Medical Acupuncture - What You Should Know Before You Begin Treatment

| July 20, 2010 | 0 Comments | 255 views

The word 'Acupuncture' usually evokes strong feelings of revulsion and even horror whenever it’s mentioned. The thought of tiny needles piercing your skin is definitely not for the squeamish or the faint of heart.

The truth of the matter, however, is that this ancient Chinese technique is relatively painless - definitely less painful than getting a vaccine shot - and tremendously beneficial that can cure, or improve conditions such as chronic pain, and fatigue.

Qi Energy Flows

As per Chinese traditional medicine, a human being is sustained by the constant flow of energy, called Qi that circulates throughout the body along set paths that are known as meridians. According to practitioners of acupuncture, these meridians run close to the skin or the surface of the body and thus, their flow can be altered by the use of a suitable piercing technique, much like a plumber fixing a pipe blockage.

These beliefs must of course feel hogwash to a mind trained in western medicine. While it is true that the beliefs of acupuncture and Qi have little basis in human biology, numerous scientific studies have proven the beneficial effects of acupuncture. The exact scientific reasons for this might still be unknown, but new theories seem to indicate that acupuncture somehow affects the neurological pathways running throughout the body that directly impact the brain and the spinal column.

Risks and Side Effects

Because acupuncture does not involve any direct or indirect ingestion of a foreign substance into the body, there are relatively few risks or side effects involved with it, and is a completely natural technique. There is always the risk of small injuries, bruises, minor bleeding, and in the rare cases, even infections. But these risks are very low as compared to more traditional western medicinal procedures.

Make sure that you get your acupuncture treatment done through a licensed practitioner approved by a government agency or a professional acupuncturist organization. In the United States, the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) is the organization responsible for certifying acupuncture practitioners.

A big issue most patients undergoing acupuncture treatment is an excessive fear of needles and pins. In some patients, this can even lead to a full scale, debilitating panic attack. If you have a history of excessive anxiety, or an underlying phobia of needles, it is advisable to consult your acupuncture practitioner before you begin treatment. She can advise you about the best possible solution to your problem. In most cases, the fear has no underlying basis and can be overcome in less than one session with an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture can be a boon to those suffering from conditions like chronic pain, fatigue, lethargy, stress, etc. But before you seek treatment, you must have a thorough grip on the fundamentals of acupuncture and the beliefs behind it, and understand the risks and side effects associated with it.

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