What Is Acupuncture?
An age-old healing practice of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are placed at specific points in the body. It is predominantly used to get rid of the pain but also has been used to treat other conditions. More than 3 million Americans use acupuncture.
How Acupuncture Works:
It seeks to release the flow of the body’s vital energy or “chi” by stimulating points along 14 energy pathways. Scientists say the needles cause the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers) and may boost blood flow and change brain activity.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Most people feel no pain or very little pain when the needles are inserted as the needles are very thin. They often feel energized or relaxed after the treatment. However, the needles can cause brief soreness.
Conditions That Respond To Acupuncture:
- Low-Back Pain.
- Arthritis Pain.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Dental Pain.
- Other Pain: neck pain, muscle pain, tennis elbow, and menstrual cramps.
- Reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, even after cancer drug treatments or surgery.
- Help people cope with symptoms of cancer or chemotherapy.
- Help manage hot flashes associated with breast cancer.
- May boost the effectiveness of fertility treatments.
- Other conditions, including smoking cessation, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and allergies.
Be sure to talk to your doctor first and seek a practitioner who has experience working with cancer patients.
World Health Organization lists 28 different conditions that are sometimes treated with acupuncture.
Acupuncture may provide added pain relief when it’s used along with pain medicine or another therapy, such as massage. Acupuncture can reduce the need for drugs and improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain.
When To Consider Acupuncture
Because acupuncture rarely causes more than mild side effects, it is a potential alternative to pain medications or steroid treatments. It is also considered a “complementary” medicine that can be used along with other treatments. It is best to discuss the use of acupuncture with your health care provider.
Although acupuncture is generally safe and serious problems are rare, there are some risks. Needles that are not sterile can cause infection. Make sure that your practitioner uses sterile needles that are thrown away after one use. In some acupuncture points, needles inserted too deeply can puncture the lungs or gallbladder or cause problems with your blood vessels.
**It is important to use a practitioner who is well-trained in acupuncture.**
Who Shouldn’t Use Acupuncture
- People with bleeding disorders or who take blood thinners may have an increased risk of bleeding.
- Electrical stimulation of the needles can cause problems for people with pacemakers or other electrical devices.
- Pregnant women should talk with their health care provider before having acupuncture.
It’s important not to skip conventional medical care or rely on acupuncture alone to treat diseases or severe pain.
Choosing a Practitioner
For more information on acupuncture as a therapeutic option visit our source.