Acupuncture is a complementary discipline which originated in China thousands of years ago. First approved for medical use by the FDA in 1996, acupuncture is rapidly gaining acceptance in Western Medical circles as a viable therapeutic response. More than 3.5 million Americans now call on the therapy for a variety of physical ailments.
Many of you reading will be making a face right now, thinking of the needles involved. But these needles are extraordinarily fine, fully sterilized (as the patient is, prior to needle insertion) and used only once.
But how does acupuncture work? Does it work? What does it treat? We hear these questions at Back & Body Medical all the time, so I’m here to fill you in on this ancient practice.
How does it work?
Acupuncture posits that the human body can be treated by focusing on various points which govern wellbeing and health. By activating these points with the insertion of a needle, the goal of acupuncture is to encourage the body’s own self-healing properties.
Inciting biochemical reactions in the body via the nerves, acupuncture provokes the release of chemicals which promote a heightened sense of wellbeing. The pituitary gland is implicated, in that additional hormonal secretions are instigated through the practice of acupuncture.
It’s important to remember that acupuncture is not intended to be a silver bullet that cures all that ails you. Rather, it’s a complementary practice which supports other approaches. While it may be right for you as a standalone therapy, much depends on the ailment you’re seeking help for. Also to be considered is your general state of health and wellness.
Does it work?
Acupuncture can no longer be dismissed as “mysterious” or “ineffective quackery”. Acupuncture has been established as a viable complementary therapy with some key applications.
In 2012, a meta-study examined the findings of 29 studies into the efficacy of acupuncture. The results were conclusive.
Using a sample of 18,000 subjects, the meta-study established that acupuncture works to treat chronic pain, nausea and myriad other illnesses. When professionally practiced, acupuncture is something most doctors are now willing to recommend to patients seeking alternatives to traditional Western Medicine.
What does it treat?
Acupuncture has surprisingly wide-ranging applications. As I’ve noted above, it is highly effective in treating chronic pain and persistent nausea. Contraindications related to cancer treatments, like nausea, can be addressed through the application of this complementary discipline.
Sometimes used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disturbances, instances of unwanted weight loss, migraine headaches and anxiety, acupuncture, when used in conjunction with Western medical responses, has been seen to increase their effectiveness.
Many patients turn to acupuncture when traditional Western methods, on their own, haven’t worked. With doctors becoming more and more amenable to bridging the gap between East and West (in medical terms), we’re discovering more about this ancient practice and what it can do, every day.
Back & Body Medical.
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