Acupuncture is a complementary healing approach from Traditional Chinese Medicine which triggers and assists the body’s natural ability to heal. It entails stimulating specific points (acupoints) on the body, typically with a sterile, thin, disposable needle penetrating the skin to ease pain or to help treat various health conditions. Acupuncture is one of the most popular techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the West. It first originated in ancient China approximately 2,500 years ago and has been evolving ever since.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture may be useful as an alternative treatment in itself or as a complementary treatment in a comprehensive management program. Acupuncture may help with these issues and more:
- Pain in the back, neck, knee, shoulder, and other joints
- Digestive problems
- Muscular pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Sciatica and low back pain
- Anxiety and stress
- Arthritis, osteo and rheumatoid
- Acne and skin conditions
- Bladder and urinary tract infections
- Insomnia and poor sleep quality
- Side effects of chemotherapy
- Immune system imbalances
- Eye problems
- Postoperative pain
- Dental pain
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Menstrual cramps
- Tennis elbow
- Myofascial pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
What to Expect
An acupuncturist will make an in-depth assessment of your present condition, then place very fine, single-use, sterile needles through the skin at specific acupoints on the body. What the patient feels varies among individuals—some report a tiny pinch while others feel virtually nothing at all.
Repeat treatments may or may not be required and depend on the response of the patient. Some conditions require only a session or two. However, a course of 5 to 10 treatments administered over a few weeks or weekly can usually achieve the balance necessary for the patient to feel the benefits of conditions that have been established long-term in the body.
Cupping and Gua Sha
Cupping or Gua Sha technique can also be added to any acupuncture treatment.
Cupping: Cupping is a technique used regularly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A knowledgeable practitioner places varying sizes of glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices on the body, and the suction action draws blood to the surface of the skin. It is said to alleviate pain resulting from the congestion, stagnation, and blockage of vital energy, vital fluids, blood, lymph, and phlegm.
Gua sha: This is another ancient Chinese healing technique which can offer a unique approach to better health, addressing issues such as chronic pain. It is a natural, alternative therapy that involves an experienced practitioner scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve blood flow and circulation. Gua sha is known to reduce inflammation, so it’s frequently used to treat issues where there is chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, and problems that trigger muscle and joint pain as well.
Complementary healing approaches and treatments like acupuncture and other techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine promote the body’s natural ability to heal and provide symptom relief without the use of harmful and addictive medications. Schedule an appointment with an acupuncture professional at a local wellness center to learn more and experience how acupuncture can help you achieve and live the life you want and deserve.