alternative healing

What is Acupuncture and why does it work?

So you stumbled on my blog posts because you’re intrigued by the thought of getting pricked with a handful of needles all over your body, eh? I mean that’s half right, isn’t it? In all seriousness though acupuncture isn’t as weird as you think and many cultures and people have been practicing this form of therapy for a very long time.

 

I will admit I was a bit skeptical at first. I asked myself all of the doubting questions like is this going to work? Will it hurt? How long will I have to sit there? But I’ve really fallen in love with the practice. I love it almost as much as I do meditation, and I actually practice meditation while receiving acupuncture.

 

The act of receiving acupuncture itself is actually quite relaxing. That probably has to do with the ambience in my acupuncture office and the sound running water in the background, but any time that I can connect my mind with my body and spirit healing will occur, and I’ve self healed a long list of ailments through holistic practices such as this.

 

Now that I’ve sparked your curiosity read a little more on the healing benefits of acupuncture and why I love it so much. I know you will too!

 

The History Of Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture is known in the US and many other developing countries as a form of alternative medicine but it has been a key component in Traditional Chinese Medicine for quite some time. It is actually one of the oldest forms of medicine believed to be practiced in china as early as 100 bc, according to evidence of needles found in the tomb of Liu Sheng (who was the son of Emperor Jing). There is even a theory that acupuncture was practiced in the neolithic era, close to the end of the stone age. It seems as though sharp stones were used to cure illnesses. Especially due to the short depth the stones could actually penetrate the skin it is believed they were used in the practice we now know.The stones were formed and shaped into probes which they likely used to perform the technique known as acupressure

 

Acupuncture or Acupressure is the act of stimulating specific points or meridians within the body that can promote, balance, and restore energy. Acupuncture is done by inserting thin, sterile, and disposable needles into the skin of the patient. It is seemingly harmless, although you might feel a tiny pinch when the needle is first inserted. The needles usually stay in place for at least 10 minutes and a session can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. I feel it is most effective when done for longer periods of time. I like to receive treatment for at least a half hour if not more.

 

Acupressure like Acupuncture is similar but instead of inserting needles into the body the points are stimulated by human touch or metal instruments. I took my daughter to receive acupressure. She’s only 2 and I couldn’t imagine trying to get her to sit through that. Children are also much more sensitive and do not require as much therapy as a grown adult.  

 

Acupressure is known to promote the same healing effects as acupuncture but results will differ depending on the person. Although both forms of treatment are harmless acupressure may be a more suitable choice for children, elderly, or those who have a fear of needles. I wouldn’t let that fear divert you. Like I said Acupuncture is harmless and heals a wide variety of ailments in a seemingly painless way.

 

Curious about the ailments acupuncture can cure? Check out the list below.

 

Ailments Acupuncture can help cure

 

Abdominal Pain

Addiction Control

Anxiety

Arthritis

Asthma

Athletic Performance

Back/Neck Pain

Blood Pressure Regulation

Bronchitis

Chronic Fatigue

Common Cold

Constipation

Depression

Diarrhea

Gingivitis

Headaches

Hyperacidity

IBS

Immune system tonification

indigestion

Infertility

Insomnia

Menopausal symptoms

Migraines

Muscle cramping/pain

Nervousness

Neurogenic bladder dysfunction

Neurosis

Numbness

Parkinson’s disease

Poor vision

Postoperative pain

Premenstrual syndrome

Sciatica

Sinusitis

Stress reduction

Stroke

Tinnitus

Tonsillitis

Toothache

 

How Does Acupuncture Work?

 

We haven’t yet figured out exactly how acupuncture works. There are many theories and studies that have been done to show its efficacy but we cannot pinpoint one thing exactly. What we do know according to science is the body is made up of electrical energy. Each cell in our body is made up of about 1.4 volts of energy and when you multiply that by the 50 trillion cells in our body we are an astounding 700 trillion volts of energy in our being.

 

This is what Traditional Chinese Medicine likes to refer to a “qi” pronounced chi. Qi is the flow of energy or the life force within the body. When this energy is disrupted disease can settle in the body. Acupuncture works to correct and realign your qi.

 

There are 14 major energy-channels or meridians along the body. Some of the major acupuncture meridians include the lung meridian, large intestine meridian, stomach meridian, spleen meridian, small intestine meridian, heart meridian, kidney meridian, liver meridian, and the bladder/urinary meridian. There are hundreds of different points located along each meridian and it is believed a person’s energy can be tapped into through the act of acupuncture and rebalanced to create harmony.

 

Although more research is needed it seems as though people benefit both from the specific placement of the needles and also the insertion of the needles themselves. The needles are inserted where the nerve enters the muscle or the muscle enters the bone. The needle prick itself can also trigger a healing process as it releases endorphins.

 

You do not have to believe in the power of acupuncture for it to work, however I always find that believing is the key to achieving. Acupuncture may not be for everyone but I’ve found it extremely useful in my journey and incorporate it weekly in my regular wellness routines.

 

Are there any side effects

 

There are currently no known side effects to receiving acupuncture. It is a noninvasive therapy that has no drug interactions and is generally considered safe for people of all ages. I would however consult with a doctor if you have any known medical conditions you are already being treated for.

 

The great news is acupuncture is very safe when done by an experienced acupuncturist. The FDA regulated the use of Acupuncture needles as they would medical equipment and requires them to be sterile, non toxic, and single use only.

 

Does it really work?

 

This is the million dollar question and of course the answer is yes! Don’t just believe it because I said it. I encourage you to experience acupuncture for yourself. Be sure if you do that you go in with an open mind and don’t expect a miracle the first time. It normally takes a few sessions but you can achieve relief the first time that you go. I also encourage you to continue receiving treatment on a regular basis to control, mitigate, and resolve any medical concerns you are using acupuncture to heal.

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