If you’re looking for “acupuncture near me,” chances are you are interested in learning what acupuncture can do for you. This ancient form of medicine has roots reaching back over 3,000 years and is one of the oldest, most commonly practiced medical procedures in the world. This form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to treat various ailments. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and digestive issues, and it can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments. But what is acupuncture exactly? What does it feel like? And how many different kinds of acupuncture are there? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.
What Is Acupuncture?
The practice of acupuncture is significantly more nuanced than simply pricking someone with a series of needles. The process is based on over 2,000 acupuncture points all over the human body, which are believed to be connected to energy pathways known as meridians. By inserting a needle into the appropriate acupuncture point, a practitioner will stimulate the area, move blocked Qi, and release endorphins for their patient.
What is Qi?
In TCM, “Qi” is the Chinese term used to describe life force; without it, or with stagnant Qi, a patient will experience illness, discomfort, and disease. In contrast, a healthy individual will have free-flowing Qi throughout all the meridians of their body. Understanding the flow of Qi is one of the basic principles behind acupuncture, as inserting sterile needles in the appropriate points will stimulate the energetic meridians.
Will Acupuncture Hurt?
While acupuncture does involve placing numerous sterile needles over your skin, if done correctly, acupuncture should be almost imperceptible. However, an acupuncture needle will be inserted to the point that it creates a slight sense of pressure or achiness. To further stimulate the area, the needles may be heated or even charged with a mild electrical current. A patient should not feel extreme discomfort or pain if the needles are properly placed. Some even report that acupuncture increases their energy or levels of relaxation.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The thinking behind acupuncture is that by stimulating specific points on the body, a practitioner is “moving Qi” that may have been blocked or causing problems. However, on a physiological level, acupuncture can provide the following benefits:
- Reduced heart rate, epinephrine, and blood pressure (relaxation)
- Increased endorphins (pain management)
- Increased blood flow and circulation (inflammation reduction
- Increased adenosine (a relaxing chemical)
- Increased cytokines (inflammation reduction)
What Conditions Can Be Improved with Acupuncture?
There are a number of conditions that have been clinically proven to be treated or better managed through the use of acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that acupuncture can effectively treat:
- Back pain
- Dental pain
- Nausea caused by medical procedures/chemotherapy
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Myofascial pain
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- And it may even help with rehabilitating patients after a stroke
Can Acupuncture Help with Anxiety and Other Mental Health Conditions?
There are many conditions that can be improved, managed, or treated through the use of regular acupuncture, spanning everything from irritable bowel syndrome to infertility issues. However, acupuncture is linked to a positive effect on mental health conditions and mood disorders as well. Some mental health conditions that can be improved with acupuncture include:
How Does Acupuncture Lessen Pain?
Where there is pain, there is often inflammation…and acupuncture can help with that. In fact, acupuncture works in two ways to reduce pain: first of all, it reduces inflammation by encouraging blood flow and increasing cytokine production. Second, it releases endorphins, which help to stimulate positive sensations in the patient. This all occurs without the use of prescription medicine, which is why it is often an important part of a chronic pain patient’s long-term medical plan.
How Many Rounds of Acupuncture Will I Need?
Of course, the number of acupuncture sessions that you will need to treat your ailment varies greatly on the complexity, the recommendations of your practitioner, and the patient’s responsiveness to treatment. Some maladies can be resolved in as little as one to eight visits, while others might need twice-weekly visits for months at a time. If you have any questions about how many rounds of acupuncture you will need to manage your illness, talk to your practitioner periodically about their estimations for continued care based on your responsiveness to treatment.
How Many Different Kinds of Acupuncture Are There?
Acupuncture is an ancient, traditional form of medicine that has been practiced the same way for thousands of years—but there are several different approaches to activating the pressure points on the body other than sterile needles. Similar to acupuncture, there are a number of other practices designed to move the body’s Qi energy, including:
- Pressure (also called acupressure)
- Moxibustion (the use of heat)
- Electromagnetic impulses
- And suction (also called “cupping”)
Some patients may not be suitable for acupuncture for example, but might respond better to acupressure for treatment. In many cases, a wellness practitioner employing TCM techniques will prescribe a combination of tactics as a more holistic approach to treating a patient’s illness.
Acupuncture Near Me: AcuHerbal Wellness Center
With the ability to treat and manage symptoms for so many different types of maladies, it turns out most people could probably benefit from regular acupuncture at any given point in time. From digestive issues to mood disorders, circulating the body’s Qi is an ancient tradition backed not only by thousands of years of practice but also by clinical testing to boot.
Are you interested in learning more about what acupuncture can do for you? Contact AcuHerbal Wellness Center today for a consultation!