Did you know that several thousands of years ago, medical people thought that diseases and health issues were all as a result of the blockage and disturbance that occur in the flow of the body’s life energy or “qi?” Or at least Chinese people believed so! Such is the basis upon which the traditional Chinese medicine technique – Acupuncture – is based. The fundamental practice of acupuncture involved the gentle needling of the human body as a way of enhancing the healing and treatment of any illness of any kind. Acupuncturists insert hair-thin needles to specific acupuncture points throughout the body to restore the flow of qi, stimulate healing, balance the body’s energy, and promote relaxation. Trust me; if you were born in ancient China, this would have been your go-to therapeutic solution. But even in this modern age and day, the art of acupuncture remains appreciated, and many still believe in the plethora of benefits it offers. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are over 1000 acupuncture points on the human body, each residing in an invisible energy channel or “meridian.” And each meridian is associated with a unique organ system.
How does the process of acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is practice with, with an emerging basis in scientific backing according to numerous studies, is renowned for its ability to stimulate healing in patients. To fully understand how the process works, let’s take a quick look at some of the theories of acupuncture. One of the prevalent methods of acupuncture states that the process works by stimulating the release of endorphins – the human body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.
Another idea theorized that the process influences the autonomic nervous system (the center that controls the entire bodily functions) and the release of natural chemicals that regulate blood flow, reduce inflammation, and calm the brain. This theory then brings us to the question: where exactly is acupuncture useful? What are the areas the process finds importance? Some of the popular uses of acupuncture include:
Chronic pain reduction (such as backache, headache, neck pain and so on)
Sinus congestion and even
Cosmetic acupuncture, which is also known as facial acupuncture
Benefits of acupuncture
Let’s now take another look at some of the established benefits of acupuncture.
Low back pain
According to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2017, researchers established the significance of the use of non-pharmacological therapies (including acupuncture) in the treatment of low back pain. According to the report, acupuncture results in decreased pain intensity and improved functionality after treatment.
According to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, scientists reviewed 22 previous trials in 2016 – which involved 4985 people. This report showed that acupuncture is indeed effective in the treatment of migraine symptoms, and it can help reduce the frequency of migraine episodes. Tension headaches
Another review in 2016, which involved 2349 participants and 12 trials, showed that acupuncture involving at least six sessions could help the symptoms after a course of treatment(s),
According to an analysis conducted by scientists, it concluded that acupuncture could improve the physical function of people suffering from short and long term chronic knee pain. This analysis validates by another fact published by the JAMA surgery.
What is a typical acupuncture treatment? Before the real procedure, you will be asked to book an appointment with the acupuncturists where a series of questions details your health history. The said acupuncturists may ask about your health concerns, diet, stress level, sleep, and other relevant lifestyle habits. Typically, an acupuncture treatment will involve the use of six to 15 tiny needles depending on the number the type of therapy (note that the number of needles doesn’t indicate the intensity of the procedure). Afterward, the needles promote healing while left in place for about 10 to 20 minutes. For added effect, the acupuncturist may decide to twist the needles, and he/she may choose to use some additional techniques like any or all of the following: Moxibustion (application of heated sticks)
Cupping (Application of glass cups to the skin)
Herbs (herbs prescribed in the form of tea, capsules, and pills) Electroacupuncture (an electric device connects to two to four acupuncture needles)