Acupuncture, What is it Exactly?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest and still practiced alternative therapies, it involves inserting thin, solid, metallic needles into targeted areas of the body. 

You are probably now questioning, how does it work exactly? Well, let me explain further. A session usually lasts 20 minutes to 1 hour, it involves an assessment of your general health, medical history, and a physical examination, followed by the insertion of the acupuncture needles on the skin which is then activated through gentle and specific movements of the acupuncturist’s hands or sometimes with electrical stimulation. Its main focus of healing is pain treatment or relief, the belief is that this type of stimulation through needle points boosts your body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture has been known to relieve discomforts associated with some of these known diseases;

  • Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis

Some of the more common illnesses are:

  • Arthritis Pain 
  • Headaches
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Menstrual Cramps

As time passed acupuncture has evolved and there is more than one variation has been created to help cater to specific needs and conditions, let us explore what is possibly the best option for you:

Acupressure is a combination of “acupuncture” and “pressure,” which forms a non-invasive therapy that stimulates acupoints without using needles. 

Auricular Acupuncture uses one area of the body, particularly “the ear” to treat parts of the rest of the body. The practitioner or acupuncturist uses either needles or minute electrical currents to stimulate points in the ear.

Chinese Acupuncture is the most common and traditional form used worldwide. Practitioners or Acupuncturists insert fine, thin needles that are about 1.5 inches long to stimulate flow in specific areas called acupoints.

Japanese Style Acupuncture is mirrored the traditional Chinese technique however it uses a more subtle approach as fewer needles are used and inserted to a shallower depth.

Korean Acupuncture uses more needles than the traditional Chinese, and instead of the standard stainless steel, copper needles.

Laser Acupuncture uses low-energy laser beams in place of acupuncture needles to influence the acupuncture points.

Teishein Acupuncture uses “pressure needles”, these instruments are a type of telescopic, blunt placebo needle that touches the skin without penetrating it.

Acupuncture is mainly a complementary therapy, as per The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Trusted Source advises people not to use acupuncture as a replacement for conventional medical help as it has a main focus on the assistance of pain management. It also bears risks like bleeding, bruising, and soreness during insertion sites as well as needles leading to infection due to under sterilization. That is why it is important to choose and find a trusted practitioner or acupuncturist that is trained, licensed, and utilizes (FDA) regulated acupuncture needles as their manufacture and labeling need to meet certain standards.

You can easily find a licensed Acupuncturist near you by looking up Wellness Spas, Treatment Clinics, or Health Clinics that offer acupuncture or any of its variations. Remember it is better to be well-educated on your treatments, so don’t be hesitant on asking those questions before getting treatment started.

Francis O'Palick 23/01/2023

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