What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment procedure that has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. At certain locations on the body, tiny needles are inserted for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
The process of acupuncture
A medical diagnosis is required before using acupuncture in Western medicine (dry needling). It involves sensory nerve stimulation in the muscles and under the skin.
As a result, the body begins to produce natural compounds like endorphins, which are known to relieve pain. The beneficial effects associated with acupuncture are typically due to these naturally produced substances.
It can take a few sessions of acupuncture before you notice changes.
Traditional acupuncture is based on the idea that the body’s meridians contain energy, or “life force” that flows through it. The word “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) refers to this life force.
When Qi does not flow freely through the body, it can result in illness, as stated by traditional acupuncture practitioners. Acupuncture, in their view, has the power to restore Qi flow and, consequently, health.
Uses of acupuncture
Acupuncture professionals, often known as acupuncturists, make use of this treatment process to treat a variety of health conditions. But not all acupuncture treatments are supported by rigorous scientific evidence.
The process of acupuncture may be used for:
- Long-term or chronic pain
- Chronic headaches related to tension
- Symptoms of prostatitis
Acupuncture may also be used for treating other symptoms and conditions, such as
- Joint and muscle pain
- Jaw pain
- Pain caused by cancer
- Cancer treatment side effects, including feeling sick from chemotherapy
- Sickness after surgery
How is acupuncture performed?
An initial acupuncture session typically lasts between 20 and 1 hour and includes a physical examination, a medical history review, and an assessment of your overall health. The acupuncture needles are then inserted.
A course of treatment can involve multiple sessions, but it can also vary.
Inserting the needles
The specific areas of the body where the needles are inserted are referred to as “acupuncture points.”
You will usually be asked to sit or lie down during the session. Additionally, you could be asked to take off some of your clothing so the practitioner can access specific areas of your body.
The needles are typically a few centimeters long and extremely fine. They must be pre-sterilised, single-use needles that are discarded right away after use.
Based on your condition, acupuncturists decide which points to inject needles into. In a typical session, a number of points may be used, depending on how many symptoms you have.
The needles may be put just underneath the skin or deeply enough to penetrate the muscle. Once the needles are in place, they can stay there for a specific time, between a few minutes and about 30 minutes.
When the needles are inserted, you might feel tingling or a dull ache, but you won’t feel any severe pain. Inform your practitioner immediately if you do.
What distinguishes dry needling from acupuncture?
Acupuncture is not the same as dry needling. Both procedures require inserting needles into your skin. The only similarity between them is that they both use the same kind of needles.
Dry needling is done by various healthcare professionals with different training. Licensed acupuncturists perform acupuncture, which is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is based on Western medicine and involves examining a patient’s posture, movement patterns, pain patterns, and orthopedic testing.
Acupuncture not only addresses musculoskeletal pain but also benefits other systems in your body. Dry needling is a form of treatment for muscle tissue that aims to lessen pain, deactivate trigger points, and enhance movement. It is typically used in conjunction with other physical therapy treatments as part of a broader physical therapy approach.
Benefits of acupuncture
People can manage a wide range of diseases with the use of acupuncture, a popular complementary therapy.
The following are some advantages of acupuncture:
Acupuncture and other forms of treatment can be effectively combined.
Chronic pain, migraines, and headaches can all be effectively managed with acupuncture.
The chance of side effects from acupuncture is low.
It is a versatile method of treatment that can simultaneously address a number of health issues.
Every therapy has both advantages and disadvantages. Before beginning any therapy, a person should always consult a doctor.
Acupuncture may have the following risks:
At the insertion sites, bleeding, bruising, and pain may occur.
There is a risk of infection when using unsterilized needles.
A needle can break and damage an internal organ, but this is quite rare.
Acupuncture needles are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medical devices. Their production and labeling must adhere to specified standards. The needles need to be sterile, non-toxic, and “for one use only” labeled by a licensed professional.
As with any complementary therapy, acupuncture should be used in conjunction with traditional therapies when a condition is chronic or severe. Please make an appointment or contact us to discover how our health professionals can help improve your health with a holistic approach.
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