Acupuncture is an ancient practice that has been used for over 2000 years. While it was originally used to puncture and drain abscesses, it is now used for a variety of reasons. For both mental and physical health, acupuncture is a natural way to heal a variety of conditions.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves the insertion of needles to boost wellbeing. By penetrating the skin with tiny, metallic needles, they are then activated with specific hand movement.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Many practitioners believe there are over 2,000 acupuncture points on the body that connect pathways to create the flow of energy. When specific acupuncture points are found, physical pain and even nausea can be alleviated within a relatively quick time period.
What Types Of Health Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?
Health conditions that are commonly treated with acupuncture include:
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Traditional healing treatment can come in many forms. While some treatments work better than others, acupuncture has been practiced for generations using very similar methods throughout the years.
The process of acupuncture includes the use of extremely thin needles. Most people do not find this to be a painful process because of the delicacy of each needle. Because the skin has several strategic points on the body, multiple needles may be used.
When beginning acupuncture, the patient will tell the practitioner why they are receiving acupuncture. Since there are many reasons to use acupuncture, each reason may require slightly different treatment. After identifying the parts of the body that are painful, the practitioner may want to identify various parts of the body such as the shape of the tongue, face color and pulse rate.
After examination, tiny needles are inserted at various depths to different points on the body. A typical treatment session can take anywhere from five to twenty five minutes. During this time, the practitioner may gently move the needles or apply heat. Many people report feeling slightly energized and relaxed directly after the treatment is over.
The Science of Acupuncture
Acupuncture points can stimulate the central nervous system to release chemicals into the muscles and brain. Biochemical changes have been known to stimulate the natural healing process to relieve certain types of pain.
By modulating the imbalances between the parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, acupuncture can help certain autonomic nerve-related disorders. This can include cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart, epilepsy, polycystic ovary syndrome and circadian rhythm disorders. Some believe that acupuncture can even have an impact on heart rate, pupil size, skin temperature and blood pressure.
The hypothalamus is also a key component of acupuncture treatment. This region of the brain may be involved in the pathway of electroacupuncture. The spinal cord, an origin of the sympathetic preganglionic neurons, can also play a key role in the treatment of pain through acupuncture.
The Benefits of Acupuncture
There are many benefits to acupuncture treatment. Unlike opiates or other potentially addictive pain medication, acupuncture is a natural way to remedy certain types of mental and physical health issues.
Acupuncture reduces stress, menstrual cramps, headaches and can even help ease the discomfort of addiction. A licensed practitioner has skills and experience in treating a variety of conditions and will usually perform a consultation before treatment. Many find this treatment a preferred alternative to prescription pain medication for chronic pain management.
Acupuncture is often a safe alternative to other forms of treatment. Although many people find pain relief from just one session, most people book appointments more frequently. On-going conditions that need chronic treatment such as neurological diseases or stress management benefit from more than one session.
Acupuncture is a well-known part of the health care system in China. By incorporating both Western and Eastern medical philosophy, there are a wide variety of treatment options available for those who are experiencing pain.