What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of therapy which is now used as a form of alternative medicine, originally Chinese practice evolved over thousand years ago in ancient China (about 2500 B.C). Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points on the body using a variety of techniques. These techniques (to stimulate specific body points) can includes insertion of fine needles (that are manipulated by hands or electrical stimulator) trough skin or applying pressure over these specific parts, usually done to achieve cure from certain diseases, relieve pain or anaesthetize the patient (as in surgery).
The word Acupuncture us taken from Latin “Acus” meaning “Needles” and “Punctura” meaning “to puncture” (Wikipedia)
How Acupuncture done?
One or more small metal needles are inserted at precise points along 12 pathways or channels (known as meridians) in the body, Traditional Chinese medicine explains that stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi (vital life force) through channels known as meridians while Western practitioners believe that acupuncture stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue which boost the activity of body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
How Acupuncture Works?
Current scientific research indicates that these traditional forms of therapy or acupuncture cause release of natural opiates, blockage of pain-signal transmission, thus more effective than placebos in the relief of certain types of pain. Although there is no histological or physiological correlates has been found for qi.
Is it Safe to Use Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is considered as safe when administered by well-trained practitioners with sterile needles and has been accepted and supported by USNIH (United States National Institutes of Health),NHS (National Health Service) of the United Kingdom, WHO (World Health Organization), and NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) for certain conditions.
When Acupuncture is recommended?
Being a common form of therapy, Acupuncture is recommended for symptomatic relief from a variety of conditions and disease including but not limited to:
- Low back pain
- Labor pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Tennis elbow
- Dental pain
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
There is a report on use of acupuncture as anesthesia prior to surgical procedure in China. Anesthetic effect of acupuncture was achieved by blocking certain spinal nerves and thus reduce or no sensation.
Is there any risk or side effect of this procedure?
Although Acupuncture stimulate the natural body self-recovery mechanism, it has some side effects which is mainly the result of unsterilized needles which include
- Infections (usually local)
- Punctured Organs
- Punctured blood vessels
- Plural rapture
- May result in bleeding especially if used by unqualified practitioner
Some form of acupuncture stimulate labor, may cause premature delivery if used in pregnant women.
One of the oldest forms of therapy, Acupuncture is a reliable form of therapy which acts by activating the body natural mechanism to combat diseases or overcome pain. Acupuncture can be a hope for those who tried other form of therapy for their chronic pain and failed.
If you want to try and take benefits of this old traditional Chinese form of therapy, find a trained therapist in order to gain maximum benefit and prevent the potential side effects.