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The Best Things You Should Know About Acupuncture

Updated: Apr 3


The Best Things You Should Know About Acupuncture - It Doesn't Hurt, It Usually Requires Multiple Sessions, Eating Before Treatment is Recommended, Needles Are Only Used Once, Loose Clothing is Recommended, It Helps Multiple Health Problems, It Can Cause Beneficial Side Effects, It Might Involve Checking Physical Conditions.


The Best Things You Should Know About Acupuncture


Introduction

Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years. To let you know more about this practice, here are a few things that you should know. First, acupuncture is a holistic healthcare technique that involves inserting needles into specific points in the body. Studies have been conducted and it has been proven to treat ear, nose, throat, respiratory, gastrointestinal, eye, nervous system and muscular disorders.


The needles used in acupuncture are very small and you will probably feel a slight twitch when the needle goes in. They will be inserted carefully to ¼ or an inch in depth and will stay there from 45 minutes to an hour depending on the condition of the patient.


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If inserted properly, you should feel some cramping, distention, electric sensation or tingling which means that the treatment is working.

Needles used for acupuncture especially in the US are clean because they are required to be disposable. This prevents any chance that those who go for treatment will be contaminated by a communicable disease like hepatitis or HIV.


Given that this has been practiced for more than 2000 years, various styles of acupuncture have been developed. So, before you decide to go for a session, you should know what technique is used so they can explain to you what happens.

When looking for an acupuncturist, you should also ask where they got their training, how long they have been in the practice and most importantly, what experience the specialist has had in treating the condition you are experiencing.


They should also be able to present their credentials like where they graduated and their state board license. If you live in a state that does not require a license, make sure they have something to show which certifies that they can practice their profession like a document from the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists.


The duration of your treatment varies depending on the nature of your problem. Some are easy to fix compared to others especially if you are dealing with something long term. For instance, alcoholics and drug users may quit their vices after 3 or 4 months while those suffering from a disease like autism will take years as there is no know cure yet for the this illness.


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Before the needles are inserted, you need to undergo a physical examination and answer a few questions. There are risks involved even though it is a painless procedure because the needle might hit something vital inside but if the specialist is good, then there is nothing to worry about.

You may notice a spot of blood when the needles come off. But if you are concerned about it, talk to your acupuncturist so he or she can prescribe something.


Some patients will experience immediate relief after the first session but others will not experience anything at all. This is the reason that an average session should be done 12 to 15 times at least 2 to 3 times a week.

If acupuncture works for you, then the only thing you need are follow up sessions. This can be done twice every 2 weeks or monthly. It is really up to you. But don’t forget to also see your regular doctor so he or she can also monitor the progress of your condition.


Types of Acupuncture

There are different types of acupuncture. Whichever you decide to use, they are designed to do the same thing and that is to relieve pain or treat certain diseases.

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The first is called TCM based acupuncture. Here, it uses eight principles of complementary opposites to create harmony in the body. These include yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency, hot/cold.

Next is called French energetic acupuncture. This is often used by MD acupuncturists. Meridian patterns are emphasized here particularly the yin-yang pairs of primary meridians.


Korean hand acupuncture is another as practitioners believe that the hands and feet have concentrations of qi, and that applying acupuncture needles to these areas is effective for the entire body.

There is also auricular acupuncture where it is believed that the ear is a microcosm of the body. This means that acupuncture needles are placed on certain points on the ear so it can treat certain addiction disorders.


My officially-based acupuncture is often utilized by physical therapists as it involves feeling the meridian lines in search of tender points before applying needles as this is where abnormal energy flows.

Japanese styles of acupuncture referred to as "meridian therapy," tend to put more emphasis on needling technique and feeling meridians in diagnosis.


Impulses of electromagnetic energy can also be used as the body generates tiny but electrical discharges which influence the function, growth and maturity of certain types of cells. By inserting the needles in these areas, it stimulates and alters the neurotransmitters in the body thus making the patient feel better after treatment. This is also sometimes used for diagnosis and testing.


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There are also other forms of acupuncture that do not use needles. For instance there is sonopuncture that uses an ultrasound device that transmits sound waves to points in the body to treat a patient. Some practitioners use a tuning fork or other vibration devices.

Acupressure is another. Here, the professional will use their hands to relieve the pain. This can be used on its own or with other manual healing techniques.


The number of treatments you will need depends on the patient’s condition. On average this could be from 10 to 5 treatments and 2 to 3 times a week. How much it will cost also varies as this could be from $40 to $150. Some insurance companies and HMO’s now cover that or partially so you should check if this is included in your policy.

Anyone can try acupuncture to relieve pain or prevent one but many practitioners decline to see someone during pregnancy. But if you have already started, it is generally safe to do so until the infant is born.


Some acupuncturists may ask you to take in some herbs as part of the treatment. Since you have no idea what it can do, have this checked first by your local doctor to make sure this is safe as this could interact with the drugs you are taking causing side effects.

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Which type of acupuncture should you try? That is up to you. All of them are effective so discuss this with your doctor and do some research so you know what you are getting yourself into. Each of these is painless so just relax and let the professional do the rest.


Conclusion

Just like conventional medicine, don’t expect an improvement overnight as this takes time so just keep an open mind.