The utility areas of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is now covered by many insurance policies and is used in a broad way to relieve pain.
The working of acupuncture
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and strengthens the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites–commonly referred to as acupuncture points. The most common method used to stimulate these points is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further increase the effects. Other acupuncture point stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and also improve the sense of well-being.
Acupuncture treatment steps
First, acupuncturist will ask about your health history. Then, he or she will examine your tongue’s shape, colour, and coating, feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition. To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupuncture points are stimulated on various areas of your body. Most people feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between five and 30 minutes. During and after treatments, people report that they feel very relaxed.
Frequency of sittings in treatment
The frequency and number of sittings differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be necessary. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, usually eight to ten visits in total.
Common conditions treated by acupuncture
Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.
Diseases or conditions where acupuncture is valuable
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Induction of labor
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dental surgery