Do you have any illnesses or injuries you can’t get rid of? Maybe you suffer from conditions like chronic headaches, joint inflammation or anxiety. Have traditional medical treatments failed to solve your issues? Perhaps it’s time to try something new, or rather a millennia old technique.
Acupuncture can provide relief from a wide variety of conditions.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is traditional Chinese medical technique that has been in use for an estimated 3000 years. Today, it is considered a complementary medical technique. Needles are inserted into the skin, or tissue, at special pressure points in the body. According to acupuncture theory, there are over 2,000 points in the body that connect to 20 pathways. Pricking these points with needles helps relieve pain.
How Does It Work?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, disease was thought to be caused by disruptions of energy flow (known as qi) in the body. Pricking needles into specific points in the body released released and improved health.
Modern medicine doesn’t exactly see the working of acupuncture in the same way. Despite significant research into the practice, science has not agreed upon how acupuncture actually works. There are, however, several theories. Many believe that acupuncture works by affecting neurohormonal pathways. The needles stimulate nerves, which in turn send signals to the brain. The brain releases neural hormones. This increases the pain threshold, causing people to feel less pain.
Another popular acupuncture hypothesis suggests the practice works by reducing pro-inflammatory markers, or proteins, throughout the body. The needle simulation can decrease pro-inflammatory markers, which decreases inflammation and in turn reduces pain.
What is It Used For?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the use of over two dozen conditions. Acupuncture is most commonly used for treating various sources of chronic pain. Popular conditions acupuncture is used to treat include:
- back pain
- menstrual pain
- joint inflammation
Current research is trying to determine acupuncture provides relief for other conditions. Many believe acupuncture reduces nausea resulting from chemotherapy, helps with stroke rehabilitation and may reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects?
According to the National Health Interview Survey, more than 14 million Americans have had acupuncture treatments at least one. The practice is considered to be extrememly safe when administered by a licensed professional.
Negative side effects of acupuncture are usually a result of poor hygiene and poor training of the acupuncturist. The most common side effects include: accidental lung punctures, viral hepatitis, bacterial infections and pain and inflammation of skin.>/p>
Please remember that acupuncture should not be used in place of seeking professional medical help. Also, be sure that whoever performs your treatments is a licensed to do so. In the U.S., a three to four year graduate level program is required to become a licensed acupuncturist. Many doctors are also licensed to perform acupuncture.