Acupuncture is a therapeutic practice that’s been around since approximately 2500 B.C., when it was practiced as Traditional Chinese medicine. If you’ve avoided it because it looks a lot like voodoo, you’re not alone! I too used to be mildly frightened and a little repulsed by the idea of someone sticking needles into my body. Fortunately, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and see what acupuncture is really all about. I’m glad I did! Here’s what I learned.
Acupuncture is the practice of using solid, thin needles to penetrate the skin in strategic areas. It sounds cringy, I know, but it can be surprisingly relaxing! The action of placing the needles into specific areas is purported to create a healthy energy flow (also known as Qi, pronounced “chee”.)
It is thought that disruptions in the body’s natural flow of Qi can lead to a variety of ailments, including disease states. When acupuncture is applied professionally to certain acupuncture points in the body, it may improve overall health by improving the flow of Qi. Sounds pretty simple, right?
But, is acupuncture really helpful for most people? Before you schedule an acupuncture appointment, here’s what I think you should know about the ancient practice that’s experiencing increasing popularity.
How Acupuncture Affects the Body
According to the theory of acupuncture, there are different points in the body known as acupuncture points. These areas are believed to help promote the body’s natural healing processes when pierced by a needle to stimulate the central nervous system. In addition to aiding physical recovery, acupuncture also releases feel-good chemicals such as beta-endorphins that produce a calming effect much like morphine. Because of this effect, acupuncture is often touted as a healing treatment for both the body and the mind.
Physical Conditions Treated With Acupuncture
According to studies done by the National Institutes of health, acupuncture is an effective treatment for the following physical ailments:
- Dental pain (after surgery)
- Myofascial pain
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lower back pain
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of all the physical conditions acupuncture is used to treat. People use it to treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome to bronchitis. Acupuncture is frequently used as a stand-alone treatment for these conditions, but it is also sometimes used in combination with other therapies to achieve the best results.
[insert page='Offer' display='content']
Emotional Conditions Treated With Acupuncture
In addition to all of the physical conditions in the list above, acupuncture is also thought to help with the following emotional issues:
If you’ve tried other methods to help with any of these issues but experienced minimal success, why not schedule an acupuncture treatment and see if the ancient practice can help with your modern-day issues?
What Acupuncture Feels Like
OK, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Some people avoid acupuncture because it looks scary. I get it, you’re wondering “shouldn’t it hurt to have dozens of needles sticking into your body?” And yes, it seems like it should hurt a lot. But for most people, acupuncture just feels like a slight tingling sensation or a dull ache in the areas of needle insertion. Some people even describe feelings of warmth coming from the acupuncture points.
So if fear of discomfort is holding you back, don’t worry! The treatments cause no pain or very little discomfort for most people.
Give It a Try
If you’re raising your eyebrow right now and wondering if acupuncture could really help with all of the things I’ve mentioned, I have only one piece of advice: try it for yourself and see how you feel. I believe in putting things to the test instead of relying entirely on the experiences of others. It’s the best way to see if this amazing treatment option is right for your situation.