Acupuncture :Understanding What the Needle Poke Can Evoke
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You’ve probably heard about it through friends, or seen Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston reap the benefits of this traditional healing technique. But you may still be wondering, “Can those needles really help me?”.
Acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a process where extremely thin needles are placed on various pressure points throughout the body, then stimulated manually or electrically. Acupuncture aims to realignQi(pronounced “Chi”) which is the energy flowing through the body. The Ancient healing practice has undergone significant scrutiny for several years. Recently, however, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that acupuncture was more effective than placebo in improving shoulder, arthritis, and headache pain.
Acupuncture has also been shown to help improve outcomes with some of the following common problems:
Chronic Stress:Acupuncture may help mediate stress and its’ long term effects on the body. The Journal of Endocrinology published an animal study which demonstrated decreased stress hormone levels in those subjects that received acupuncture vs. those that received placebo. Moderating stress levels is extremely important in a healthy lifestyle. Chronic stress has been associated with heart disease and obesity.
Nausea:Suffering from nausea can be extremely debilitating. The positive effects of acupuncture on nausea were reported several years ago, and this was one of the first indications reported in the medical literature. It has specifically shown promise for chemotherapy induced nausea, and nausea occurring during early pregnancy.
Headaches:For individuals troubled by chronic migraines Acupuncture has shown benefit in long-term headache reduction. One study found that individuals who received treatment over three months had significantly fewer headaches, reported improved quality of life, and over a year had an average 22 fewer days with headaches.
When searching for a provider near you, remember to look for a certified, and adequately trained professional. A qualified practitioner can be found here: www.nccaom.org. Individuals commonly fear the needles used for acupuncture, however they are extremely thin, and flexible and most report minimal or no pain when they are inserted. The most common side effects include soreness and bruising. Rare side effects include bleeding, infection, and pneumothorax. If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, or other health concerns acupuncture may provide more benefit than you think. Take the time to find a licensed provider that you feel comfortable with and you may be surprised by the benefits.
Have you tried acupuncture? Did it help you? Leave me a comment about your experience.
Video: How does the Acupuncturist manage infection control? - Dr. Arun Kumar K G
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