Acupuncture in medicine is known for its ability to relax a person.
That makes it a perfect treatment to calm anxiety and curb depression.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine in which the insertion of ultra-hair thin, sterile needles is placed into specific acupuncture points on the body.
Acu-points, reside on channels or meridians and these pathways stimulate energy flow (known as “chi”). The blocking of these pathways of energy results in health issues, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM is a medical system that has been used for thousands of years to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.
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Acupuncture applies needles, heat, pressure, and other treatments to certain places on the skin, called acupuncture points (or acu-points), to cause a change in the physical functions of the body.
The needles are usually left in place for a few minutes, which cause virtually no pain when done by a skilled acupuncturist.
These points, when needled, can regulate the way in which the body functions. It is generally painless. A dull or achy sensation may be felt with needle insertion and this is very normal. Once in place, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.
Acupuncture in medicine works best when it is done frequently and regularly.
The treatment is frequently combined with herbal medicine and has been used for centuries
Acupuncture has been an essential part of medicine for thousands of years in the East, yet even as it catches on in the West, physicians in this part of the world have yet to figure out exactly how this ancient technique works. Whatever the mechanisms, acupuncture does appear to work. Scientific studies are offering real evidence that it can ease pain and treat ailments ranging from osteoarthritis to migraine headaches.
It is sometimes uses as an alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments for stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, joint conditions, low back pain, and asthma as well as for the side effects of chemotherapy and nausea related to pregnancy.
Acupuncture in medicine is also used to alleviate acute sinusitis and can be quite effective.
Acupuncture on the ear for quelling addictions is another very effective treatment.
Acupuncture can work well for addressing autoimmune conditions and infertility.
Because acupuncture has so many positive effects on the body with minimal incidence of side effects, it is often considered in creating an alternative health treatment plan.
Acupuncture is frequently used in conjunction with “cupping,” an Asian technique designed to increase blood flow to a particular area of concern by using heated glass cups to create suction and promote blood flow to the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture can be used effectively with other bodywork therapies including various forms of massage, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, as well as different movement therapies such as tai chi and qigong .
Acupuncture in medicine is considered safe when performed by a licensed acupuncturist.
Acupuncture gained attention in the United States after President Nixon visited China in 1972. Traveling with Nixon was New York Times reporter James Reston, who received acupuncture in China after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
Reston was so impressed with the post-operative pain relief the procedure provided that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the United States. Its popularity has grown ever since.
The treatment may be effective in treating pain or other medical conditions especially when combined with traditional Western medical treatments.
Some people who receive acupuncture treatments do not have relief from their symptoms.
If you’re considering acupuncture in medicine, talk with your health care provider.
The effects of acupuncture are complex.
How it works is not entirely clear. Research suggests that the needling process, and other techniques used in acupuncture, may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain.
One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health.
In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain why it produces long-term pain relief.
Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Scientifically, acupuncture in medicine works through the nervous system.
The channels are thought to represent the nerves that originate in the spinal cord and spread throughout the body.
When an acupuncture needle stimulates these nerves, signals are sent to the brain where chemicals (called neurotransmitters) are released, triggering the body’s self-healing mechanisms
In the past few years, scientific rationalists – who spend their lives debunking quackery – have turned their attentions to this ancient Chinese therapy and found it wanting.
There is no mechanism to explain how needles could ease pain or treat disease that has been proven, they say.
There is no evidence that it works for most of the conditions that acupuncturists treat.
While there is research showing it may be mildly effective, the effect is weak. In trials, some patients benefit and others don’t. And when acupuncture in medicine is tested on thousands of patients, the average benefit is too small for a person to notice.
The verdict seems to be out for the definitive answer to acupuncture in medicine.