Many people have heard of and have a general idea of what acupuncture is. But contrary to the popular “cure-it-now” belief system of most Westerners, acupuncture is a therapy system used to continuously treat symptoms of various ailments over a period of time. Because of this, acupuncture can be a very effective treatment plan for ongoing therapy of many different conditions.
What is acupuncture?
Quite simply, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine tradition that has been in practice in the East for around 2500 years. Acupuncture is the practice of releasing patterns of energy flow—called Qi or Chi—found throughout the body with the use of very thin, metallic needles.
According to Eastern tradition, these energies within the body fall along fourteen points and are responsible for overall health. Acupuncture seeks to alternate or reverse certain energies within the body when dis-ease is present or if there are symptoms that can be connected to these points within the Chi.
What is acupuncture used to treat?
Here in the Western world ‘alternative’ or ‘traditional’ healthcare practices are proving themselves effective as treatments for a variety of ailments. Acupuncture is one of them. To be sure, medical providers should always be consulted when considering an alternative treatment to any condition. Some commonly treated conditions include:
- Chemotherapy side-effects such as nausea and vomiting
- Post-operative: including dental, routine and sometimes invasive surgeries
- Tobacco use, illicit drug addiction and alcohol addiction
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Headaches, migraines, pain relief
- Sometimes used for bodily traumas like spinal injuries, concussions, and muscle spasms
How does acupuncture work within the body?
According to extensive medical research, acupuncture is linked to several different biological responses within the body. These responses are generally found right around, on, or in the area of skin that the therapy is applied. It is also reported that opioid peptides are released during acupuncture therapy. Opioid peptides are chains of amino acids behaving generally alike to endorphins. These peptides are released during an acupuncture session, and have a direct effect on controlling symptoms such as emotion, motivation, attachment behavior (such as that seen in addictions), the body’s response to stress and pain, and even food intake.
Acupuncture has been proven to be a most effective treatment option for many ailments. Check with a your PCP for advice on whether acupuncture is the right choice for you.
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