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What Is Acupuncture? Benefits, How It Works, Side Effects

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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a more than 2500-year-old treatment therapy that originated in China. During those times, sharpened stones and bones were used to pierce the acupuncture points, which helped cure a number of diseases. The first document that described acupuncture as an organized treatment therapy was published in “Huangdi Neijing”, a classical Chinese text (White and Ernst, 2004). Acupuncture finds mention even in the ancient Vedas, as a treatment therapy to be used in Ayurveda. Thousands of books since then have been written on the subject of
Chinese recovery and its fundamental philosophies spread long ago to other
Asian cultures. Virtually everyone the types of Oriental medicine that are used
in the West today, such as acupuncture, shiatsu, acupressure massage, and
macrobiotics, are part of or have their roots in Chinese medicine. Legend has
it that acupuncture developed when ancient Chinese doctors detected unpredicted
effects of puncture wounds in Chinese warriors. Although acupuncture is the
greatest known technique, Chinese medicine traditionally utilizes herbal
remedies, dietary therapy, lifestyle changes and other means to treat patients.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on the philosophy that certain energy forces flow throughout the body, and these are very essential for good health. This energy is called ‘qi’ or ‘chi’. Due to many factors, the energy flow gets disrupted, which then manifests in the form of a disease. Acupuncture corrects this imbalanced flow by inserting needles at specific points near the skin surface. This channelizes the energy flow and treats the ailment.

Chinese
medicine views the body as a little region of the world, and subject to
international laws and principles of stability and balance. Chinese medicine
doesn’t draw a sharp point, as Western medicine does, between body and mind.
The Chinese system considers that emotions and psychological conditions are
every bit as powerful on the disorder as purely physical mechanics, and considers
factors such as function, environment, lifestyle, and relationships as
essential to the total image of a patient’s wellbeing. Chinese medicine also
uses quite different symbols and thoughts to go over the human body and
wellness. While Western medicine commonly refers to health concerning
measurable physical processes composed of chemical reactions, the Chinese usage
thoughts like yin and yang, chi, the manhood, along with the five components to
characterize health and the human body. To comprehend the thoughts behind
acupuncture, it’s worthwhile to present a number of those fundamental terms.

 According to Chinese philosophy, the world and the body can be described by two
different but complementary principles, that of yin and yang. For example, in
temperature, yin is cold and yang is hot. In gender, yin is the female, and yang is the man. In action, yin is lively and yang is busy. In mild, yin is dark and yang
is glowing; in direction, yin is inward and downward and yang is up and outward,
and so on. Nothing is ever completely yin or yang, but a combination of the
two. These two principles are always interacting, opposing, and influencing
each other. The goal of Chinese medicine isn’t to remove either yin or yang,
but to permit the two to balance one another and exist together. As an example,
if a person suffers from symptoms of elevated blood pressure, the Chinese
system would say that the heart organ might have too much yang and would urge
methods either to decrease the yang or to grow the yin of the heart, depending
on the other organs and symptoms in the body. Therefore, acupuncture therapies
seek to either raise or reduce the yang or raise or reduce yin in particular areas
of the body.

Acupuncture Benefits

Acupuncture is widely used to relieve pain. Acupuncture, when carried out by trained practitioners, is a safe therapy with very few side effects. It works very well in combination with traditional medications. In addition, this therapy is a good alternative for people who no longer respond to pain medications or do not want to take medications. The World
Health Organization (WHO) recommends acupuncture as an effective remedy for
more than forty medical issues, including allergies, respiratory ailments,
gastrointestinal disorders, gynecological problems, nervous conditions, and
infections of the eyes, throat, and nose, and childhood disorders, amongst
others. Acupuncture has been used in treating alcoholism and chemical abuse, headaches
and chronic pain, related to issues like back arthritis and injuries. Acupuncture
is generally best when utilized as prevention or prior to a health condition
becomes severe, but it’s been used to assist patients suffering from specific
musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia.

What does Acupuncture do?

Acupuncture is primarily used to reduce pain and nausea resulting after surgery or chemotherapy. It helps to cure frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, reduces dental pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, addiction, osteoarthritis, low back pain, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome and many other musculoskeletal pains (NCCIH 2014)

Learn more how Acupuncture
integrative therapy treatments and wellness plans can help you with the
following conditions:

Acupuncture
for Cancer Care
 

Acupuncture
for IBS

Acupuncture for Migraine

Acupuncture for PCOS

Acupuncture
for Psoriasis





Preparations for Acupuncture treatment

In Chinese
medicine, disorder as viewed as imbalances within the manhood or chi meridians,
and the objective of any treatment or therapy is to help the human body in
reestablishing its inherent stability. Infection may be caused by internal variables
such as emotions, external variables such as the surroundings and weather,
along with other variables such as accidents, injury, diet, and germs.
Nevertheless, infection is regarded less primarily a issue with viruses and
germs, but because of weakness at the energy of their human body that’s letting
a illness to happen. In Chinese medicine, no two disorders are the same, as
everybody has its own qualities of symptoms and equilibrium. Acupuncture is
used to start or fix the flow of chi through the member system, which will
fortify the human body and prompt it to cure itself.

 This is done using a
very long questionnaire and interview. Afterward the acupuncturist will inspect
the individual to come across additional symptoms, looking carefully in the
tongue, the heartbeat at different points within the entire body, the
complexion, overall behaviour, and other indications such as coughs or pains.
From this, the professional will have the ability to ascertain patterns of
symptoms that indicate that organs and regions are imbalanced. 

Precautions in Acupuncture

The major precaution that the patient needs to take is to consult a competent and certified acupuncture therapist. Beware of unqualified practitioners. Also, make sure that the needles being used for the procedure are sterile and clean. Pregnant women should not undergo acupuncture on their abdomen and lower backs. Those with bleeding and clotting problems should not undergo acupuncture. Acupuncture is restricted in healing conditions or traumas that need surgery or emergency maintenance (like for broken bones).

Side effects of Acupuncture

Acupuncture can cause soreness at the points of puncture and lead to bruising. Sometimes, pushing the needle very deep can cause organ damage. However, this is a very rare occurrence, if you have consulted an experienced practitioner. Sometimes, unsterile needles lead to viral infections like hepatitis. 

Science & Research in Acupuncture

Though it acknowledges the efficiency of the therapy to relieve pain, science, has not been able to predict how the acupuncture therapy works. In a significant study, the scientists were able to prove the efficacy of acupuncture, while conducting randomized clinical trials for chronic pains like osteoarthritis, back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and chronic headache (Vickers et al., 2012). It has more effect than the placebo effect. The scientists further described the technique as relatively non-invasive and very safe.