Acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medicine techniques. It is a form of Chinese healing and has been used by the Chinese over a period of centuries. Because of its popularity in Asia, acupuncture has already spread globally and is now considered a common complementary medicine technique all over the world.
What Does Acupuncture Do?
Acupuncture is based on the theory that the body has a flow of energy in the form of chi. This chi flows around the body through meridian pathways. Chinese healers believe that when the flow of the chi is blocked or becomes unstable, illnesses may develop. It is in this line that acupuncture works wherein the use of fine needles in the acupoints in the body will help unblock the flow of chi for better flow and general well-being.
How is Acupuncture Done?
Acupuncture is done by placing fine needles into the skin at specific points in the body known as the acupoints. These acupoints serve as the pathway of chi and when very thin needles are inserted, the blockage is known to be released.
Initially, acupuncturists will assess and evaluate their clients by employing history taking and certain examinations. Based on the history or the complaint, the acupuncturist will now determine the acupoints in the body that is associated with the pain that that is felt and locates certain landmark such as muscles or bones to determine the exact location where needles are to be inserted.
The acupuncturists will then quickly tap the thin needles on the skin. Certain needles are inserted superficially while some may be inserted deeper. Once the needles have been inserted, the therapist may roll the needle back and forth. Electrical current and heat may also be used on the needle for further healing.
The whole acupuncture therapy can last an average of 15 minutes although the exact time will really depend on the acupuncturist.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Although needles are inserted into the skin, most clients find acupuncture as not painful at all. A slight pressure may be felt as the needles are inserted, but pain is not really felt because the needles are too thin to be noticed. The area of insertion may itch, feel numb and may tingle, but all of these are signs that the chi or energy flow has been restored.
What are the Indications of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is commonly used for the relief of various types of pain in the body. Normal individuals can also use the therapy if they aim for better well-being and health. Nevertheless, some of the most common conditions that acupuncture is beneficial include:
- Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
- Labor pains
- Dental pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Myofascial pain
- Low back pain
- Drug addiction
Safety and Efficacy of Acupuncture
Several studies has evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture and most of the results reveal an increased level of energy and well-being of people who undergone acupuncture. Acupuncture is also evaluated to be safe when employed by a certified acupuncturist.
Acupuncturists hold a state license to perform the therapy and in this case, they also follow strict guidelines to ensure that the therapy is safe.
Some of the side-effects of acupuncture when taken from unlicensed and unreliable therapists include infection and severe soreness in the skin as a result of the use of unsterile needles. Nonetheless, acupuncture will not result to such complications when the right care and therapist is sought. When planning to get acupuncture, make sure that the person has a state license to perform such procedure.