What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine-based approach which finds its origins in China. It treats a variety of skin conditions, with the usage of needles, which practically trigger specific points on the patient’s skin. It is a minimally invasive method which stimulates those areas of the skin surface which are nerve-rich. The process causes an influence to the tissues, gland, organs and various functions of the body, as per Paul Kempisty. Kempisty is a licensed acupuncturist.
The process causes the Acupuncture needle to produce a tiny injury or a wound at the site where the needle is inserted. The injury is extremely slight and it causes little to no discomfort. However, it manages to send a signal to the body about how it needs to respond. The response that the body produces causes a stimulation of the immune system. This in turn promotes blood circulation to the area, heals the wound and also modulates the pain. The aim of the acupuncture is to assist people in achieving balance between your physical and mental well-being and health. As a result, the process provides relief towards several ailments. The afore-stated theory is inferred from contemporary research on acupuncture.
Why Is Acupuncture Done And What Does It Do?
Increasingly, Acupuncture is being used by people to serve the purpose of overall wellness and stress management. This, as explained above, is achieved by inserting very thin needles through the skin at strategic points of varying depths, on the body. The Traditional Chinese Medicine deems acupuncture as a technique which balances the flow of energy or life force.
The energy is believed to flow through pathways/ meridians in your body by the insertion of needles at specific points. However, as per several Western practitioners, the acupuncture points are seen as places that help in the stimulation of nerves, muscles and connective tissues. Many also believe that such a stimulation also boosts one’s body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture actually relieves discomfort linked with a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including:
- Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting;
- Dental pain;
- Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines;
- Labour pain;
- Low back pain;
- Neck pain;
- Menstrual cramps;
- Respiratory disorders, for example, allergic rhinitis.
- Neck pain;
- Headache and migraine.
In 2003, acupuncture was proven to be effective against a number of conditions released in a list by the World Health Organization. These include:
- High and low blood pressure;
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting;
- Some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer;
- Painful periods;
- Allergic rhinitis;
- Facial pain;
- Morning sickness;
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Tennis elbow;
- Dental pain;
- Reducing the risk of stroke;
- Inducing labor;
There were a few other conditions which the WHO said the acupuncture could help with which include:
- Post-operative convalescence;
- Substance, tobacco and alcohol dependence;
- Spine pain;
- Stiff neck;
- Vascular dementia;
- Whooping cough or pertussis;
- Tourette syndrome.
The WHO further suggested that acupuncture may help treat a number of infections such as urinary tract infections and epidemic haemorrhagic fever.
Risks Involved in Acupuncture
The possible risks of acupuncture are:
- In case a patient has a bleeding disorder or the patient takes blood thinner, the process could be dangerous.
- Possible scenarios of bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites;
- Unsterilized needles may cause an infection;
- In the rarest of rare cases, a needle may break and cause potential damage to an internal organ.
- If the acupuncture needle is inserted deep into the chest or upper back, there could be a potential risk of collapsed lung. But this possibility is very rare.
- A certain type of acupuncture is also thought to stimulate labour which could result in a premature delivery.
- The acupuncture treatment that involves applying mild electrical pulses to the needles can also interfere with a pacemaker’s operation.
How Is Acupuncture Done?
Right before the initial appointment, the acupuncturist requires your complete health history which includes health concerns, diet, sleep, stress level and other lifestyle habits. The patient may also be asked about their emotions, appetite, food likes and dislikes and responses to changes in temperature and seasons. After the visit, the acupuncturist takes the patient’s pulse at three points on each strength and notes the strength, quality and rhythm.
In a typical sitting, the acupuncture process uses anywhere from six to more than 20 tiny needles per treatment. The number of needles do not signify the intensity of the treatment. The needles are left inserted for 10 to 20 minutes. The needles may be gently twisted for an added effect. The duration of a session generally varies. However, a typical session lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Other techniques that may be part of your session include:
- Moxibustion– This process is also called “moxa” and involves the usage of heated sticks which are made from dried herbs. They are held close to the inserted acupuncture needles to warm and stimulate the acupuncture points.
- Cupping– This process involves applying glass or silicone cups to the skin so that a suction effect is created. Cupping relives the stagnation of energy flow and blood.
- Herbs– During the session, Chinese herbs may be given to the patient in the form of teas, pills and capsules.
- Electroacupuncture– In this method, electrical device is connected to two or four acupuncture needles in order to provide a weak electrical current. This in turn stimulates the acupuncture needles during the treatment.
- Laser Acupuncture– The method stimulates the acupuncture points without the usage of any needles.
- Ear Acupuncture– The process is also called auricular acupuncture and is sometimes used during the treatment for weight loss, smoking cessation, addictions and anxiety.
The resultant feeling after a session includes tingling, numbness, heavy sensation, ache, etc., which helps achieve therapeutic effect. It is a great way to therapeutically treat a wide variety of conditions and is certainly recommended.
We too provide Acupuncture Needles in various sizes. The range that we have, allows for medical practitioners to come to us and choose what the need. Our Acupuncture Needles come individually packed with a guide tube which allows for more accurate insertion, etc. Check them out here.