A Primer on Medical Acupuncture

Have you ever had an uncontrollable urge to be pierced by a dozen needles? This is the image most people when someone mentions the word "acupuncture." No surprise that most view this technique with suspicion, even downright horror. The fact is, however, relatively painless this ancient Chinese technique has helped relieve the symptoms of millions of people. Used properly, can assist in the management of many medical conditions, including chronic pain and fatigue.

How does the needle puncture?

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe in energy flows. This energy, called Qi flows through the body using pathways called meridians. Meridians are very close to the surface of the skin in certain areas and can be accessed by needles. Like plumbing, these tubes can be blocked or go in the opposite direction, causing health problems. Inserting needles into these points is the aim of helping to loosen the blocks and normalize the flow.

Explanation seems invented with no basis in reality, but there are numerous scientific studies that support the effects of acupuncture. Although the exact scientific basis is still unknown, recent theories seem to suggest the involvement of complex neurochemical effects in the brain, the spinal nerve impulse to the modulation of bone, and connective tissue microscopic changes.

What risks and side effects of concern?

The use of things not fully understood for the treatment of medical conditions is nothing new. Penicillin and aspirin has been used for decades solely on the basis of their beneficial effects, without doctors knowing exactly how they worked. The results are what are important. However, it is equally important is to ensure that the technique is used safely.

Like other strategies used in the treatment of health conditions, acupuncture may have some side effects. The drugs have side effects and allergic reactions, surgeries have a risk of infection and complications. For the needle puncture, there is a risk of injury, rare infections, minor bleeding, small bruises, and some dizziness.

You can minimize potential side effects of choosing a licensed acupuncturist. Most countries have government licenses in place or professional organizations with very strict rules and regulations.

How are the treatments?

An acupuncturist will do an initial assessment of your medical history and current state of your body. Multiple pressure points are palpated, and a treatment regimen is formulated. Most courses include a range of 10 to 20 treatment sessions, each 30 to 90 minutes. The needles are carefully placed at the required points and remains in place for some time. Most patients report a feeling of mild sensation at the site of the puncture, but no real pain.

Immediately after each acupuncture session, you will feel a bit tired and may need to rest. Some people feel increased energy levels. The response to acupuncture is very individual. In some cases, immediate relief of symptoms. For some patients, the beneficial effects can be felt only after undergoing a few sessions. Do not panic and keep your acupuncturist update on what you are feeling to ensure that everything goes as expected.

You should never fear the idea of needles anymore. Acupuncture is a beneficial treatment with a long history of effectiveness. It is used as an adjunct to current medical therapy and not replace existing drugs or treatments.

The security application of this therapy once only Chinese can now be experienced throughout the world suffer from chronic illness.

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