What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of treatment which originated in China. It has been used for over two thousand years with many people being treated successfully. It has become increasingly popular over recent years and is now used all over the world. This is no doubt due to the great health benefits of acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture has been known to treat people suffering from many different illnesses and diseases. Many people who have bad pain in certain areas of their bodies also seek the treatment of acupuncture. Acupuncture is steadily increasing to be a go to treatment for a lot of people.
How does acupuncture work?
It is still widely unknown how acupuncture works. The health benefits of acupuncture treatment are clear for all to see, but actually knowing how it works seems to be more complicated. The basic concept of acupuncture is to stimulate Acupuncture points. By stimulating these areas, it causes a biological effect on the body. The acupuncture points are stimulated by having thin needles pressed into certain areas of the body. When these points are stimulated it is believed that this influences the nerves in your body to react in certain ways.
The reaction from the nerves would be expected to block certain signals to your brain. So, for example, if you were suffering from back pain, Acupuncture therapists would place the needles into the correct areas and stop your brain from receiving the pain signals. Which in turn leads to you being pain-free. Or at least have a reduced sensation of pain.
However, East Asian cultures such as China and Japan believe it works in a different way and it’s very interesting. They believe in a form of energy or life known as qi or Chi. Qi is known in these cultures as a kind of circulating life force, which is believed to be directly linked to the health of the human body. East Asian cultures believe that inserting the acupuncture needles into the body increases the flow of qi throughout the body. Therefore, improving the health of the person receiving the treatment.
Acupuncture may work because of either of these theories, or it could be something completely different. As I mentioned before acupuncture is still questioned as to how it works. Research continues to be conducted into acupuncture so I’m sure we will have an answer one day. The most important thing, for now, is that people are seeing positive health benefits of acupuncture treatment.
Does Acupuncture Treatment Hurt?
I’m sure after mentioning needles many of you are questioning whether acupuncture hurts. This is often a common question related to acupuncture and can be difficult to answer. People often experience a mixture of sensations with acupuncture, especially if it’s your first time. In most cases, people experience a kind of dull ache or tingling rather than pain, and in some cases, people don’t feel anything.
However, there have been some people that have reported having unbearable pain whilst receiving treatment. This could be down to a mixture of things. It could be that the acupuncturist did something wrong or was untrained. Or it could be down to different people’s pain threshold. The answer is unclear but this effect isn’t normal, acupuncture should be relatively painless.
You want to be sure that you’re receiving treatment from a qualified acupuncturist and not someone posing as one. So before receiving treatment be sure to ask to see their qualifications, and ask where they studied. You want to make sure you are going to get the best of the health benefits of acupuncture treatment. I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone unqualified sticking needles into your body, you have the right to know a bit about them. So, don’t be afraid to ask.
What are the health benefits of acupuncture treatment?
Some of the health benefits of acupuncture treatment are really fantastic. Acupuncture has been known to treat many conditions with great success. A lot of people commonly think that acupuncture only works as a treatment for aches and pains, such as back pain. However, although acupuncture does help with these issues, it is also widely used for many diseases and illness. This includes things like depression, insomnia, migraines and even nausea. Here is a complete list of some of the conditions known to be treated with acupuncture.
- Morning Sickness
- Neck Pain
- Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Facial Pain
That list shows conditions that have been known to be treated successfully when using acupuncture. There are many more issues that can be treated, these are just the more common conditions most people use acupuncture for.
There are some other conditions that people believe acupuncture works for. For example, Pains related to cancer, Tobacco dependency, Labour Pains, Earache, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis and Obesity. However, it isn’t certain whether acupuncture actually works for these conditions.
Some other health benefits of acupuncture treatments are having better sleep, more energy, less stress and improved digestion. These are more side effects that come as a result of having acupuncture rather than being the reason people use it.
How Often Do You Need Acupuncture
This varies a lot depending on the condition. People with more severe conditions may have to have acupuncture 1-2 times every week. Whereas if the condition isn’t as severe they may treat you once every two weeks or maybe even less frequent than that. It’s best to discuss this with your acupuncturist as they are the ones treating you. No harm can be done through being treated to often.
If you start having acupuncture for whatever condition, it’s unlikely that it would be solved in the first session. You may have to keep returning for future sessions. Try to make sure that you stick with all of your booked sessions to maximise your chances of being treated successfully. To really see the health benefits of acupuncture treatment you need to keep attending sessions until your acupuncturist says you’re done.
How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?
The cost of acupuncture treatment tends to change depending on where you go. Usually, you would be looking at about £45-£80 for your first session. Then the rest of the sessions would be a bit cheaper, somewhere around the £30-£50 price range. The reason the first session is a bit more expensive is that it takes a bit longer. Often Acupuncturists may offer you a cheaper price if you buy your sessions in bulk, rather then each session separately. Just ask if they have any special offers on when you go in.
Does Acupuncture have side effects?
Unfortunately, as opposed to the great health benefits of acupuncture treatment, it does have some negative side effects. I mentioned earlier about some of the side effects of acupuncture. These were the ones that tend to actually benefit you. However, it is worth taking into consideration that some of the side effects aren’t always beneficial. Here is a list of some of the negative side effects.
You may feel sore or have some bruising.
Often after people have received acupuncture and the needles are removed people can be left with a bit of soreness. In most cases, the soreness wears off after around 24 hours. This is completely normal and should be something to worry about. People may also experience some bruising from acupuncture, this is believed to be a direct result of having the needle pressed into the skin, causing a hematoma. But again, this isn’t anything to concern yourself with.
Many people can feel completely exhausted after having acupuncture. If you experience this the best thing you can do is just rest. It tends to just be the relaxing effect of the acupuncture lingering on after the session. This usually results in people waking up the next day with a lot of energy.
People can experience some lightheadedness, or dizziness after receiving acupuncture. This doesn’t usually last more than an hour and doesn’t tend to be too bad. It may make you feel a bit uncomfortable.
If you experience any symptoms and you are concerned about it, contact the acupuncturist who treated you. If they are good at what they do they’ll be more than happy to help you out with any side effects that you may have.
Different Types of Acupuncture
Not many people are aware of this but there several different types of acupuncture. This is because over the last 2000 years acupuncture has adapted as it has moved across difficult cultures. The health benefits of acupuncture treatment change a little bit with each type of acupuncture. Here is a list of some other popular types of acupuncture.
This is very similar to acupuncture except they don’t use needles. They instead use massage techniques to stimulate the acupuncture points. This form of acupuncture is widely used around the world.
Again this is also similar but rather than using needles they send small amounts of electricity to stimulate the acupuncture points.
Trigger point Acupuncture
This form of acupuncture still uses a needle. The idea is to stimulate muscles (trigger points) to remove pain and knots which are causing people a great deal of pain.
This method works by stimulating the ear and sending signals to the brain. They use either needles or small amounts of electricity to perform this kind of treatment.
There are many other forms of acupuncture but mostly they all seem to hold the same concept. Which is to stimulate an area to help relieve pain and other symptoms. Many countries over the years have used acupuncture because of its brilliant success rate. Some of these countries have changed things a little bit to adapt to their own culture or to just try to and advance the healing that acupuncture can provide.
Acupuncture is a truly fascinating form of healing, I would recommend it to anyone who is suffering from any of the problems listed in this article. If you have a type of illness or a pain somewhere then contact your local acupuncturist and see if they could help you.
It may seem a bit pricey for some people but if it benefits your health then it has to be worth it. You can’t put a price on health. We really hope that you have learned something on the health benefits of acupuncture treatment.
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Thank you for reading
Author: James Burch
James is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves to try and help people. He writes from both knowledge and experience to give people guidance in all areas of health and fitness.