What is acupuncture? What is it used for? How does it work? And does it really do anything?
First, let’s answer what acupuncture is. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method used to alleviate some health conditions and reduce pain among other ailments. The practice of acupuncture involves the practitioner inserting extremely thin needles, imagine the thickness of a human hair, into various parts of the body. These one-time-use sterile needles are inserted into strategic points called acupuncture points or “acupoints”. When triggered, the acupoints prompt the body to release natural chemicals to alleviate symptoms and fight illnesses.
Join us as we answer other questions about this ancient form of natural healing.
What is Acupuncture Used For?
Acupuncture is used to help treat many different symptoms and conditions, and every patient’s treatment will differ from person to person. Acupuncture has been shown to treat conditions ranging from allergies to chronic pain.
Other symptoms and conditions acupuncture treats include:
- Lower/Upper Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Headaches and Migraines
- Dental Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
We know how painful these conditions can be. To treat any conditions with acupuncture a proper diagnosis needs to be made. After all, the only way to begin healing is by taking care of the root cause.
How does Acupuncture Work?
When your acupuncture points are activated by the needles, it is said to balance the energies in your body, which would be traditionally referred to as qi (chi). This causes your body to release natural chemicals into your muscles, spinal cord, brain, and other body parts.
This re-balancing of chemicals promotes mental and physical health by stimulating the body’s natural healing capabilities. Acupuncture has been shown to successfully make a positive difference in a patient’s conditions that many insurance providers now cover acupuncture therapy potentially saving hundreds of dollars or more without the need for invasive procedures like surgery.
Does Acupuncture Really Do Anything?
Acupuncture is a results-based therapy that has shown to make a difference in the lives of many patients who follow through with it. Time and time again the short and long-term benefits of acupuncture have been seen in patients, athletes, and celebrities. Helping to reduce pain can lead to proper sleep and rest. Uninterrupted sleep means you can rest pain-free which is necessary for the body to naturally heal itself. Though not everyone reacts the same way to acupuncture therapy.
In some cases, patients will see a noticeable change in a single session, while the majority of patients will take 2-4 days afterward to feel the therapeutic benefits. It’s rare for a single session of acupuncture to be enough to treat the majority of patients. Usually, major results will begin to be felt after about 3 treatment sessions while more severe cases may take as many as 6 treatment sessions. The normal treatment for the majority of patients is a single treatment session per week. Though 2 times per week may be recommended for patients with a great deal of pain.
Is Acupuncture Therapy for You?
Almost everyone can take part in acupuncture therapy. In modern days acupuncture treatment has become an exceptionally safe and reliable treatment. It has become standard practice to dispose of all needles after treatment, reducing the risk of infection to near zero. Currently, there is no indication that acupuncture can cause any issues during pregnancy, though it is generally recommended to avoid acupuncture during the first trimester, and you should consult your primary care provider to ensure it is safe for you to have acupuncture treatment done.
You should avoid acupuncture therapy if you suffer from bleeding disorders or are taking blood thinners or have a pacemaker. Blood thinners and bleeding disorders pose a higher risk of bleeding from the needles. Some acupuncture therapy involves small electrical pulses applied to the needles which can cause complications with a pacemaker.
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