Acupuncture involves the use of hairline thin needles that are inserted into the skin at particular points on the body. Acupuncture has been a part of ancient eastern medicine for thousands of years and is commonly used to bring relief of symptoms from various disorders. Alternative medicine describes this procedure as a way to create balance in the body through the flow of energy in the body known as Chi (pronounced Chee) or Qi. Inserting needles into the energy pathways is believed the energy will become balanced. When the energy is unblocked, it helps the symptoms to disappear and inflammation to decrease. Sessions usually will last for approximately 15 minutes to about an hour. Western medicine views this technique as a way to stimulate the body’s connective tissue, muscles, and nerves. It allows this stimulation to boost the energy levels, blood flow, and the body’s own natural painkillers.
Acupuncture and chiropractic care are used to treat various medical conditions such as sciatica, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, depression, tennis elbow, menstruation problems, headaches, dental pain, stroke, insomnia, and pinched nerves.
Some of the best benefits of patients receiving treatment include the help it offers to increase the effectiveness of prescription depression medications work. It reduces anxiety and allows the physician to reduce the dosage and in turn lower the medication’s side effects, which can include weight gain, nausea, and diarrhea, decreased sex drive, dry mouth, and increased urination. Acupuncture soothes indigestion and heartburn problems for pregnant women. Pregnant women were able to use fewer antacids and prescription medications after just a few sessions. Acupuncture therapy has shown to help with preventing migraines and tension headaches. Acupuncture is useful for those who do not want to take pain medications.
The risks are low and it is best to have a certified and competent acupuncture practitioner. Several of the possible side effects include soreness, minor bruising, or bleeding from where the needles were inserted. Injury of the organ is possible if the needles are pushed in too deep especially the lungs. Using an experienced certified acupuncturist will lower that risk to a rare occurrence. People with bleeding disorders may increase their chances of bruising or bleeding during the session. Also for people on blood thinners, such Warfarin may experience bleeding or bruising. Lastly, pregnant women may go into premature labor, as there are some types of acupuncture that may affect them. It is always important to consult with a physician to let them know this method is being considered.