Acupuncture In Traditional Medicine
For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used in traditional medicine to improve one’s health and well-being. Ancient Chinese acupuncturists understood that blockages in the body’s pathways, known as meridians, resulted in pain and disease. By using acupuncture needles, acupressure, heat and electricity, at specific points on the body, these blockages are removed. This allows the body to heal naturally.
The International Popularity Of Acupuncture
The benefits of acupuncture spread across Asia and reached Europe in the 17th century. In the United States, the practice gained popularity when President Richard Nixon shared his experiences with acupuncture after undergoing surgery during his visit to China. By the late 1990s, the United States had 10,000 acupuncture specialists, of which 3,000 were physicians, and the total patient visits were an estimated 9 to 12 million annually.
Clinical Trials For Acupuncture
Today, acupuncture is more widely accepted in Western medicine as a result of clinical trials that compare the results of acupuncture with conventional treatments. Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture increases the body’s capacity to address a variety of medical conditions, such as weight loss, digestion, metabolic disorders, joint and muscle pain, stress relief, fertility, tension headaches, migraines, gout, colic and inflammation. Acupuncture also helps patients relieve pain associated with dental procedures, childbirth, surgery and many other conditions. Acupuncture has also been proven to help stroke victims and those suffering from arthritis.
How Acupuncture Works
Conventional treatments, such as prescription medications, work by introducing specific substances into the body to address medical conditions. For example, morphine is introduced to help alleviate pain. Acupuncture helps you by triggering your body to release higher levels of chemicals that naturally occur in your body. As a result, your body is better able to work on its own to reduce pain, fight infections and improve physiological functions.
Benefits Of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a non-toxic treatment for many diseases, both acute and chronic, as well as common conditions, without the risk of drug dependency, side effects and other adverse reactions. Some patients undergo acupuncture treatments in conjunction with other conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy. Acupuncture has been proven to work in a bi-directional manner. For example, patients who have hypertension experience lower blood pressure after undergoing acupuncture treatments, and patients with hypotension experience elevated blood pressures as a result of acupuncture treatments.
Your acupuncture treatment begins with a thorough examination, including discussions about your health. If you are experiencing any specific medical issues, please discuss these at the time of your acupuncture treatment, even if you feel that the information is not relevant. Your examination provides insight about where the acupuncture should be administered, as well as the method that will benefit you.
The most recognized form of acupuncture is the use of thin, sterile needles. The small needles are quickly inserted at specific points on your body. Typically, several needles are used for each treatment. The needles are quickly inserted with a light tap, and at varying depths, depending on your particular case. Most patients experience a mild warming sensation when the needles are inserted. This is an indication that the acupuncture treatment is working with your body’s natural processes. Most patients do not experience pain due to the small size of the needles. The needles typically remain in place for 10 to 45 minutes, and you may feel extremely relaxed while the needles are in place.
What to Expect
Some conditions may require multiple acupuncture treatments for the best results. Many patients feel results immediately after their acupuncture treatments while others experience improvements after three treatments. Over time, you will notice that you gradually feel better.