An alternative medicine originating from Traditional Chinese Medicine involves the insertion of thin needles to the skin’s surface to target the different strategic points of the body.
It is a minimally invasive method to trigger nerve-rich areas of the skin’s surface, regulating tissues, organs, glands, and various body functions. It is well-known in treating various types of pain but can also be an effective way to treat mental and other health conditions as well.
History of Acupuncture
It is believed that ancient people already practiced acupuncture back in the stone age. But the first-ever recorded acupuncture was found in the ancient medical text of an emperor in China. The modern acupuncture, as we know it, was based on a medical book called The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and was published during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
During the sixth century, the medical principle of acupuncture began to spread in Japan and it was eventually embraced by the Europeans dated 1810. Meanwhile, acupuncture was introduced in the United States when President Nixon brought his knowledge about Chinese medicine after visiting China in 1972.
Currently, acupuncture is globally recognized as an effective therapy for various health conditions. There are more than 40 states which require proper licensing and certification to produce licensed acupuncturists .
How Does It Work?
The ancient Chinese believe in the idea that the body has invisible energy beneath our skin. This energy, called “Wei Qi,” pronounced as “way-chee” must maintain its harmonious balance that promotes good mental and physical health. It is the first line of defense of the body against harmful pathogens.
When the forces of Wei Qi are in balance, then the body is healthy. However, if the energy flow gets blocked, this can cause pain, lack of function, or illnesses. Acupuncture helps to release these blockages to bring back the correct flow of the body’s energy.
The principle of acupuncture involves the stimulation of nerves, muscles, and connective tissues through different areas of the body called acupoints. Through the insertion of fine needles in these acupoints, the body functions will improve, and the natural self-healing process starts.
Benefits of Acupuncture
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health or NCCIH has funded research that evaluates acupuncture’s effectiveness. These researches have concluded that acupuncture helps ease pain, such as low-back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headache, and other conditions.
Other health benefits that an individual can get from acupuncture therapy include:
Mood Enhancement. Due to the discomfort that pain can give, an individual can suffer irritation and other adverse mood reactions. Acupuncture stimulates your central nervous system to release endorphins and other chemicals that will help lift your mood.
Headache Relief. Through the strategic acupoints in your skin’s surface, the nerves will be well-stimulated and can release endorphins that will eventually ease your headaches, including migraines.
Sleep Quality Improvement. Having poor sleep quality could result in insomnia, disrupted sleep, and other serious health problems. Therefore, improving the quality of your sleep is paramount. Acupuncture helps the body to produce melatonin, which regulates the cycle of your sleep.
Boost the immune system. The body has natural antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria once entered into the body. Our body must have a balanced immune system to avoid autoimmune diseases or immune deficiency illnesses. Acupuncture therapy is an effective method in fighting back the infections and fast-tracking the body’s healing process.
Energy Boost. By stimulating the correct neural pathways in the body, acupuncture therapy can improve one’s physical and mental energy. Getting enough energy is essential to function in everyday life.
Blood Pressure Control. Nearly half of the adults in the country suffer from hypertension. Most of the patients are relying on regular pharmaceutical medication to help regulate one’s blood pressure. But with a consistent acupuncture treatment, this therapy can amazingly help to achieve optimal results in your cardiovascular system. As a result, you can achieve lower blood pressure, heart muscle effectiveness, and overall better cardiac health.
Allergy Reduction. Along with a stronger immune system, seasonal allergies can easily affect one’s health. Acupuncture can also a runny nose, scratchy throat, or puffy eyes.
Choose A Registered Acupuncturist
When you’ve decided to try the holistic approach that acupuncture can provide, you must choose a trusted and licensed acupuncturist near me to carry out such treatment. Selecting the right registered acupuncturist is crucial to the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy. Here are some steps in choosing the acupuncturist:
- Ask someone whom you trust for recommendations regarding doctors for acupuncture.
- Once you have the list of the doctors who perform acupuncture therapy, the next thing you do is to check their training completion and credentials. State law requires non-physician acupuncturists to pass an examination conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
- Talk to the practitioner for the proper expectations, the treatment’s effectiveness to your health condition, and the possible cost.
- Check your insurance policy if it covers acupuncture treatments.
What to Expect During the Process
The key factor for the effectiveness of acupuncture is through the acupoints. Acupuncture points are located all over the body. Sometimes, the correct acupoints are far from your pain area. During the process, you might need to remove some of your clothing to remove any obstacles during the session. Once you are lied down on a padded table, expect to experience these things:
- The insertion of needles can cause a little discomfort. You might feel a mild aching sensation once the needle reached the correct depth. Typically, five to 20 needles are going to be used in each treatment.
- The acupuncturist may put some force into the needles once inserted into your body. Usually, a gentle move or twirl, heat application, or mild electrical pulses are maneuvered through the needles.
- The needles are usually inserted for 10 to 20 minutes. You should not feel any discomfort while the acupuncturist removes the needles.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Some people may feel instant relief right after the treatment, but others might take a while to respond to acupuncture. If your overall conditions don’t improve even after many treatments, acupuncture might not be the right procedure for you!