Understanding Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves insertion of needles in various key points found all over the body. The needles are used to manipulate the qi (pron. chii), which is the energy flow found inside a person.

The purpose is to create a balance between yin and yang – male, and female; cold and heat. It is believed that an imbalance in the yin and yang causes body disturbance that manifests itself as an illness or a disorder.
Is it scientifically proven?

Extensive scientific studies are being conducted on how acupuncture relieves certain ailments in the body. However, results are inconclusive for curing ailments such as cancer, asthma, and glaucoma.

Studies are still needed to show its proper effectiveness when it comes to treating pain. Cancer patients find that acupuncture was effective in relieving symptoms brought about by chemotherapy, which includes nausea. On the downside, delayed vomiting due to chemotherapy was not addressed in acupuncture.

What should you know before having acupuncture?

Acupuncture is controlled by the state. Depending on state laws, an acupuncturist must be a certified medical practitioner and is licensed to perform the procedure. Ask for a certification if you are shopping for one.

To lessen the hassle, inform your doctor of your desire to have the procedure. He will tell you the all the benefits and disadvantages, as well as refer you to a certified specialist for acupuncture.

Never hesitate to ask questions on how the procedure is performed, what to expect, and how much it would cost while you interview your targeted specialist. You must test the knowledge of the acupuncturist before you decide on having the procedure.

A certification is required for an improperly inserted needle can cause organ puncture, particularly the lungs. Aside from that, careless practitioners can transmit infection by improper maintenance and disposal of needles.
How is acupuncture done?

An acupuncturist will systematically insert acupuncture needles into your skin. The needles placed in designated meridians in the body and manipulated by being rotated, or applied with a minor electric shock or heat. The needles are now mandated by the state.

The needles should be sterile and used only once and disposed of immediately after use. The needles are relatively thin and long, causing mild discomfort.

A needle that is correctly placed in the right meridian will cause minor heaviness and discomfort on the site of insertion. This is the intentional disturbance of the qi or de qi that is made to produce positive results. Once the needles are in place, the needles are left undisturbed for 15-30 minutes. Removal causes no discomfort whatsoever.

After the procedure, some patients feel that they have never rested as good as they have during the procedure. Others feel that they have regained the energy that they have lost since they have suffered their health condition.

Still, not all would respond favorably to acupuncture. If you are getting the procedure for more than 4-6 weeks without any hint of favorable results, consider other alternatives for your condition.

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