When it comes to treating and managing body aches and pains, there are a number of different solutions. Temporary solutions like rest and anti-inflammatories are great for acute pain management, but what about long-term treatments and solutions? Long-term treatments include physiotherapy, chiropractic work, and therapeutic massage. But what about acupuncture? Acupuncture is an effective treatment to relieve a number of pains for an extended amount of time. Here is how acupuncture works for your body.
History of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a treatment popular in traditional Chinese medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that the human body contains energy called Qi, which is a determining factor for both physical and mental health. They believe Qi flows via a number of channels throughout the body. If these channels are disturbed, the mind and body will experience pain. Throughout the body, there are believed to be over 2,000 acupuncture points where Qi flows. Acupuncture is believed to improve the flow of Qi and restore healthy function.
What is Acupuncture Today?
Acupuncture is the process of gently inserting extremely thin needles deep into the skin. Acupuncture treatments are performed by a licensed and experienced acupuncture specialist. The needles are inserted into different acupoints that correspond with certain pain or stress. Because the needles are so thin, when they are inserted, patients don’t typically feel pain. Instead of pain, they may feel some pressure or a sensation similar to a muscle ache. Typically, acupuncture uses anywhere between five to 30 needles. The needles are left in the skin for anywhere between five to 30 minutes. There are acupoints all over the body from head to toe, quite literally. In addition to the needle alone, some acupuncture practices include heating of the needles or electricity for amplified effects.
How Does Acupuncture Work for the Body?
Understandably, it might be a challenge for your brain to connect, inserting a bunch of needles into the skin with pain relief, but this should help make the connection easier. This is exactly how acupuncture works for the body.
These thin needles stimulate the central nervous system and improve blood flow. The presence of the needle activates chemical release in the brain, spine, and muscles. Improved blood flow can help speed up the healing process and the presence of the needle works to distract your body from any other pain you’re experiencing. The depth of needles may also force muscles to relax. This relaxation provides relief from tense muscle pain.
Because there is no drug involved, patients can receive acupuncture treatment as frequently as they want. Most doctors recommend treatment once a week.
The effects of acupuncture treatments are not fully agreed upon. Some people feel more energized, while others see acupuncture as a relaxing process. When looking at the side effects of professional acupuncture, negative effects are generally limited. You may experience a small amount of bruising where the needle was inserted.
What Acupuncture Can Help With
Acupuncture has been known to help relieve symptoms of numerous conditions, always speak to your doctor before proceeding with any treatments.
Acupuncture has shown effectiveness at combating both chemotherapy-related nausea as well as pregnancy nausea.
Acupuncture is sometimes used to accompany addiction treatments. Rather than relieving muscle tension, it is used to promote relaxation and harmony in the body.
Acupuncture reduces stress and can help individuals relieve their anxiety symptoms like muscle tension and tightness.
Acupuncture can help relax muscles in the neck, scalp, and face. This relaxation can provide lasting relief for tension headaches.
- Menstrual cramps
Unlike typical painkillers, acupuncture can reduce severe menstrual cramps for extended periods of time.
Fibromyalgia is likely caused by stress and presents many physical and psychological symptoms. Acupuncture is a great way to relieve both physical pain and mental stress and fatigue.
- Neck and upper back pain
Acupuncture effectively relaxes muscles which reduces tension in both the upper back and neck. Patients may find they have increased mobility and reduced pain following regular treatments.
Patients with arthritis have found that acupuncture relieves pain felt in their joints.
- Low back pain
Following acupuncture treatments, sufferers of chronic back pain should notice a decrease in frequency and severity of their symptoms.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Acupuncture acts as a powerful and long-lasting anti-inflammatory treatment. Something that can significantly improve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Acupuncture can stimulate targeted areas of the body. By stimulating the lungs, you may be able to reduce frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
Acupuncture stimulation of the lungs and liver strengthens the immune system and anti-allergen responses.
Acupuncture alone is not always an end-all be-all solution to the issues above, especially when it comes to back and muscle pain. Typically, acupuncture is offered by a professional in combination with other treatments. Many patients find acupuncture a great addition to their typical physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage treatments.
Interested in acupuncture treatments? Talk to your chiropractor or an experienced acupuncture specialist for more information and to see if acupuncture is a good treatment addition for your chronic or acute pain.
Nicole Howe is a content writer at BreezeMaxWeb. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking half marathons, biking, or watching Raptors basketball!