What Is Acupuncture?
Traditional Chinese medicine’s age-old therapeutic technique of acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into specific body locations. Although it has been used to treat various ailments, it primarily reduces pain. Acupuncture is used by more than 3 million people in the United States, although it is more common elsewhere. One in five persons in France, for instance, has used acupuncture.
How Acupuncture Works?
By stimulating sites along 14 energy lines, acupuncture aims to open up the body’s life force, or “chi,” and allow it to flow more freely. Some researchers think the needles trigger the body to release endorphins, natural painkillers. They also think needles may increase blood flow and alter brain activity. Acupuncture, according to sceptics, only has an impact because patients believe it will, or the “placebo effect.”
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Since acupuncture needles are so tiny, most patients report little to no discomfort throughout the procedure. After the therapy, patients frequently report feeling energized or calm. The needles might, however, temporarily irritate the skin.
- Acupoint: Low-Back Pain
Two reputable medical associations advise people in this scenario to try acupuncture if traditional therapies fail to ease their chronic low-back pain. According to sizable research, fundamental and “fake” acupuncture relieved back pain that persisted for more than three months better than traditional therapy. Acupuncture may be effective for temporary low back pain (acute).
- Acupoint: Migraines
It’s possible that acupuncture can ease tension or migraine headaches. According to two sizable trials, those who received acupuncture experienced fewer days with tension headaches than those who received standard medical treatment.
- Acupoint: Fibromyalgia
Mixed findings have been found in studies examining the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating fibromyalgia-related pain. Some studies found that it reduced pain momentarily, while others did not. According to a little Mayo Clinic research, acupuncture may help with tiredness and anxiety, two additional fibromyalgia symptoms. Overall yet, the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating fibromyalgia is still unproven.
- Acupoint: Arthritis Pain
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases suggests that osteoarthritis patients may find acupuncture a beneficial supplement to current medical therapies. And some of the most promising preliminary studies revealed that acupuncture reduced knee arthritis pain. However, additional investigation is required to establish its efficacy for osteoarthritis unequivocally.
- Acupoint: Other Pain
To avoid drugs and their harmful effects, people have attempted acupuncture for neck pain, muscular discomfort, tennis elbow, and menstrual cramps. The World Health Organization classifies acupuncture as a potential treatment for 28 illnesses. The National Institutes of Health in the United States recommended a thorough investigation to confirm acupuncture’s potential for various diseases.
A Boost for Pain Medicine
When combined with other therapies like massage or pain medications, acupuncture may help reduce pain even more. Some persons with chronic pain may need fewer medications and experience a higher quality of life thanks to acupuncture.
Even after cancer medication treatments or surgery, pericardium (P6) acupuncture on the wrist can help with nausea and vomiting symptoms. Ten acupuncture techniques, including needles, electrical stimulation, and acupressure, have been studied and compared to medications that prevent nausea and vomiting, and it was discovered that acupuncture treatments were effective.
When to Consider Acupuncture
A potential substitute for painkillers or steroid therapies, acupuncture seldom has more severe side effects. Additionally, it is regarded as a “complementary” medication that may be used in addition to other therapies. The best action is to talk to your doctor about acupuncture.
Even though acupuncture is typically risk-free, there are potential hazards, and significant issues are uncommon. Infections may result from non-sterile needles. Ensure that the needles your doctor uses are sterile and disposable after just one use. When needles are put too profoundly in some acupuncture sites, the lungs, gallbladder, or blood arteries may be punctured. Because of this, it’s crucial to work with an acupuncture specialist.
Who Shouldn’t Use Acupuncture
People who use blood thinners or have bleeding problems may be more likely to bleed. People with pacemakers or other electrical devices may experience issues due to the electrical stimulation of the needles. Before receiving acupuncture, pregnant women should consult with their doctor.
It’s crucial to remember that acupuncture alone cannot cure illnesses or relieve excruciating pain. Neither should conventional medical therapy.