The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Understand Acupuncture

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Are you familiar with acupuncture? You may have heard of acupuncture but are still not sure of what it is and how it can help you. This article will help you finally understand this.

Using needles to adjust bodily functions to optimum levels is the principle behind acupuncture. Both ancient Chinese and modern Western practitioners have used this technique to relieve many sufferers of chronic disease.

Needling is a relatively safe, beneficial treatment strategy that can be used to reduce pain, improve healing, and increase general well-being.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art that involves the stimulation of points on your body with the use of needles. It is basically a holistic approach to curing a number of illnesses and ailments.

It is a family of procedures that stimulates the anatomy of the body and helps to balance the energy flow throughout the body.

It is this kind of acupuncture that is practiced in the United Sates today, through the use of tiny, metallic needles placed in affected areas and manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture is the basic foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine and is based on the belief that there are two opposing and inseparable forces within our body.

They are known as the Yin and Yang of the entire person. The Yin is representative of the cold, slow, or passive principle, and yang represents the hot, excited or active principle.

A healthy state is achieved by maintaining a balanced state of the yin and yang. This is done through vital pathways or meridians that allow for the flow of qi, or vital energy.

The vital energy flow occurs along pathways known as meridians.

These meridians connect over 2,000 acupuncture points along the body. There are 12 main meridians, and 8 secondary meridians.

Although traditional western medicine does not completely understand how acupuncture works, the proof that it does work has been shown in several studies conducted by western medical facilities.

acupuncture

Does Acupuncture Work?

According to the National Institute of Health, the answer would be yes. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in many areas of health care.

Areas such as postoperative nausea, chemotherapy side effects, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, headache, menstrual cramps, addiction, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, just to name a few.

The study revealed that acupuncture was able to provide pain relief, improve function and mobility of joints due to arthritis inflammation, and served to complement standard care.

Although there are many who would doubt the effectiveness of acupuncture, once they are a patient, they are believers.

It has been proposed that acupuncture works and produces its effects through regulating the nervous system.

The theory proposes that since acupuncture produces its effect through regulation of the nervous system, it induces the release of endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites on the body.

There is also the theory that acupuncture alters the brain chemistry by the changing the neurotransmitters in the brain.

Although acupuncture is classified as an alternative medicine therapy, and there is still much to be understood about the way it works, it is a proven aid in maintaining optimal health.

What acupuncture can do?

Usually, people suffer from diseases when energy gets blocked in the meridians.

When the needles are inserted into the specific points along the meridian lines, the balanced flow of energy is restored.

Acupuncture works effectively because the needles stimulate the release of pain-relieving endorphins into the body, influences the release of neurotransmitters and also enhances the working of autonomic nervous systems.

By influencing the electrical currents in the body, acupuncture also improves blood circulation throughout the body.

Does a Well Individual can Benefit from Acupuncture?

Absolutely! Acupuncture works off the belief that we must maintain the balance of our vital energy flow in order to remain healthy, acupuncture serves as the tool for realignment.

Our vital energy flow can be out of balance, and we still feel and appear quite healthy. It is in this capacity that acupuncture serves as a sort of preventive medicine.

Checking and balancing the flow of energy on the meridian points in your body is like your car receiving a tune-up before it is in need of a repair.

How to Prepare for Acupuncture Treatment?

When looking for an acupuncture professional to treat your aches, pains, and ailments, be sure to ask if they are nationally certified.

Although this will not guarantee that your sessions are perfect and painless, it will guarantee that the specialist you visit has had a lot of formal education and is well qualified to perform the service. You should see the certificates on the wall.

Your acupuncturist will need to know your medical history. Start by making a list of your current medications and any serious treatments you may have or have had in the past.

Include things such as surgery, giving birthday, any broken bones or other injuries.

Some people actually prefer to have acupuncture performed while in a group setting. This is an option that is usually available in larger cities, but they do exist.

When going for treatment be aware that the acupuncturist’s needles may end up all over your body, so wear loose fitting clothes which can be easily moved out of the way.

It is best to dress as if you plan to attend a luxurious beach vacation but you don’t want to take a dip in the water.

Do not overeat prior to your appointment with an acupuncturist. You should also avoid going to the appointment without any food in your stomach.

Being too hungry could cause you to feel dizzy or even nauseous. A light meal or snack is all that you need to have an enjoyable experience.

You should also avoid over exercising, engaging in a sexual activity or consume alcoholic beverages 6 hours before and after treatment.

Since the acupuncture session will last from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on how often you have to go to the clinic, you better fix your schedule so you have time to rest.

Chances are, you were consulting with a doctor prior to your visit to the acupuncturist. If there are any prescription medicines given, don’t forget to take them.

If you’d like to get more out of your acupuncture sessions, start cleansing. A good cleanse will free your body of toxins, which means acupuncture will be more effective.

During this time, you may also want to detox from substances like alcohol. Ask your acupuncturist to recommend a good detox diet.

Before your appointment, it is important to stay relaxed. So if you happen to be running late, don’t get flustered, as this could affect your treatment. If necessary, you can always reschedule your appointment.

View your acupuncture treatments as a welcome break from the outside world. Let your friends know that you need a few hours to yourself and turn your cell phone off.

Isolating yourself for a few hours will help you focus on your different sensations and replenish your energy.

Get into the habit of arriving a little early for your appointment, about 15 minutes ahead of time is good. This way you know you will not be late, and if provides you with the opportunity to relax and reduce your stress levels.

Many people are a little cautious about trying acupuncture, simply because they believe the myths that surround it.

Contrary to what you might believe, acupuncture does not cause you any pain, leave scars and it is not any type of voodoo. It is an Asian method of healing that is effective and has been around for thousands of years.

As soon as you arrive at the clinic, make sure you turn off your cell phone to avoid any distractions. Don’t turn it to vibrate either, as this will just become a distraction and affect your treatment and the practitioner. Just turn off your phone and forget about it for a while.

The most important thing to do during the session is to relax. If you feel an itch or something, tell the acupuncturist. The same goes if you are nervous or experience a burning sensation so the specialist will take out the needles.

acupuncture-box

What is the Procedure for Needle Puncture?

There are two broad categories of acupuncture practice today, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and medical acupuncture. Both have their merits, so the choice is individual.

The decision for most people hinges upon which philosophy appeals more to them and which technique holds the least apprehension.

In TCM, practitioners adhere to the concept of Qi, or energy flow, and the meridians in which they travel. They use longer needles and insert them deeper in order to reach the acupuncture points.

Modern science has found little evidence to prove the existence of these energy channels, but this is the technique that has been used effectively for thousands of years.

In medical acupuncture, the practitioners are graduates of western medical schools. Their application of needles is not based on the traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data.

These acupuncturists use shorter needles and the insertions are shallower. They also tend to use fewer needles and leave them inserted for shorter periods of time.

Adherents to TCM feel this is a watered-down version of the real thing. Nevertheless, many patients have felt a relief of symptoms through this method.

What are the Conditions of Puncture Application?

There is a broad and extensive list of ailments which can be treated with acupuncture. The conditions run the gamut from asthma to constipation, anxiety to weight loss.

Most TCM practitioners believe that any health condition results from an imbalance in Qi flow, therefore amenable to needle therapy.

Western acupuncturists tend to have a more limited list of indications, the most common of which is undoubtedly control of pain.

Control of pain is the most well researched of all of the indications for acupuncture.

There is a definite beneficial effect for a majority of patients using this method. Migraines, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuralgias are but a few examples.

The theory behind its effectiveness is also medically accepted and well researched, called the gate-control theory of pain. It states that the needles can stimulate nerves so that they block the impulses from pain triggers.

What are Expected Puncture Session Results?

It is important to emphasize that acupuncture is used only on top of existing medical therapy.

At no time should a patient discontinue medication or ignore medical instructions in favor of needle puncture.

After undergoing a needle puncture regimen, the primary care physician can make an evaluation with regards to decreasing dependence on other therapies.

You will not feel any improvement after just one or two visits with the acupuncturist.

Just the same, you should write this down so you can go back to the acupuncturist on your next visit and tell him or her how you felt during the previous session.

Such feedback will let the specialist know what needs to be modified in the future to help you with your problem.

The acupuncturist might give you some herbs to take as part of your treatment. Since you don’t know if taking them will have any side effects with the medication you are taking, you should first consult with your doctor if it is safe to consume both.

A course of acupuncture therapy will last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This depends on upon the complexity of the particular medical condition.

Results also vary, so it is important to have a frank discussion with the acupuncturist regarding expected results and their time frame.

In general, the patient will begin to feel beneficial effects after three or four sessions. Certain specific conditions will actually get a little worse before improving so keeping informed is key.

In modern medicine, the use of traditional techniques with proven results has become a widely accepted practice. Acupuncture has proven its worth time and again.

Modern practice guidelines make it effective, reproducible, and safe. It is a gift of healing from ancient sages that have the potential to bring relief to millions of people.

Women who are pregnant are also advised not to undergo acupuncture treatment. However, they can engage in that once the baby is born.

How well the acupuncture treatment will go depends also on a specialist who will be performing it.

You have to take into account their years of experience and skill so they are able to make the correct diagnosis, finding the ‘acupoints’ in the body, the angle at which the needles will be inserted and the techniques they know as there are different types of acupuncture.

By now you should have a broader overview regarding this traditional approach to Chinese medicine, perhaps there is a way that acupuncture can be used to help you or a loved one.

As with any medical procedure, it is important to do your homework first. However, keep an open mind to non-Western approaches to healing, you may be surprised what it can do for you.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

What is Acupuncture?

Using needles to adjust bodily functions to optimum levels is the principle behind acupuncture.

It is a set of procedures that stimulates the anatomy of the body and helps to balance the energy flow throughout the body.

Does Acupuncture Work?

The study revealed that acupuncture was able to provide pain relief, improve function and mobility of joints due to arthritis inflammation, and served to complement standard care.

What Acupuncture Can Do?

  • The balance of energy is restored
  • Stimulate the release of pain-relieving endorphins in the body
  • Influences the release of neurotransmitters
  • Enhances the working of nervous system
  • Improves blood circulation

Does a healthy individual can benefit from acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture serves as a tool for realignment
  • Acupuncture serves as a sort of preventive medicine

How to prepare for acupuncture treatment?

  • Ask if the acupuncture professional is nationally certified.
  • Your acupuncturist will need to know your medical history.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.
  • Do not overeat prior to your appointment.
  • You should also avoid over exercising, engaging in a sexual activity or consume alcoholic beverages 6 hours before and after treatment.

What is the procedure for needle puncture?

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
    Practitioners adhere to the concept of Qi, or energy flow, and the meridians in which they travel.
  • Medical Acupuncure
    The practitioners are graduates of western medical schools. Their application of needles is not based on the traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data.

What are Expected Puncture Session Results?

  • The primary care physician can make an evaluation with regards to decreasing dependence on other therapies.
  • Results also vary, so it is important to have a frank discussion with the acupuncturist regarding expected results and their time frame.
  • In general, the patient will begin to feel beneficial effects after three or four session.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Have you tried undergoing an acupuncture treatment?

– After reading the article, would you consider acupuncture as your alternative medicine?

– What are your hesitations in undergoing acupuncture treatment?

– What are the benefits you like with acupuncture treatment?


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