Acupuncture, Is It A Safe Alternative?
Among Asian countries, acupuncture is a very popular alternative pain relief means. It has been slowly gaining a following in western countries. Although there is a lack of scientific evidence to explain the efficacy of this treatment, people in the medical field are suggesting this form of treatment to their patients.
Acupuncture is an ancient Asian medicinal art devised 5,000 years ago that involves the use of thin, cylindrical needles that are inserted into specific portions of the body called acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are said to be scattered all over the body and corresponds to different parts of the body. The aim of using acupuncture is to restore health and well-being. Acupuncture is also said to reduce pain and/or induce anesthesia.
Licensed acupuncturists explain that when the needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, there is an increase in blood flow to the area. Meridians along the acupuncture points in the body are stimulated as the blood flows around the body. Acupuncture has been proven effective for a number of ailments including: nausea, chronic pain especially in the lower back area, neck pain and headaches. However, acupuncturists are unsure as to how this helps alleviate pain, they find that when they insert needles in certain acupuncture points, the pain goes away. It is because of this lack of explanation that some health professionals raise eyebrows on this form of alternative pain relief method.
There are several ways that acupuncture works to reduce chronic pain. One is to work through the meridians, and increase certain energy centers in the body. As an example, if someone has chronic pain, we would want to stimulate the kidney centres in the body; kidney meridians. If someone has a specific musculoskeletal pain, let's say just a spot in the shoulder, we may want to inject just a couple of needles touching each other, and use electrostimulation to reduce inflammation in that area.
Acupuncture is a generally safe treatment to administer to a patient's body. It has a very low risk profile and a particularly high success rate. However, the biggest risk factor lies on the person performing the procedure. The acupuncture practitioner must be well-trained and licensed to work on 1a patient. They must know where the acupuncture points are in order to know where the needles should be strategically inserted. If an untrained person inserts a needle into the spinal cord, or the lungs, there is bound to be a problem to come up.
Unlike other pain reduction and pain management treatments, acupuncture is fairly non-invasive and non-habit forming. It requires no prescription medications which may cause dependence if used continuously in high doses. Unlike surgery, you don't have to be cut open during the procedure, and bleeding is very minimal. Not only does it alleviate pain, it also increases the body's energy level by stimulating the meridian points. It brings the body into homeostasis and allows people to feel better with very little to no pain at all.
What you should know about acupuncture?
For Mrs. Cooper, life in sunny California in her modest home has become a tug-of-war of aches and pains for this housewife of forty. A mother of five and at the same time managing a home business, she found it very challenging to keep a home and manage a business at the same time while suffering from lower back pains and migraine headaches. She tried using the traditional medicines prescribed by her doctor but it seems that these only provided temporary relief. One day, her cousin Meredith recommended that she try other alternative medicines to cure her ailments.
At first, Mrs. Cooper was skeptical since she knew that Meredith was into new age stuff like meditation, yoga, organics, herbal medicines, and vegetarianism. She felt she was entering into new, unfamiliar territory. But upon her cousin's insistence, she tried this ancient Chinese practice called acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a procedure that treats illness through the insertion of needles at specific points in the body. This process is said to alter the body's energy flow into healthier patterns and used to treat a variety of illnesses and heath conditions. According to the World Health Organization (who) acupuncture is an effective treatment for “over forty” medical problems such as chronic pain, headaches and those associated with problems like back injuries and arthritis. But it is limited in treating conditions like broken bones or that requires surgery.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
Just make sure you’re getting this treatment from a well-trained acupuncturist and that the acupuncture needles are sterile and disposable. Undergoing this kind of treatment is like receiving an injection. You only feel pain from injections if it is larger diameter and it is a hollow needle. While acupuncture needles are very fine and about the diameter of human hair. When properly inserted by a skilled practitioner, you won't feel pain. However, you may experience a sense of electricity in the area of insertion. This kind of treatment for most patients find it relaxing and more often they fall asleep during treatment.
THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF CHINESE MEDICINE
Alternative Chinese medicine like acupuncture views the body as tiny part of the universe, and subject to universal laws of harmony and balance. The Chinese believe that emotions and mental states play a role in causing diseases. Illnesses are also affected by other factors like the environment, lifestyle, and relationships. Acupuncture is based on the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang and the chi. The chi, or cosmic energy, is an invisible force found in the air, water, food and sunlight. In the body, it is a vital force that creates and animates life.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN VISITING ACUPUNCTURIST
Like a Western medical practitioner, the first thing an acupuncturist will do is to get the patient's medical history and symptoms. This will be followed by a physical examination. He or she will be looking closely at the patient's tongue, pulse, complexion, general behavior, and other signs like coughs or pains. From this, the acupuncturist will be able to determine patterns of symptoms indicating which organs are imbalanced. Acupuncture needles are always sterilized and it is a safe procedure.
In most cases, acupuncture does work ad relieves pain by helping stimulate the release endorphins into the bloodstream.