Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine commonly known to give pain relief. This method uses tiny needles to target the acupuncture points in the body. People who choose acupuncture for pain often resort to this strategy to ease the post-surgery discomfort. They also believe that it doesn’t only relieve the body pains but improves the general health and overall wellness of an individual as well.
History of Acupuncture
There are plenty of traditional Chinese medicines and treatment methods that are still well known up to this day. Their influence has reached the majority of the Asian continent and some Western parts around the globe.
Acupuncture is believed to have started around 100 BC in the country of China. But according to researchers, the treatment started way earlier than that and has been around for a longer period of time. Acupuncture for pain has started to develop over the next centuries when its practitioners started to incorporate massage, herbs, and other therapy into it.
An acupuncture book was released around the era of the Ming dynasty. This was published to disseminate knowledge and information on the acupuncture points where the needles can be inserted for better pain relief results.
Unfortunately, this traditional Chinese medicine started to become unpopular in the 17th century. The Chinese emperor during that time prohibited acupuncture practices for medical purposes. However, older and rural practitioners clung to the knowledge of this treatment strategy.
It was around the 1940s when acupuncture was revived by the Chinese government. A new era of research and practice of acupuncture has begun. During this time, several hospitals have already started using acupuncture to treat certain medical conditions.
Acupuncture for Pain and Illnesses
When you hear the word acupuncture, typically you think of tiny needles that looks uncomfortably pinned down in a human body. But acupuncture isn’t just about inserting needles on different parts of the body. The needles are strategically inserted on specific acupuncture points mainly to relieve pain.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that this technique can aid an individual who is suffering from body pain and improve their wellness and overall health at the same time. Acupuncture is a strategy used to balance the flow of energy of the body known as chi or qi (chee). This energy flows through what they call meridians or the pathway of chi in the body. With acupuncture, the flow of the energy will be rebalanced and the individual will feel a lot better after the treatment.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Aside from its guaranteed ability to provide pain relief, acupuncture is also used to aid several physical conditions. The following are the most notably known benefits of acupuncture:
- Reduces Stress. Adults are more prone to stress due to their daily hustle in life. A huge rate of people are seeking acupuncture treatment to help them feel more relaxed, moderate their mood, and reduce anxiety.
- Decreases pain. Our daily life can contribute to back pain, neck tension, and pain in the joints respectively. Acupuncture offers a drug-free solution to ease these agonies.
- Relieves headache. Acupuncture for pain in the head has been proven to be effective for the past few centuries. It can reduce headaches caused by migraines and have long-lasting effects.
- Decrease eye strain. Eye strain is commonly associated with neck tension. By inserting needles in your acupuncture points, the occurrence of eye strain can be decreased.
- Improves immunity. Acupuncture can improve your immune system and reduce the risk of getting common cases of flu.
- Better mental condition. This technique also deals with the improvement of the mental and wellness of the individual. It can build up your energy and give you a sensation of happiness after the treatment.
- Relieve symptoms of digestive problems. Since acupuncture can basically aid and help a person improve their general health, acupuncture can relieve the pain of an individual who is suffering from certain digestive conditions.
- Easing allergy symptoms. Allergies with severe symptoms can put one’s life in danger. With acupuncture, the symptoms of allergy attacks will be alleviated.
- Helps in decreasing cigarette use. If you are a chain smoker and you wish to stop smoking as soon as possible, acupuncture can decrease your cravings for cigarettes. Apart from this, it will also repair the minimal damages to your lung tissue.
- Prevents injuries. Since this is a treatment known to balance one’s flow of energy, the risk of stress injuries can be prevented.
Choosing the Acupuncture Practitioner
After finding out how acupuncture can provide pain relief and aid other body aches, you are probably considering an acupuncture session by now. Remember these tips in choosing a practitioner
- Ask for recommendations. It would always be better if you are going to ask for a trusted person’s opinion when it comes to matters like this to avoid fake and non-licensed practitioners.
- Check the recommended practitioner’s eligibility. See if they have undergone training and if they possess the necessary certificates and licenses to practice acupuncture.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions. If you are not familiar with the terms and how the treatment can help you, you can always ask your chosen acupuncture practitioner to elaborate and explain things to you.
- Prepare yourself before the scheduled session. This treatment will involve needles and the removal of clothes if necessary. Check to see if you are comfortable with that.
- If you are suffering from certain medical conditions, consult your doctor first before undergoing an acupuncture treatment.
Following the treatment, you will be advised to get enough rest, avoid high-intensity workouts, stay away from alcoholic beverages, and prevent the usage of electrical gadgets. This will help your body to fully maximize the benefits of the treatment.
Acupuncture For Pain Procedure
On the day of your scheduled appointment, the practitioner will examine your body and explain to you where he or she will place the needles and how it can relieve your pain. You will also be asked to follow specific rules such as staying steady and not making any unnecessary movements. Here is the basic procedure of acupuncture treatment:
- You will be asked to lie down in a bed. Whether you need to remove your clothes or not depends on the location of the acupuncture points where the needles will be inserted.
- A number of needles will be inserted into the acupuncture points at a certain depth. Again, this will depend on the severity of your pain and the kind of condition that is being treated.
- Once inserted, the needles will be manipulated by the practitioner and will gently move them.
- The needles will be left inserted for at least 10 to 20 minutes before the removal process. The finishing stage isn’t usually uncomfortable and does not cause any pain.
Acupuncture Risk Factors
This traditional Chinese strategy has been around for a long time now and is considered generally safe if performed by a professional and licensed practitioner. However, just like any other treatments and medical procedures, it also poses several risk factors such as:
- Bleeding or bruising at the needle site.
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
Damage to the internal organs happens as well but on a very rare occasion only. If you are experiencing these side effects, it would be much better to inform your practitioner and seek medical help from actual doctors.