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an assessment of the patient’s condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 30 minutes.
Single-use disposable sterile needles are used in clinics. As each needle is inserted one usually feels them, then when it reaches the right depth there is a sensation of the qi-flow. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about twenty minutes.
When To Consider Acupuncture
As acupuncture rarely causes side effects, it is considered as a healing modality on its own, as well as a complementary medicine that can be used along with other treatments.
Acupuncture is widely used to reduce the need for drugs and improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain such as back pain, premature aging symptoms, and a variety of stress-related conditions including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and allergies, among many other health conditions.
Talk to your health care provider about this powerful modality. It is important to receive treatment from someone who has met standards for education and training in acupuncture. Apart from helping with conditions, regular rejuvenation acupuncture sessions are a time to relax, to shut off the mind, and be in the presence of a therapist you can trust with your total well-being.