Overview of Acupuncture Treatment
Certain health conditions and related symptoms can cause a lot of pain and make you feel uncomfortable. Although there are many other alternative treatments for such cases, some people find them ineffective and don’t always work as expected.
If you are in such a situation, you may consider trying the acupuncture type of treatment. Acupuncture has proven to be an effective treatment that works perfectly well for some people. Depending on the type of condition, acupuncture can help relieve most pain and enhance a fast recovery.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of ancient Chinese medical practice. It’s used to treat various conditions by triggering certain parts of the skin with thin needles. Therefore, acupuncture entails inserting thin needles through the skin to ease pain or address certain health conditions. These conditions include headaches, whooping cough, and blood pressure, among others. It also enhances overall wellness by controlling stress and depression.
How Acupuncture Works
According to traditional Chinese medicines, acupuncture is a technique that helps balance energy flow or life force. This energy is referred to as chi or qi. Most people believe that it flows via the pathways or the meridian of the body. By pricking the needles into certain parts within these pathways, the flow of energy regains its balanced state.
There is no exact proof that these pathways or the acupuncture points do exist. However, some experts state that the acupuncture points are located in areas where the muscles, connective tissues, and nerves can be stimulated.
Stimulation helps with the flow of blood. At the same time, it triggers the body to generate natural painkillers, which eventually ease the pain.
Benefits of Acupuncture
The main purpose of acupuncture is to ease pain and discomfort caused by various conditions and diseases. Also, acupuncture is beneficial if;
- There are few to no side effects
- It helps manages certain types of pain
- It’s done correctly and safely
- Its effectively done along with other forms of treatment
- It helps patients who are less responsive to other pain-relieving medications
Preparing for the Procedure
For this treatment method, there are no special requirements or preparations. However, the only thing you need to do is to look for a practitioner or specialist. Before you decide to choose one, you should consider factors such as;
- Skill, experience, training, and the credentials of the practitioner
- Reliability and trustworthiness; you can inquire about this from other people
- Conducting an interview will help you understand what the treatment involves if it will help with your condition and the total cost.
It’s also essential to inform your doctor about your decision to undergo acupuncture treatment. He/she will advise you whether acupuncture is a good alternative and if it will help treat your condition.
What to Expect
Ancient Chinese medical theory states that the acupuncture points are situated on the pathways where the significant energy flows (chi or qi). However, every acupuncture practitioner has a different unique method of treating the patients and handling various conditions.
Before the procedure, the acupuncturist first examines you to determine the condition and the possible cause. Examining also helps determine the appropriate type of acupuncture treatment that will give you good results.
Sometimes, other practitioners conduct a physical examination. This is to determine the symptoms you are experiencing, your lifestyle, and personal behaviors in general.
Some practitioners will also check on the following;
- The aching part of the body
- The color, shape, and coating of the tongue
- The strength of the pulse on the wrist as well as the rhythm and the quality
- The skin complexion
After all the tests and examinations, the acupuncture treatment begins. The acupuncturist will start by inserting some needles through the skin. Others do this while giving you self care and helpful acupuncture therapy, including Chinese herbs.
The procedure is normally done while lying down; it can be on your front, back, or sideways. The exact position depends on the part of the body where the needles will be inserted. The needles used can be single-use, disposable, or sterile.
When pricking the needles through your skin, you may feel slight stinging pain. But generally, acupuncture is usually a painless procedure.
So once the needles are inserted on the skin, a dull ache found at the base of the needle will subside. At times, the acupuncturist can heat the needles or stimulate them using electricity after inserting them on the skin. The needles will then remain on the skin for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The treatment duration varies from one patient to another. For instance, a patient with a serious condition requires a longer treatment that can last for months. But for minor conditions, the treatment can last for a short period, and the condition usually improves after ten or fewer sessions.
After the procedure, some people usually feel more relaxed and at ease, while others feel more energized. However, not everybody responds positively to acupuncture treatment. Sometimes, the pain and the symptoms may fail to improve after a few weeks. This means that the procedure did not work and is not the right treatment for you.
Conditions Treated Through Acupuncture
People often opt for acupuncture for various reasons. The main reason is to treat severe headaches as well as sinus pressure. Acupuncture is also a treatment remedy for many conditions and related symptoms. Some of these conditions include;
- Pain in the neck or back
- Labor pains
- Headache (migraines and tension)
- Chemotherapy symptoms and side effects
- Dental pain
- Respiratory issues including allergic rhinitis
- Menstrual cramps
- High or low blood pressure
- Gastric conditions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Risks Associated with Acupuncture
The risks associated with acupuncture are very minimal if the specialist uses sterile needles. The minor side effects, such as minor bleeding, bruising, and soreness, usually occur on the skin's pricked part.
Also, some people do not react well to acupuncture and may be at risk of certain complications if they have disorders such as;
- Bleeding disorder or blood thinners- This increases the chances of bleeding excessively during and after the acupuncture procedure.
- Pregnancy- Certain acupuncture types can trigger labor, which may lead to early or premature delivery.
- Pacemaker surgery- Types of acupuncture that involve electric pulses on the needle can alter the pacemaker surgical procedure.
In addition, risks and complications can occur if;
- The acupuncture practitioner is not skilled enough
- The needles are inserted too deep on the back or the chest, resulting in a collapsed lung.
- The acupuncturist uses unsterilized needles, which can cause infections.
- The needles break, causing damages to the internal organs.
Final Results of Acupuncture Treatment
Sometimes, the advantages and the outcome of acupuncture are difficult to determine or measures. However, most patients find acupuncture helpful and an effective way of managing painful symptoms and conditions.
Some studies state that certain types of simulated acupuncture work similarly to the actual acupuncture treatment. It also works well, especially for patients who are positive about the overall results.
In general, acupuncture treatment has few to no side effects. Due to this, you may consider trying it if you are experiencing some trouble managing or controlling pain through other methods.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Acupuncture
Research and scientific studies have not fully disclosed how acupuncture works and reacts. It’s thus essential to be cautious when choosing this type of treatment.
First, you need to discuss with your doctor before opting for acupuncture. This is because acupuncture is not a suitable treatment for everyone. Therefore, informing your doctor about acupuncture and all the treatments or medicines you are currently taking is important. Also, inform the doctor if you have any of the following;
- Severe skin disorders
- An infection
Acupuncture may cause serious complications to your overall health if you fail to disclose these factors.
Secondly, do not always be certain about the diagnosis of a disease done by the acupuncture practitioner. Instead, you should ask your doctor to conduct a diagnosis and tell you if acupuncture will help you or not.
Thirdly, you should always prioritize the licensed practitioners. The best way to find a licensed and certified practitioner is by asking for referrals from your doctors, friend or family members.
Lastly, it would be best if you considered the cost of the treatment. Ask the practitioner the approximate number of treatments you will undergo and how much it will all cost. Also, taking insurance that covers acupuncture treatment is important.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method of treatment that involves inserting needles into the skin. This helps stimulates certain points on the body, thus alleviating pain and treating other health conditions. To achieve the best results, you should consider finding a certified and experienced acupuncture practitioner.
CloudHospital provides these acupunctures services. Here, you will find a team of acupuncturists who are well trained and have years of experience in this particular field. Apart from easing pain through acupuncture, they also help diagnose diseases and provide quality care to ensure that you recover successfully.