What Is Acupuncture and Who Needs It?

Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice that occupies a central place in traditional Chinese medicine which stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This process involves inserting very thin needles into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy, also known as chi. Acupuncture works through connective tissue. It sends messages to the brain that alter its chemistry and stimulate various natural processes depending on what is being treated with acupuncture.

What do I need to know before my first acupuncture session?

Many first-timers might be nervous because of the fear of becoming a pin cushion. However, licensed acupuncturists have ample knowledge that enables them to reduce pain to a minimum. Experts say that acupuncture is safe, effective and painless. Even patients who are afraid of needles enjoy such treatment because acupuncture needles are disposable and thin. The needles can bend if the client feels the urge to move during the treatment. This experience is highly relaxing and doesn’t cause discomfort. Sometimes, people fall asleep in the middle of the session.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

The benefits of acupuncture are extensive. It reduces the body’s response to stress by suppressing the nervous system and stimulating the body’s natural immune response. That’s why acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of conditions: from lower back pain and digestive discomfort to anxiety and stress. Acupuncture can work both as a preventive measure and as a solution to a problem. Scientists have proven that it can treat more than 300 conditions. The benefits of acupuncture are extensive and include boosting immunity and energy, optimizing digestion, improving sleep, balancing mood, getting rid of stress, anxiety and depression, balancing hormones, reducing pain and inflammation as well as helping with seasonal diseases and rejuvenation.

What are the right situations for acupuncture?

Acupuncture is good for everyone who is looking for a new method of restoring balance and a more holistic approach to their health. Experts especially recommend this therapy to people who want to optimize their health regiment and who are looking for a natural first line of defense against threats. Indications include restless sleep, pain or fertility problems, stress, anxiety or depression, the need for physical recovery, loss of strength, joint problems, irregular cycles and menstrual pain as well as digestive problems.

Who should be careful with acupuncture?

Contraindications to acupuncture include blood clotting disorders and taking blood thinning medications. People with these conditions need to talk to their doctor before undergoing acupuncture. Pregnant women, people with diabetes or other serious health problems should receive acupuncture treatment with caution or avoid it all together. Please note that before performing acupuncture, a specialist should consult with you to review your medical history.

How does the acupuncture session take place?

After discussing the goals of your treatment, you’ll proceed with an acupuncture treatment. Some acupuncturists may also look at your tongue or measure your pulse to help further customize your treatment plan. There are over 400 acupuncture points on the body. Specialists choose different acupuncture points depending on the type of treatment and your individual goals. Depending on your medical conditions, an acupuncturist will accurately identify these areas. You shouldn’t go to acupuncture on an empty stomach. Roughly 24 hours before and after acupuncture you should try to avoid consuming any type of alcohol.

Once the plan is ready, your acupuncturist will start inserting needles. This usually takes between 5 to 10 minutes. The needles are left in place for 20 to 30 minutes. After the session, your acupuncturist will most likely discuss the process with you and plan your next treatment. At the end of the session, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Although some conditions can be cured in one session, such as relaxing a tense muscle, acupuncture usually requires consistent treatment to achieve optimum results.

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