Sometimes, your body may require some fine tuning. That’s the concept behind acupuncture, the traditional Chinese practice whose scientific acceptance has grown in the U.S. during the past several years.
People think needles when they first hear the word “acupuncture.” But it’s more than just needles – it’s whole-body healing.
Balancing the Body’s Energy
Acupuncture’s premise focuses on balancing the movement of energy or life force — known as chi (pronounced chee) — that flows through meridians in the body. Think of meridians as highways that allow this energy to flow. By inserting needles into specific points along the meridians, acupuncturists attempt to re-balance the flow of energy.
The acupuncture points (there are more than 400 on the body) stimulate nerves, connective tissue and muscles. This stimulation can increase blood flow and boost the production of the body’s natural painkillers (endorphins).
Acupuncture Addresses Many Issues
The practice is most commonly used to treat neck and back pain, however, in recent years, acupuncture has been successful in alleviating digestive disorders and even addiction. It also can help relieve discomfort associated with dental pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, fibromyalgia, migraine and tension headaches, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, and labor pain.
Acupuncture encourages the body to the make the changes it needs to balance the immune system or fight disease. Many try this procedure when they’re having discomfort and when conventional treatment methods have been unsuccessful.
There are few side effects with acupuncture. If they do manifest, they’re typically mild. These may include fatigue, tenderness at insertion points, bruising and muscle twitch.
Despite what many people believe, acupuncture needles don’t hurt. They’re as fine as human hair. At most, a patient might feel a slight pinch.
Acupuncture is not a one-shot deal Typical treatment is recommended once a week for six to eight weeks. If the treatment works, then patients can gradually reduce the number of visits.
However, acupuncture is not for everybody. If the treatments are not successful after six to eight weeks, acupuncture may not be the technique the patient needs to heal at the time.
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