Acupuncture is a form of therapy that involves the stimulation of some points on the body. This is done by a well-trained, and they do this by inserting tiny needles into the skin. This process causes no pain to the individual it’s done on. Acupuncture helps to cause changes in the body, that would improve the way the body functions. This form of alternative medicine has been practiced in China for 100s of years. Although, there have been a lot of theories on the efficacy of this procedure, with some arguing that it isn’t effective, while another faction of people has testified to its usefulness. This procedure is safe, especially when it’s done by a trained practitioner, who makes use of new and sterilized materials. It has relatively no to low side effects. Some of the side effects of the procedure, which rarely occurs include infections and accidents.
Acupuncture has a lot of benefits. Below are some of them; • Reduction of stress: Stress has been identified as one of the most common reasons people seek to undergo acupuncture. This is common to people that are going through a lot of stress, due to work, or physically. Acupuncture is a great way to reduce stress, feel relaxed, and also improve the mood. People realize they feel lighter, and with a brightened mood, after a procedure. • To relieve pain: If you’ve been battling with body pain, due to conditions such as poor posture, pains due to carrying a heavy load, or a persistent pain you simply can’t explain how it started. Then you should consider acupuncture.
Headaches: This procedure has been effective for the relieve of headaches, over the years. Studies have shown that acupuncture is a lasting solution to migraine and persistent headaches. This procedure is a good choice of treatment, if you do want to use medications, or suffer their side effects. • Boost the immune system: Acupuncture is a good way of boosting the immune system. The mechanism behind this isn’t clear yet, however, it has been proven to be effective. This improves the ability of the body immune system to fight off infections. • Gastrointestinal system: Studies have identified a link between acupuncture and the digestive system. The procedure helps to regulate the digestive system, and also helps to resolve some digestive system problems. • Prevent allergy: Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of preventing allergies. Apart from helping to prevent allergies, it also helps to improve the symptoms that might occur due to allergy. It can be used in place of antihistamine medications. • Helps to improve eye function: Acupuncture is helpful in eye ailments. Examples of eye disease that can be treated with this procedure include short sightedness, long sightedness, glaucoma and so on.
Acupuncture has been used in treating migraine for a long time. While the Chinese have a philosophical explanation to why this method words, Western medicine suggests that this method works due to the release of endorphins. These endorphins are released after the acupuncture needles have been inserted into specific points of the body. The effect of acupuncture on migraine has been studied in clinical research, and the outcome showed that people who underwent acupuncture had a more significant improvement, as compared to those that received migraine medications such as rizatriptan. Acupuncture helps to reduce the frequency of a migraine, and has fewer side effects, as compared to western medications.
Is Acupuncture Covered By Insurance? This largely depends on the type of insurance you have. However, big health insurance companies do cover acupuncture. Although they might only cover common disease such as a headache, back pain and so on. Medicare also does not cover acupuncture. Medicaid does cover in some few states. You should make thorough inquiries. Acupuncture Side Effects The side effects of acupuncture are few and rarely occurs. Below are some of them; a. Bleeding: People with a bleeding disorder should avoid acupuncture. This is because this procedure involves inserting many needles through the skin, to a certain depth in the body. An individual with a bleeding disorder might bleed without stopping for a long time. This could be life-threatening. This also applies to people on blood thinning medications. Examples of such medications include warfarin, heparin and so on. b. Pregnancy: Pregnant women should avoid acupuncture. There are some types of this procedure that can trigger labor. This would lead to premature delivery. c. Have a pacemaker. Is Acupuncture Painful? There is a misconception that acupuncture hurts, and this has deterred a lot of people from going for the procedure. Although people would have different experiences, the procedure isn’t designed to hurt. Acupuncture causes little to no pain. The only sensation patients might feel it is a sensation. In fact, most people don’t feel anything. This is because the needles are really thin. Another factor to consider is the pain threshold of the patient. Generally, the first time might hurt more than the subsequent times. According to the theory behind acupuncture, feeling pain during the procedure isn’t something negative. Rather, it’s the “chi” sensations that present as pain. These sensations can be heavy, throbbing, jumping and so on, which are all good responses. Is Acupuncture as Effective as Opioids for Long-Term Pain Relief The use of acupuncture for the treatment of long-term pain is fast growing, especially in the United States. This might be slowly replacing the use of opioids for the same purpose. It’s important to know that acupuncture is primarily for the treatment of pain. Studies have shown that is effective for the treatment of conditions such as back, neck pain, headache, and migraine. One of the reasons acupuncture is slowly replacing opioids in the treatment of long-term pain is the side effects of opioid drugs. These drugs could cause respiratory depression when used in large doses. In addition, they are highly addictive, and should not be used by people who have addiction problems. Acupuncture is without these symptoms, and the treatment is more long-lasting. How Long Does Treatment Last? An acupuncture session lasts between half an hour, to 1 hour, 30 minutes, during which important questions about the illness and the purpose of the procedure would be explained to the patient. This could take longer if it’s the patient’s first time. The needled would remain in the patient’s body between 10 to 30 minutes. A lot of people sleep off throughout the course of the procedure. This indicates how soothing and relaxing it could be. Who Can Carry Out Acupuncture? There are licensed acupuncturists, and doctors that are trained to carry out these procedures. It’s important to avoid those that are not licensed, as they may end up doing more harm than good, to the patient. What Is The Aftercare Like? It’s crucial to take good care of yourself after finishing a session, at least, within the next 24 hours. Patients should take time to rest properly, and sleep. You should avoid engaging in any stressful activity. In addition, you should avoid unhealthy foods such as alcohol, cake, fast foods and so on. It’s more beneficial to consume vegetables, fruits, water and so on. Patients that feel any form of pain should not use any medication. The pain usually stops after the procedure. Generally, patients start experiencing the benefits of the procedure in a few weeks. References Acupuncture for knee pain: acupuncture added to physiotherapy for OA knee (n=352). (2007). Acupuncture In Medicine, 25(4), 208-208. doi: 10.1136/aim.25.4.208 Minimal acupuncture appears as effective as standard acupuncture in a migraine (n=302). (2005). Acupuncture In Medicine, 23(2), 88-89. doi: 10.1136/aim.23.2.88 Western medical acupuncture: a definition. (2009). Acupuncture In Medicine, 27(1), 33-35. doi: 10.1136/aim.2008.000372