If you are suffering from an injury or illness, you may not want to go down the route of traditional medicine which typically involves very invasive treatments and prescription medications. Fortunately, there are alternatives available and in recent years, holistic approaches to healing have become increasingly popular thanks to the benefits that they offer patients. One of these natural treatments is acupuncture.
If you are fairly new to holistic therapies, the prospect of acupuncture may sound a little frightening. After all, needles are sharp so surely, putting them into your body will cause pain rather than making you feel better? Actually, you might be surprised. Here’s what you need to know about how acupuncture works and how it can help you to overcome the symptoms associated with a range of different health issues.
Acupuncture stems from an ancient Chinese approach to medicine. While the traditional practice isn’t based in science and medicine, the technique has been shown to have very real, physical effects on the body. Acupuncture involves the insertion of ultra-fine needles into specific points on the body. In ancient practice, this was believed to alter the flow of energy around the body so that it can better heal itself. The placement of acupuncture needles has actually been shown to stimulate the immune system, encouraging blood flow to the area which helps to reduce pain and accelerate healing.
Many patients have found that regular acupuncture sessions have helped to reduce or eliminate symptoms associated with a wide range of different conditions. These include the following:
Anxiety, depression and other co-morbidities
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Migraines and persistent headaches
Irritable bowel syndrome
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
Sprains, strains, and similar injuries
The after-effects of stroke
If you aren’t keen on needles, then it’s reasonable to think that acupuncture may not be for you. However, many people are surprised by how tolerable and even relaxing the treatment is.
Before you attend your first appointment, your acupuncture technician will first want to speak to you about the issues that you are experiencing and obtain more information about your health history. If you are currently taking any medications it is important to disclose these to your acupuncturist. They may also ask you about your day to day life, your habits, and your usual body functions. These can all help to increase the accuracy with which your acupuncture therapy is performed.
When it comes to the treatment itself, the needles used are extremely fine, often as much as 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. This means that acupuncture is virtually painless, with most patients experience nothing more than a slight momentary scratch when they are placed into the body. Exactly how you will be positioned during treatment will depend on the area being treated and will be explained to you by your acupuncturist. What you will feel during the treatment will vary too, but most patients become so relaxed that they fall asleep.
Acupuncture is nearly always carried out as part of a course of treatment, with sessions taking place over a number of weeks or months. These may be more frequent, to begin with in order to achieve optimal results as quickly as possible but then taper into regular maintenance sessions. Your acupuncture technician will create your treatment plan which will be tailored to your individual requirements.
For more information about how acupuncture could potentially help you, please don’t hesitate to speak to our office.