Acupuncture – How It Works, Its Uses And Its Benefits

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Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine protocol that focuses on balancing the energy in the body. This technique was first discovered over 3,000 years ago and has been used to prevent, diagnose and improve the patient’s general health. Studies have shown that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for a number of conditions and is now covered by many health insurance policies. Acupuncture stimulates acupoints in the body to promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

In this technique sterile, fine needles are inserted into the skin to stimulate the acupoints. Then, the acupuncture therapist may use a variety of stimulation techniques, such as pressure, electrical stimulation, manual stimulation, heat therapy, cupping along with herbal topical liniments to increase the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatment. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body and the universe contain two opposing forces called the yin and the yang. In a healthy body, these forces are balanced. The yin and yang are balanced in the body when a person’s qi, that is life energy, freely flows along the meridians or pathways in the body. If the qi becomes blocked, illness, pain or lack of function appears. Acupuncture is used to unblock the qi to evoke the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Modern research has shown that acupuncture has a positive effect on several systems in the body, including the immune system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system and the nervous system. When acupuncture is used, connective tissues, muscles and nerves in the body are stimulated, which causes the body to release natural pain killers such as endorphins) and increase blood flow to the area.

What conditions can acupuncture relieve?

Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture can relieve a number of musculoskeletal conditions, including neck and back pain, infertility, insomnia, migraines, depression and anxiety. In addition to these conditions, acupuncture can help with these conditions:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Dental Pain
  • Detoxification
  • Epigastric conditions
  • Facial pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Low libido ‘
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • PMS
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Postoperative pain
  • Sciatica
  • Skin problems
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Vomiting

What to expect during a visit

At your appointment, the acupuncture therapist will do a complete physical examination. The specialist will also ask you about your medical history and any medical problems that you may be experiencing. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment, you must be honest and forthcoming with any information that may help the acupuncturist. Once this assessment is completed, the acupuncture therapist will offer self-care tips and suggest other complementary therapies that may help your condition. You will then be asked to lie down either on your back, your stomach or your side, depending on where the acupuncture needs to be performed. The acupuncturist will insert the needles into specific acupoints. This procedure is virtually painless; however, some patients do report a tingling or stinging sensation when the needle is inserted. The needles will remain in place between five and thirty minutes.

Acupuncture and traditional medical therapies

Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with conventional therapies. When the two are combined, patients often experience improved physical and emotional healing. For example, cancer patients often need to undergo chemotherapy to help them battle cancer. Unfortunately, chemotherapy causes nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture has been proven to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. The primary reason that Americans visit an acupuncturist is chronic pain, such as osteoarthritis, neck pain or lower back pain. Because acupuncture causes the body to relief endorphins, most chronic pain sufferers find relief through acupuncture.

The Acupuncture and Massage College located in Miami reports that acupuncture stimulates and balances the immune system by increasing T-cell counts, white blood cell counts and red blood cell counts. When the immune system becomes compromised, the risk of illness increases. Luckily, acupuncture strengthens your immunity. The immune system is responsible for almost all cures of illness and disease. By restoring your immune function with acupuncture, your body will be able to combat disease and lead to improve health and well-being.

Americans are looking for medical approaches that are designed to treat the root cause of the condition instead of just treating the physical symptoms associated with the disease. One such treatment that focuses on a whole body approach is acupuncture. This holistic form of medicine has been shown to relieve a number of conditions, including chronic pain, allergies, digestive disorders, nervous system problems and endocrine issues.

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