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Acupuncture - How it work, Benefits, Risks and Uses
Acupuncture is a procedure common in traditional Chinese medicine. It is primarily used to treat pain, as a stress-management technique and other conditions. During this procedure, a doctor inserts thin needles through the skin at strategic points.
What is Acupuncture?
The acupuncture definition and these strategic points come from the energy flow in the body. By sticking needles in certain points, it is believed that the flow can rebalance. This flow theory is a very important basis of Chinese traditional medicine.
Another theory is based on the idea of stimulating the central nervous system by acupuncture, meaning that the system then releases some beneficial chemicals into muscles, the spinal cord, the brain, and tissues.
The Benefits of Medical-Based Acupuncture
We believe strongly that the use of modern medical methods – blended harmoniously with ancient healing techniques – will give patients ideal results. Acupuncture treatment is an ancient technique that is best done over a series of sessions, which can transform the mind’s pain receptors and restore physical balance. It is often used to calm nerve inflammation, improve blood circulation and relax muscles.
While the board-certified physicians at Atlantic Spine Center are very knowledgeable in their craft, we have found the usefulness of acupuncture to deliver faster healing capabilities. Not only does it offer a calming effect to our patients, acupuncture therapy serves as a natural painkiller and boosts the body’s ability to heal; by getting the blood flowing in the most intense areas of pain. Acupuncture is backed by science as one of the longest-known medical practices of mankind. It stimulates the body’s healing abilities and supports health.
Even though there is proof of its effectiveness and acupuncture benefits, many people still don’t consider it a serious treatment. Before any procedure, you can discuss this topic with your medical team and determine whether it makes sense to use acupuncture therapy in your case. You can ask your doctor about a variety of treatment options available to you. In some cases, for example, pregnant women are advised to avoid acupuncture. Also, for people with certain skin issues, it’s not recommended to have an acupuncture procedure.
The Risks of Medical-Based Acupuncture
In most cases, the risks of acupuncture are quite low. You might have bruises, bleeding, or tenderness in the places where needles were placed.
If you worry about infections that can be transmitted, make sure your doctor uses disposable needles. But in fact, such single-use needles are now commonly used.
However, if a patient wears a pacemaker, the electrical pulses can be affected by the procedure, so such information should be conveyed to the doctor before any procedures.
The Uses of Medical-Based Acupuncture
National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies demonstrated the positive effects of acupuncture treatment, especially if combined with conventional treatment.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of pain conditions, including:
- Migraine headaches
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Joint pain
- Dental pain
- Some respiratory disorders
Patients with other conditions like anxiety, gastritis, or prostatitis can also benefit from acupuncture treatment. Moreover, there is another treatment target, which is acupuncture for weight loss.
How Acupuncture Works
Before the first acupuncture session, most people wonder if it “Will hurt?” Honestly, no.
Most patients experience little to no pain, although you will feel a mild sensation of the electrical stimulants and heat. In essence, the treatments are like mini energy waves that work to treat the area(s) where you feel the most pain, or any areas from which the pain is stemming. During the session, the acupuncturist will position very fine, miniscule needles to the acupuncture points. Your job is to relax while the sterilized needles remain intact for approximately half an hour. Close your eyes and let the energy from the acupuncture work to restore your body and mind. You may feel rejuvenated after the experience. We typically perform acupuncture sessions every six weeks or so; this varies depending on each patient’s unique circumstances and source of pain.