A lot has been said recently about holistic treatments and how done correctly can help in our daily ailments. And Acupuncture is precisely one of these treatments. But what is Acupuncture, and how could pressing needles into our skin possibly make us feel better?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating various conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. Acupuncture is one of those medical treatments people usually opt for when the “mainstream” treatments don’t show any effects. But thankfully, Acupuncture today is just as popular, and many people explore it to supplement “traditional medicine.” With this, Acupuncture has no longer remained just an alternative remedy – people are giving it preference over other therapies, thanks to the benefits it offers. Acupuncture is a minimally invasive method that stimulates nerve-rich areas of the skin surface to influence tissues, glands, organs, and various functions of the body to let the body know it needs to respond. This response involves stimulating the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation.
What’s the theory behind Acupuncture?
The Chinese philosophy behind Acupuncture was developed from a basis that relates to the whole of nature to understand how man’s body works and heals. It sees the human being not as separate from nature but as an integral part of it. And like nature, which is harmonious when it is in balance, the human body is healthy when balanced. When its organs function in harmony with one another, and when the energy within the body flows appropriately.
What does Acupuncture do?
The acupuncturist sees pain and illness as an expression of an imbalance within the body’s energy system. They are diagnosed and treated concerning the whole person (whereas standard western medicine tends to treat only specific disease symptoms). The goals of Acupuncture are thus to address the imbalances that are causing pain and illness and restoring harmony in the internal energy (qi, pronounced Chee) of the body. By doing this, Acupuncture facilitates the healing of illness, the prevention of further disease, and the maintenance of optimal health.
The concept of qi isn’t too out there — think of it as your body’s natural inner workings. Sometimes you’re more prone to illness when feeling stressed or anxious. When you’re relaxed and healthy, your body physically reflects that too. After all, your mood, mental health, and general well-being do affect your physical health. Hence, Acupuncture aims to assist people in achieving balance, or qi, and, as a result, provide relief for many ailments.
This ancient Chinese treatment can help us aid different illnesses like:
- anxiety and depression
- chronic pain, often in the neck, back, knees, and head
- menstrual cramps and PMS
- morning sickness
Although there’s no evidence that Acupuncture is a miracle cure-all, it does seem to have some proof as a beneficial treatment for people with multiple conditions and diseases. Probably that’s the reason why it has been around for more than 2,500 years. Also, as research grows, so will our knowledge of exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Including Acupuncture in our everyday
Although we all have busy schedules, and fitting something new in them might seem overwhealming, you will find that acupuncture sessions can be a form of self-care and time for yourself.
An Acupuncture session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The first part of the session involves discussing the symptoms and concerns with the practitioner. And the actual treatment portion of Acupuncture may last around 30 minutes, a time you can use to meditate and forget about everything outside the room.
In terms of results, it’s nearly impossible to say what one should expect. Some people notice the effects even before leaving the studio, and some need a bit more love and a couple of sessions before seeing a positive change.
How to find an acupuncturist?
The best way to do it is to ask for a referral or introduction to someone who has had a positive experience.
It’s very important to be sure to see a licensed acupuncturist (they should have LAc after their name). A licensed acupuncturist must pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam. Or they must have completed the NCCAOM program in the foundations of Oriental medicine, Acupuncture, and biomedicine.