How Does Acupuncture Work To Improve Health And Wellness?
According To Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional acupuncturists believe that the body is an energy system. When the energy flows freely through it, you experience good health. When there are blockages in your Qi, health imbalances manifest.
According to traditional philosophy, by inserting the needles into acupuncture points of certain combinations, these blockages can be released, energy can flow again, and health can be restored. The practitioner will stimulate the needles at certain points during your session. Sometimes heat or electrical pulses are used to manipulate the needles.
Each practitioner has a different approach. Some will play music or talk to you while they work. You will lie down or sit for 10 to 20 minutes at a time before the needles are removed.
According To Western Medicine
Activation of the acupuncture points is believed to be beneficial for the Central Nervous System (CNS). In stimulating the CNS, chemicals are released into the brain, spinal cord and muscles. The release of endorphins is believed to benefit the body’s natural pain management. These are biochemical changes that are thought to encourage the body’s ability to heal itself.
When muscles and connective tissue is stressed, it cramps and creates knots. This causes tightness and pain in the body. Having a trigger point in one part of your body can result in pain in another. The process of acupuncture can release stress and tension in the muscles and connective tissue.
As such, acupuncture treatment has been found to work effectively for disorders like
- Menstrual cramps
- Dental pain
- Myofascial pain
- Blood pressure problems
- Tennis elbow
- Lower back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
How Does Acupuncture Work For Other Conditions?
Acupuncture treatment has been found to be effective for chronic pain management. It is also frequently used as a treatment for lower back pain.
How Acupuncture Treatment Helps The Body To Heal
The body has hundreds of acupuncture points, which are located in the meridians of the body.
When the fine metal needles are inserted into the meridians they
- React to a symptom or illness
- Stimulate the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters.
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
Having the needles inserted into your skin isn’t painful. When it is done skilfully you might notice even feel them penetrating, but the longer you lie in a session the more aware you become of them, and it can become uncomfortable towards the end of a treatment session.
You might feel aching or tingling in your muscles. Sometimes your muscles might start to feel numb. Your practitioner will ask you questions and speak to you about your sensation as he or she works.
How Effective Is Acupuncture?
Some patients find that a session is energising while others find it calming. Some patients might not notice the effects immediately. It may take a few sessions to notice the benefits.
If you go for acupuncture treatment for chronic pain you might expect to have one treatment every week for an extended period of time. If you seek treatment for an acute condition, you could see an improvement in eight sessions, depending on what it is.
What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture?
- It’s a drug-free way to treat pain
- It’s complementary to other treatments
- It is safe with no side effects when performed correctly
- It is proven to be effective at managing some types of pain
- It can benefit patients who can’t take pain medication
As long as the correct safety protocol is followed, there are no serious side effects associated with the practice and it is low risk. You must work with a registered practitioner who must use single-use sterile needles to avoid complications.
Acupuncture is ideal as a second course of treatment. If you have tried other treatment approaches with little to no success, acupuncture is worth trying as an alternative to conventional medicine. It’s a good idea to speak to your doctor if you plan on trying acupuncture if you have any co-occurring or chronic conditions that you are taking medication for.
Pregnant women should seek medical advice as certain acupuncture points can induce labour.
If you suffer from a bleeding disorder or are taking any blood-thinning medication you must discuss your risks with your healthcare provider.
If you use a pacemaker, then acupuncture with electrical impulses is not recommended.
How Often Should You Return For Treatment?
After your first session, your acupuncturist will recommend how many treatments you should try and when you should return for another treatment. A minimum of five treatments is a good milestone to measure how the process is working for you.
For a more detailed explanation of ‘how does acupuncture work’, it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 9884 9300.
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How Does Acupuncture Work?