The ancient Chinese medicinal practice of acupuncture is a technique that has a long history behind it, and around the world is used by many to help ease both mental and physical symptoms of a variety of different health conditions. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the process – which involves the insertion of a series of thin needles into the surface of the skin – works by balancing the flow of energy, or life force, of patients. Known as ‘chi’, this energy is believed to pass through the body’s meridians, and by targeting certain points along these pathways, it is possible to return the body to equilibrium. That said, some western practitioners have a different take on acupuncture, and believe that the insertion of the needles serves to stimulate the nerves, muscles and connective tissues to trigger the release of the body’s natural pain relievers – known as endorphins.
So,WHAT ACUPUNCTURE CAN TREAT? The answer is a wide variety of ailments, ranging from joint and chronic back pain to gastrointestinal issues, anxiety and allergies.
For those looking for a natural alternative to prescription and over-the-counter medicines, this holistic approach is certainly worth a try.
If you’re still unclear on whether this interesting alternative therapy is for you, then the plethora of inaccurate information in the ether might be making it difficult to draw a conclusion – so here, we debunk some of the common myths surrounding acupuncture and get to the facts.
1. Acupuncture doesn’t work
Acupuncture like other alternative therapies often require several sessions before patients start to see the benefits, and consistency and regularity are key.
Every acupuncture patient presents with a different case, and will also likely report varying results – but nevertheless, countless studies have convincingly demonstrated the effectiveness of this ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine, with some significant results reported in those who undergo regular treatment.
2. Acupuncture requires dealing with painful needles
Many people who might benefit from acupuncture are put off when they hear that it involves needles – but whilst it’s true that the treatment does require the express use of needles, in most cases it is far from painful. In actual fact, acupuncture sessions are widely reported to offer a relaxing experience – so much so that many patients fall asleep..
Although you may feel a slight pinch when the pin is inserted or placed into your skin, a feeling of deep relaxation usually kicks in within minutes, and you’ll soon forget all about it.
3. Acupuncture is for combating chronic pain only
While it’s quite true that acupuncture does wonderfully well in aiding pain management, it certainly isn’t the only purpose it serves. Acupuncture has also proven effective in helping to ease symptoms associated with a variety of other conditions, including depression, migraines, gynaecological issues, stress, headaches and anxiety.
In fact, it’s difficult to find a condition that acupuncture can’t help with in some way, and while it isn’t a cure, it can make dealing with them day to day that little bit more manageable.
4. Acupuncture is a mysterious form of voodoo
There’s nothing magical or even mystical about acupuncture. It’s still not 100 per cent crystal clear exactly how acupuncture works to heal the human body, as several forms of research are still ongoing.
Acupuncture is thought to work efficiently by stimulating select nerves in the human body, which then transmit signals to the brain to release those all-important beta-endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones, which in turn, contribute substantially in helping to suppress chronic pain, boost mood, and increase levels of pleasure and happiness.
The bottom line
Acupuncture has plenty to offer patients of all kinds, and makes for an excellent non-pharmaceutical alternative to traditional pain medicines, as well as enhancing their effects in those who combine the two. And, with a wealth of other benefits spanning conditions of all kinds, it’s certainly worth a try if you’re looking for some extra help with managing your symptoms.