Acupuncture is an ancient treatment that is used to treat a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Conditions like low back pain, nerve pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, post-surgery recovery, and other similar neuromuscular issues.
The treatment is based on the belief that there are more than 2,000 points – also known as acupoints – in the body. They act as conduits to regulate and stimulate all the activities in the body affecting nerves, muscles, bones, and other functions.
This method involves the use of extremely thin needles that are placed in different combinations of acupoints. This streamlines the flow of energy to the body and reduces pain by releasing the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals – endorphins and enkephalins.
Sometimes, acupuncture is used in conjunction with acupressure and herbal medicine to alleviate pain.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture focuses on improving the body’s function and promoting the natural process of self-healing by stimulating acupoints.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that the body is in a good state of health when two opposing forces “yin” and “yang” are in balance. Energy, known as Qi, flows through channels called meridians.
When needles are inserted into the acupoints nerves, muscles and connective tissues are stimulated. Increasing the circulation of blood to the affected area and triggering the activity of endorphins and enkephalins.
‘Yin’ and ‘yang’ remain balanced as long as the flow of energy is constant. The disruption in the flow of energy can result in pain, illness, and immobility.
Though insertion of needles is the most common method used to stimulate acupoints, effects may be further enhanced with electrical stimulation, pressure or heat.
Manual massage, moxibustion, and cupping are some other techniques they use for stimulation of acupoints.
Is Acupuncture Therapy Safe?
Yes! It is completely safe when practiced by a qualified acupuncturist. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), out of the millions of people who receive acupuncture, only a few report complications from the treatment.
FDA regulations require the acupuncture needles be “sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use”. Which means there is no chance that you will contract any disease when you receive this treatment.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture has found to be effective in treating various conditions including:
- Chronic back problems and pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Mental and emotional stress
- Skin diseases,
- Digestive problems
- Broken bones
- Neurological disorders
- Menstrual cramps,
Acupuncture Healing Process:
Healing from acupuncture is a comprehensive process that consists of three phases.
1) Relief Stage
The primary aim of most patients is to gain relief from pain, discomfort, stress, anxiety and return to their previous level of activity. This is done during the relief stage.
During your first visit to an acupuncture therapy clinic, your acupuncturist will ask you questions about your current state of health and medical history.
Your practitioner will then examine the color and shape of your tongue and take the reading of your heartbeat. Depending on your individual needs, he or she may also perform additional physical examinations.
These measures will help him/her determine your particular condition and develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
To begin the treatment, your practitioner will stimulate on precise acupoints on various areas of your body. In most of the cases, the insertion of acupuncture needles increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area. Making the patients relaxed, and calms their nervous system and mind. The needles usually stay in place for between five to thirty minutes.
At the initial stage of treatment, at least two to three treatments are recommended per week.
How long relief care stage will last will depend on a number of factors. Such as your age, your stress level, the duration, nature, and severity of your condition, your lifestyle, response to the treatment and the level of your Qi.
Keep in mind the following things before you arrive at your acupuncture therapy clinic to receive your first treatment.
- Eat something before your appointment
- Avoid Coffee and Alcohol
- Wear loose clothing
- Schedule your appointment early in the evening
- Come early for your appointment
2) Healing Stage
Once your body shows a significant response from the symptoms, your acupuncturist will be able to address any underlying conditions. At this stage, the healing process initiated by the acupuncture treatments provides a roadmap to your body to make self-corrections and adjustments.
For continued healing consider treatments once per week.
3) Maintenance Stage
This stage preserves the progress you have made. It strengthens your body to respond to healing and prevents small problems from turning into major ones.
At this stage, patients receive acupuncture treatment once a month, every other month or after some months. These treatments enable your body to maintain good health, prevent symptoms from reoccurring and diagnose and address them if they do.
How Many Treatments?
The number of acupuncture treatments required varies from person to person. Some patients suffering from mild acute conditions show a dramatic response to the treatment and get rid of their symptoms after the first or the next few visits. Painful acute conditions need a visit at least thrice a week.
A complex chronic and long-standing condition should be seen at least twice or thrice per week for several months.
The rate of your healing also depends on a number of other factors including your diet, health history, stress factors and habits, and lifestyle.
Acupuncture is a safe, effective and efficient treatment for treating a wide variety of conditions. Physical needling is just the initiation of your healing process. Communication, good emotion, and lifestyle changes are the factors that maintain and support your progress.
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Article source: Sooper Articles