How many times have you been watching television and a commercial comes on for some type of pharmaceutical that treats a specific ailment? The commercial usually has a positive storyline to it with happy, smiling people. Then they get to the side effects of the pharmaceutical and all that happiness comes to a grinding halt. The side effects are often worse than the ailment they are treating! There has to be a better way to heal the body.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for over 3000 years. If it has been around that long, it has to be working and helping patients. It is safe and effective when treating an extensive list of ailments. Acupuncture enhances the body’s operations and encourages the natural healing progression by acupuncture points, or acupoints, throughout the body. The most well-known type of acupuncture is the placing of thin, hygienic needles into the skin. According to Teri Goetz MS, LAC, ACC, “Acupuncture is theorized to work by getting rid of the “roadblocks” on this energy superhighway.”
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is based on an ancient belief that the body and universe have two opposite forces: yin and yang. When you feel healthy, these forces are said to be balanced. Qi (chee) is an energy that flows along meridians, or trails, in the body and if any of those trails are blocked, you feel unhealthy. Acupuncture attempts to unblock this flow so that good health is reinstated. Unblocking restores the natural healing process so that the body can heal itself.
WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
“Acupuncture and acupressure are widely used to treat anxiety in both Asia and Western countries,” according to James Lake, MD. Acupuncture has been effective in the nervous system, endocrine, and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and the digestive system. That covers the entire body. It can help to reduce or eliminate pain, enhance good sleep, improve digestive operation and enrich one’s sense of happiness, comfort, and security.
Specific ailments that have shown improvement with acupuncture treatment are: “back, neck, dental and other types of pain; nausea; migraines; anxiety; depression; insomnia, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, and infertility” (www.cim.ucsd.edu/clinical-care/acupuncture) to name a few. All these can be treated with none of the awful side effects that pharmaceutical is known for.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT AN ACUPUNCTURE APPOINTMENT
The acupuncture practitioner will first speak to you about your health history and what ailments you are seeking relief from. They may do some additional physical examinations depending on your current health and ailments. They will explain what their plan of action will be for your specific needs. You will lay on a comfy table, similar to a massage table, and the practitioner will carefully place the thin, hygienic needles in acupoints that correspond to your ailments/energy pathways that may be blocked. Needles stay in place from 5 to 30 minutes.
People describe a feeling of relaxation during and after their treatment. The few side effects that may occur after acupuncture are soreness or bruising at the needle placement site(s). As with any type of medical or natural treatment, ask questions and do research before the appointment so that you know what to expect and what questions to ask. Also, make sure that your acupuncture practitioner is licensed in the state where you live.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
You can find skeptics of all types of medical and /or natural treatments. One medical treatment may be glorified for one person and lambasted by another. The same goes for natural treatments. You can try a medical treatment and the doctors may want you to take one of those pharmaceuticals that have a myriad of awful side effects or they may want to do major surgery. If you try a natural treatment like acupuncture and you don’t feel like it was effective, you may have a little soreness. If it does work, perfect! Which would you choose?
“We have provided evidence that acupuncture versus usual care and counseling versus usual care are both associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the short to medium term, and are not associated with serious adverse events,” said the investigators, led by Hugh MacPherson, Ph.D., University of York in the United Kingdom.