Why do some people brush off acupuncture therapy as a legitimate treatment option? Mostly because they don’t know anything about it beyond the fact that it means putting needles all over their body. But while it’s true, acupuncture does use needles, there is a whole lot more to it than that single aspect.
Dating back thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine. The practice attempts to balance the body’s Qi – the vital energy – by correcting the imbalance of the opposite yin and yang forces. A variety of health issues can arise when the body isn’t balanced, so the purpose of acupuncture is to balance the body and eliminate health issues.
If you’re curious about acupuncture and are interested in learning about how acupuncture might be able to help you naturally and safely reduce pain, stress, and chronic health concerns, here are a few things you should know before booking your first appointment.
Acupuncture doesn’t hurt. When people think of needles, they automatically think of pain. But that’s because people tend to picture thick needles used to draw blood or give injections. Acupuncture needles are actually very thin, with some as fine as a strand of hair. They are also flexible and can bend when you touch them.
When a needle is inserted in an acupuncture point, people usually feel a dull ache or a feeling of heaviness. While this feeling may be new to you, it won’t hurt. But if you’re worried about pain or have a fear of needles, let the acupuncturist know and he or she will gladly use the thinnest possible needles.
Acupuncture requires multiple treatments. Just like a prescription medication isn’t effective with a single does, neither is acupuncture. Your acupuncture treatments will build onto each other to work cumulatively. How long you’ve been dealing with your condition could determine how many acupuncture treatments you might have to receive.
Response times to acupuncture vary from person to person, but after your first treatment, your acupuncturist should be able to give you an estimate of how many treatments you might need. If, however, you don’t see any results after 10 sessions, you may need to try a different acupuncturist.
Acupuncture isn’t just for pain. While acupuncture can treat a wide variety of pain throughout the body, it can also help with a number of other health conditions or ailments. Asthma, digestive problems, menstrual issues, insomnia, and stress and anxiety are just a few conditions acupuncture can treat. Acupuncture has even been proven to treat acne and weight loss. Most acupuncturists treat general symptoms, but there are some who may specialize in treating particular conditions. Depending on your health concern, do some online research to see if acupuncture could be beneficial and whether there’s an area acupuncturist who can treat your condition specifically.
Acupuncture has great side effects. Even if you’re getting an acupuncture treatment for shoulder pain, you may experience a number of beneficial side effects that could greatly increase your quality of life. The most common side effects of acupuncture are reduced stress levels, better sleep and digestion, mental clarity, and more energy. So when it comes to acupuncture, you can get a bunch of benefits for the price of one.
Acupuncture can make you feel naturally high. Speaking of good side effects, many people say that acupuncture makes them feel high and a little drugged when getting a treatment. Why does this happen? Well, when acupuncture needles are inserted, the body releases feel-good neurotransmitters and endorphins that ease muscle tension and pain while also encouraging feelings of well-being.
Not all acupuncture is created equal. Depending on where you go or whom you see, your acupuncture treatment may be different than someone else’s for the same condition. First, needles aren’t the only tools at the acupuncturist’s disposal. They may also use acupressure, massage, scraping of the skin, cupping or suction of the skin, and heating of the skin.
And when using needles, the acupuncturist may use them in different ways. Eastern medicine places needles on the meridians of the body – the energy-carrying channels – whereas European medicine treats the body more generally. Also, some acupuncturists treat the condition directly by placing needs right into the affected area. Others put needles into other parts of the body like the ear or scalp to treat the link to the affected area.
While acupuncture may seem new and strange to you, there’s a great chance that it could help you deal with a number of health conditions. If you’re considering trying acupuncture for the first time, contact a certified Florida acupuncturist today to learn how you might benefit.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.