Acupuncture is one of the oldest medical practices in the world, practiced by millions of people around the globe. Acupuncture needles are used on certain points of the body to balance the flow of chi through meridians. Those who practice acupuncture believe that by unblocking this flow, they can cure diseases and pain while improving your health overall. However, if you’ve never had acupuncture done before or just trying to learn more about it, you should know some important things before getting started with your treatments.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient healing art that has been used for centuries in China and other Asian countries. The practice involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain and improve health. It’s been used for thousands of years to treat everything from arthritis to addiction. The practice is used in an effort to relieve pain, improve sleep, and reduce stress.
1) Traditional Chinese acupuncture
This is the most commonly used type of acupuncture. It’s based on the belief that energy, or Qi, flows through the body along meridians. If there’s a blockage in the flow of Qi, it can cause illness. By placing needles at specific points along these meridians, practitioners believe they can unblock the flow of Qi and restore health.
2) Japanese acupuncture
This form of acupuncture is similar to traditional Chinese acupuncture but with a few key differences. The needles used are thinner and often inserted deeper into the skin. Japanese practitioners also use more pressure on the needles than their Chinese counterparts.
3) Medical acupuncture
This type of acupuncture is often used in combination with Western medicine. It’s based on the same principles as traditional Chinese acupuncture but is adapted to be used alongside medical treatments.
This form of acupuncture uses electrical stimulation on the needles to improve the flow of Qi. It’s often used for pain relief or to treat conditions like migraines.
5) Auricular acupuncture
This type of acupuncture involves placing needles in the ear. It’s often used to treat addictions, anxiety, and pain.
6) Scalp acupuncture
This form of acupuncture uses needles placed on the scalp to treat conditions like headaches, stroke, and paralysis.
What to Expect During a Chronic Pain Acupuncture Treatment:
Acupuncture treatments usually last 30-60 minutes. You will be asked to lie down on a comfortable bed or couch during this time. The practitioner will then insert needles into specific points on your body. You may feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted. Some people also feel a tingling or warmth in the area where the needle has been placed. This is normal and should go away after a few minutes. After the needles have been inserted, you will be left to rest for a few minutes before the practitioner returns to remove them. Within the first session our patients experience a 60-70% reduction in chronic pain symptoms.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The basic principle behind acupuncture is that our bodies have energy, or “chi,” flowing through them. This chi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, throughout the body. When these pathways are blocked, it can cause pain and disease. The idea is that by inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, the flow of chi can be unblocked and restored to balance.
The most important thing to remember is that acupuncture is not a cure-all, and it’s not a replacement for traditional medicine. It may help with headaches, chronic pain, insomnia, weight loss, stress, and more, but it isn’t always effective. The key here is you have to take your health into your own hands. If acupuncture doesn’t work for you, you should consider looking into other natural remedies.
Who Can Perform Acupuncture?
In the United States, acupuncture is considered a form of alternative medicine. As such, there are no specific educational requirements that practitioners must meet in order to perform acupuncture. However, Most states require that acupuncturists be licensed, which involves completing a three-year master’s degree program and passing an exam. In general, licensure requires the completion of an accredited acupuncture program, passing a national exam, and fulfilling other state-specific requirements. While there are no specific educational requirements for practicing acupuncture, most practitioners have a background in traditional Chinese medicine. As a result, they are able to provide their patients with a more holistic approach to health and well-being.
What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is said to offer a variety of benefits, including relief from pain, improved sleep, reduced stress, and more. In addition, acupuncture is thought to be helpful in treating a wide range of conditions, such as:
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Digestive issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Menstrual cramps
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
What Are the Risks of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner. The most common side effect is pain at the site of needle insertion. Other possible side effects include bleeding, bruising, and soreness. In very rare cases, acupuncture needles have been known to puncture organs, leading to serious complications. It’s important to only receive acupuncture from a trained and licensed practitioner in order to minimize the risks.
How many sessions of acupuncture will I need?
The number of sessions you will need depends on a variety of factors, such as the severity of your condition, how long you have been dealing with it, and your overall health. Most people generally see a noticeable improvement after 3-5 sessions. However, some people may need more or less depending on their individual circumstances.
How often should I get acupuncture?
The frequency of your acupuncture sessions will also depend on the factors mentioned above. In general, most people benefit from 1-2 sessions per week. However, your practitioner may recommend more or less depending on your individual needs.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
In some cases, insurance will cover the cost of acupuncture. However, coverage varies from one insurer to the next, so it’s important to check with your provider to see if they offer coverage for acupuncture.
What should I do after an acupuncture session?
After an acupuncture session, it’s important to drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity. This will help your body to flush out the toxins that have been released. You may also experience some bruising or soreness at the needle sites, but this is normal and should resolve itself within a few days.
We hope that this article has helped you better understand acupuncture and its benefits. Acupuncture is a powerful tool for treating many conditions, and we look forward to seeing its continued growth in popularity over the next decade. If you are interested in trying acupuncture, be sure to consult with a qualified practitioner to find out if it is right for you. Thanks for reading!
Visit our Colleyville, Texas holistic medicine and acupuncture practice page for more information and to book your appointment today!