Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine, it has been around for centuries. Acupuncture works with the meridians, which are energy channels within the body (fourteen of them). Acupuncture is used to balance the energy, known as qi, that runs through these meridians. The Chinese believe that qi exists in every living thing and if it is blocked or misdirected it can cause disease and illness.
Acupuncture uses very thin needles for treatment that are barely felt when they are inserted. They are about as thick as a strand of hair. Depending on what the ailment is the needles can be places into different points in the body, although some acupuncturist stick with a five needle spread in the ear. Just like with reflexology, the ears, hands and feet all have energy/nerve points that connect to the other parts of the body and the organs.
Acupuncture can be used to relieve pain, including chronic pain, strengthen the immune system and balance the entire body, mind and soul. For those who remain afraid of the needles, even though they are barely felt and cause no pain, you can opt for an acupressure treatment, like massage and reflexology, that just use pressure for treatment rather than needles.
Some things that acupuncture has been used for are addictions, pain relief, headaches, sinus problems, chronic fatigue, poor circulation, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, sports injuries and more. Pretty much any medical condition you can think of can benefit from the use of this ancient treatment. It is safe, when done by a professional, and has no side effects and is not evasive at all.
How often a person should be treated all depends on their ailment and the patient’s general health. Someone suffering from cancer or a chronic illness may need more treatments more often than someone who just has some skin issues or seasonal allergies. The acupuncturist will come up with a treatment plan for the patient after medical history has been gone over.
It is important that you sit still and relaxed during an acupuncture treatment. This will help avoid any discomfort. It is important, also, to avoid caffeine and smoking before treatment. Going into it with an empty stomach may lead to nausea. As with all other Complimentary and Alternative Therapies you should seek the advice of a physician before trying any new treatments. Your family doctor will generally be supportive of these alternative therapies if you take the time to share your plans with them, and they may even be able to give you some tips or direct you to a reputable practitioner!
Source: The Acupuncture Answer Book. White Dove Publishing.