What is an acupuncture treatment? Who can benefit from it? What can it treat? When someone tries to describe acupuncture to you, you’ll probably get anxious. Who wouldn’t get anxious by the thought of needles being pierced through your skin? The truth is, acupuncture offers tremendous benefits to your overall health. As a matter of fact, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in treating a broad range of disease conditions. Let’s find out more.
How Does Acupuncture Treatment Work?
The goals of acupuncture are to enhance your body’s overall function and improve its natural healing process by stimulating specific points in your body known as acupoints or acupuncture points. Small, sterile needles are inserted into these acupoints to stimulate healing. Your acupuncturist may also add heat, electrical stimulation and pressure to these sites to amplify its effects. There are also other ways to stimulate acupoints like moxibustion, manual massage, cupping and the application of herbal liniments and medicines.
Let’s try to understand it deeper. Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The philosophy of TCM is that your body is composed of two opposite forces called the yin and the yang. When you are healthy it means these forces are in balance.
According to TCM, your body houses pathways called meridians. Along these pathways energy called “qi” flows. When the natural flow of energy is impeded the balance between yin and yang will be disrupted. When there is an imbalance, pain and illnesses will take place. Through acupuncture the blockage will be removed and your body will be able to heal itself naturally. Several studies have shown that acupuncture therapy helps improve your body’s endocrine, nervous, immune digestive and cardiovascular systems.
What Happens During a Session of Acupuncture?
Before the start of the therapy your acupuncturist will first ask you a few questions. Healthy history taking is vital in order for your acupuncturist to create a detailed treatment plan bespoke to your condition. Don’t be surprised if your acupuncturist will perform a physical exam on you. This is all part of the treatment process. You will then be asked to lie on the table. Tiny needles will be inserted in different parts of your body. You will not feel any pain but there will be slight discomfort during the insertion. The needles will be left in place for at least 5 to 30 minutes depending on your disease condition. After the treatment, most patients claim that they feel extremely relaxed.
How Many Number of Acupuncture Treatments Do You Need?
The number of treatments you’ll need will depend on your condition. Therefore, it’s not the same for everyone. How your body responds to the treatment will also matter. There are patients who experience relief right after their very first treatment while others require at least two treatments every week for an extended period of time. This applies to patients with chronic problems but if you only suffer from acute problems, a few visits to your acupuncturist will do, usually around 10 visits all in all. Don’t worry because during your first visit, you will know the estimated number of visits you’ll need. This will, of course, change from time to time again depending on how your body responds.
Who Can Benefit from Acupuncture?
People who are suffering from musculoskeletal problems such as neck pain and back pain, those who suffer from migraines, depression, infertility, anxiety, dysentery, allergic rhinitis, hypertension, dysmenorrhea, leukopenia, facial pain, stroke and sprain can all benefit from acupuncture.
If you are interested to receive acupuncture treatment, it is best if you seek the services of a trained acupuncturist.