Among Asian countries, acupuncture is a very popular alternative pain relief means. It has been slowly gaining a following in western countries. Although there is a lack of scientific evidence to explain the efficacy of this treatment, people in the medical field are suggesting this form of treatment to their patients..
Acupuncture is an ancient Asian medicinal art devised 5,000 years ago that involves the use of thin, cylindrical needles that are inserted into specific portions of the body called acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are said to be scattered all over the body and corresponds to different parts of the body. The aim of using acupuncture is to restore health and well-being. Acupuncture is also said to reduce pain and/or induce anesthesia.
Licensed acupuncturists explain that when the needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, there is an increase in blood flow to the area. Meridians along the acupuncture points in the body are stimulated as the blood flows around the body. Acupuncture has been proven effective for a number of ailments including: nausea, chronic pain especially in the lower back area, neck pain and headaches. However, acupuncturists are unsure as to how this helps alleviate pain, they find that when they insert needles in certain acupuncture points, the pain goes away. It is because of this lack of explanation that some health professionals raise eyebrows on this form of alternative pain relief method.
There are several ways that acupuncture works to reduce chronic pain. One is to work through the meridians, and increase certain energy centers in the body. As an example, if someone has chronic pain, we would want to stimulate the kidney centres in the body; kidney meridians. If someone has a specific musculoskeletal pain, let's say just a spot in the shoulder, we may want to inject just a couple of needles touching each other, and use electro-stimulation to reduce inflammation in that area.
Acupuncture is a generally safe treatment to administer to a patient's body. It has a very low risk profile and a particularly high success rate. However, the biggest risk factor lies on the person performing the procedure. The acupuncture practitioner must be well-trained and licensed to work on 1a patient. They must know where the acupuncture points are in order to know where the needles should be strategically inserted. If an untrained person inserts a needle into the spinal cord, or the lungs, there is bound to be a problem to come up.
Unlike other pain reduction and pain management treatments, acupuncture is fairly non-invasive and non-habit forming. It requires no prescription medications which may cause dependence if used continuously in high doses. Unlike surgery, you don't have to be cut open during the procedure, and bleeding is very minimal. Not only does it alleviate pain, it also increases the body's energy level by stimulating the meridian points. It brings the body into homeostasis and allows people to feel better with very little to no pain at all.