The theory of Acupuncture
1. A brief Overview
Acupuncture is possibly one of the most renowned alternative medical techniques. It has been quoted to be highly effective in treating a wide range of medical conditions. Yet, this fact remains to be a highly-debated one.
Though many people are not aware, the truth is that acupuncture treatment has a rich legacy behind it. This form of alternative medicine has actually been developed in China almost hundred decades ago and it has been widely practiced in China. There is also plethora of ancient accounts which state that acupuncture has also been prevalent in Europe for almost hundred long years or so. However, Acupuncture started becoming highly popular in the Western world only until the latter half of the 20th century. Acupuncture is regarded as 0ne of the most popular systems of alternative medicine that is highly proficient in various places like the United States, Canada, and various parts of Europe as well.
Irrespective of having such kind of popularity and prominence in various parts of the globe, several common questions about acupuncture still continue to exist. It is highly important that these wide ranges of questions are addressed and appropriate justifications offered, so that awareness among people to consider Acupuncture as an effective form of alternative medicine increases.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture treatment does not happen in one visit to the therapist or the practitioner who is actually called the acupuncturist. Essentially, acupuncture treatment is spread across number of sessions. Sessions of Acupuncture treatment might be from half hour to one hour in length and quite a few prescribed acupuncture treatments might be 12 sessions in total.
These sessions are commenced with the patients following the directions provided by the acupuncturist. Most often than not, patients seeking acupuncture treatments are asked to lie down, either keeping their face upwards or downwards. There also exist a few occasions in which patients would need to lie to their side. The direction in which the patient is asked to lie down precisely depends on the place on the body where the acupuncture needles are required to be positioned.
When the needles are position in certain parts of the body depending on the symptoms, patients experience a painless sensation to some extent. The patients will have the needles inserted in their body for approximately 20 minutes. In some instances, either heat or electricity is also applied to the needle after inserting it into patient's body in order to stimulate the system. Single-use sterile needles are the ones that Acupuncturists use. These needles are actually to be disposed right after their usage is over.
Acupuncture – How does it work?
The fundamental notion associated with the process of acupuncture is quite easy to comprehend. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, human body is full of a number of meridians. These meridians precisely serve as paths of vital force. The functioning of Acupuncture is insertion of needles through the skin reaching these meridian points. This commendably alters the energy flow within the meridians, and eventually the vital energy of the body is redirected to produce the anticipated outome.
2. Acupuncture – Action Mechanisms
Synopsis of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is actually an age-old oriental medicine that originated in China and was also popular in various other parts of the world like Canada, and Europe apart from China. The primary notion upon which Acupuncture is based is that the vital force that is present in the human body flows through the entire system within fixed paths which are called meridians or channels.
Acupuncturists, the practitioners of Acupuncture, essentially assess the course and distribution of this 'vital force’ and accordingly modify it in order to make sure that sufficient amount of "flow" reaches the appropriate place in the body eventually at the appropriate time. This age old system has been established to stimulate wellness of the body and in due course of the treatment lessen pain and anguish. Acupoints are the points in the human body that are present along the meridians. In acupuncture, the Acupoints are stimulated to encourage curing. Conventionally, acupuncture is done with the use of needles that are fine and slender. However, the stimulation of Acupoints in the modern day practice of acupuncture comprise of a number of alternative methods that encompass electrical energy, lasers, natural herbs and also magnets.
Mechanisms of Acupuncture
As already mentioned above, Acupoints essentially act towards stimulating the central nervous system of the body eventually discharging a few chemicals into various important parts of the body like brain, the spinal cord, and also the muscles. The chemicals thus discharged work either by modifying the pain experience or by giving out other chemicals and hormones which might have a better influence on the various self-regulating systems of the human body.
All these biochemical reactions are assumed to be promoting overall wellness and health through the process of stimulating the natural healing abilities that every human body contains.
Acupuncture precisely works on three fundamental principles as listed below:
- Transference of electromagnetic indications: Acupoints are supposed to be strategic conductors of electromagnetic signs. When these points are stimulated, the electromagnetic signals are transmitted through the entire body at a rate that is extremely faster than the pace under normal situations. These electromagnetic signals start the flow of immune system cells, endorphins, and various other biochemicals that act as pain-killer to all those parts of the body that are susceptible to disease or in pain.
- Instigation of opioid systems: Acupoints also are believed to stimulate the discharge of a number of opioids into the body’s central nervous system, thus minimizing pain.
- Variations in sense, responsiveness, brain vibes and instinctive functions or reflexes in the body: Acupuncture, by way of giving out neurohormones and neurotransmitters, precisely modifies the chemistry of the human brain. Moreover, various other parts of the central nervous system which are associated with sense and reflex are also affected. Furthermore, this treatment is also believed to affect those courses which act as regulator of the flow of blood within the body, blood pressure, and the temperature of the body.
Although the effects of this alternative therapy are occasionally too elusive to notice and recognize, improvements are more apparent after the completion of about 5 or 10 sessions. If the treatment is given by a qualified and experienced acupuncturist, this form of treatment is extremely safe and effective.
3. The Clinical Practice of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is increasingly becoming popular world over these days. Acupuncture and other related techniques are highly useful tools that help in the treatment of a wide spectrum of medical disorders. However, there are quite a few controversial areas that are still linked to the medical stream of acupuncture and this has resulted in the actual acupuncture mechanisms not being totally clear. Another incapacitating factor with respect to Acupuncture is the lack of a convincing model of pretense acupuncture treatments for a regulator group in areas of clinical prosecutions. Thus, there are still unsuitable preconceptions and unacquainted notions with respect to the field of acupuncture.
Clinical Practice of Acupuncture
Typically, in clinical practice, acupuncture treatment is normally extremely individualized and is reliant on ideological concepts and also independent and instinctual impressions, rather than being dependent on precise scientific exploration. In contemporary China, this stream of alternative medication has high levels of prominence in terms of medicine as this form of treatment is regarded to be so effective and safe that even major surgical procedures are at times done without any other forms of anesthesia apart from acupuncture treatment.
At present, every session of acupuncture is actually commenced with the acupuncturist taking the pulse of the client on both the arms as well as the examination of the tongue in order to get a clear picture of what is happening within the client’s body. The entire session of acupuncture precisely ranges between 15 minutes to approximately 2 hours. The duration of the session essentially depends on the specific part of the body that is being treated by the acupuncture therapy. As far as the payment for a single session is concerned, in the United States, the payment was close to $20 to $100. These rates were during the year 2011 in precise.
Irrespective of there still being a plethora of serious concerns regarding acupuncture treatment, this stream of alternative therapy is increasingly becoming globally renowned especially in the western world, where acupuncture treatment is predominantly used for controlling pain and also for relieving symptoms of the illness, like for instance nausea which is a side effect that is caused due to drugs used during chemotherapy, but which is not the complete cure of the disease in essence. Acupuncture, most often than not, is being highly sought after for the mitigation of distressing pains like back pain where the continuous and inexorable use of painkillers can result in other side effects like irritation in the stomach or in extremely austere cases prolonged dependency on analgesic drugs.
Challenges faced by Acupuncturists
- Unable to get sufficient foot falls of new patients at the clinic
- The need to put in too much of effort and end up earning too little
- having patients dismiss their treatment plan ahead of time without proper intimation to the acupuncturist
- Teaching patients in order to make them understand the complete and ultimate benefit and potential of the offerings of the acupuncture treatment.
Despite of the presence of so many challenges and concerns regarding this particular alternative therapy, it is a widely agreed fact that acupuncture is extremely safe when the treatment is administered by highly experienced and qualified acupuncturists.
4. Acupuncture and its effectiveness
Acupuncture is a type of treatment used for curing pains.
- It is a very effective treatment.
- Pains will be cured very promptly.
- It is discovered in china 2500 years ago.
- In this they use sticking needles to ease pain and they tell many hand points connected to the internal organs.
The increasing costs and serious side effects of the conventional medicines are motivating people to seek alternative therapies and treatment methods now-a-days. It has been observed that, there have been a few cases occasionally though, where people more by conventional medications rather than being helped. Eventually, the reputation of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and treatments are increasing day by day. In the last few years or so, acupuncture as an alternative medicine has also garnered immense popularity and is developing as one of the most prominent CAM practices not just in the United States but also in a variety of other places world over.
Acupuncture’s Traditional Philosophy
While elucidating the basic notion of acupuncture, ancient Chinese literatures present the conception of balance of two varied forms of energies, namely the Yin and Yang that are present within the human body. Acupuncture essentially believes that the human body comprises of 365 points and all the 365 points are coupled through 12 different channels. These channels are called by the name meridians beneath, that are ultimately linked to the various organs present within the body. 'Qi' flows through all these 12 channels and alongside with the course of blood and biological fluids and ultimately creates the two forms of energy namely the Yin and Yang. It is believed that the appropriate proportion of both these energy helps in the maintaining proper wellness of the human body. Acupuncture regards that any kind of symptoms associated with the organs of the body to be a result of these both these energy and in due course attempts to treat the symptoms by pricking needles at various of the relevant points on the body for stimulating them and to aide in these two forms of energy attain a balance.
Uses of Acupuncture
The primary benefit of using acupuncture in the contemporary use is in the relief of pain. For instance headaches with sever pain, migraine, severe back aches, pains in shoulder and neck, aches in the legs, injuries related to the muscles, surgical depression, injuries related to sports, pain related to menstrual cycle, tennis elbow, aches of the teeth, pains in the abdomen, etc.
Normally, a wide majority of people respond extremely positively to the treatment of acupuncture as they feel a sense of well-being and relaxation and also able to get good amount of sleep extremely well and in general feel a lot of energy boost within the body and also have improved digestion. Due to acupuncture being a treatment that uses only natural techniques, people very seldom suffer from any kind of side effects. It can also be suggested for people of all age groups, ranging from the elderly people to young children.
5. Safety and Precautions to be taken with Acupuncture Treatment
A brief overview
Acupuncture, an ancient therapy which originated from China, encompasses insertion of extremely fine needles into a few specific points within the human body. These points are positioned alongside the undetectable lines called the "meridians", each of which is considered to be couple with a system through the various organs. It is believed that by stimulating these specific points, acupuncturists tend to unclog the flow of vital force named "Qi” through the meridians and restore complete wellness of the body.
Acupuncture has been famous as an alternative therapy in China for more than 5,000 years and is, most often than not, used to encourage healing of various illnesses like back pain, acute headache, slipped disk, and arthritis while also helping people who are struggling to get rid of addictions.
Safety Precautions for acupuncture
Even though acupuncture is largely regarded as a safe treatment, it might occasionally result in dizziness, bleeding within the organ where the needle was inserted, dermatitis, damage of the nerves, and / or intensified pain. These kinds of side effects occur when the acupuncture treatment is not administered properly. If people would want to seek the treatment of acupuncture for the relief of chronic diseases like cancer or any other serious ailments, it is important to first consult the doctor and find out about how a professional acupuncture is done.
Possible, yet rare risks associated with Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is normally an extremely safe method of treatment with regard to body pains, but safety exists only when the treatment is administered by a well-trained and experienced practitioner. Quite a few times, acupuncture treatment is extremely relaxing and offers complete wellness ultimately. One major advantage with acupuncture is that a disease can get treated while the therapy or treatment is being offered for some other ailment. This is the most interesting aspect and also a side effect, which is positive, of acupuncture.
Quite a few of the side effects of acupuncture are essentially a result of inappropriate or inexperienced acupuncturist. There actually exists zero or negligible amount of pain when the insertion of needles into the body takes place. However, in cases where an acupuncturist makes use of a non-sterile needle for treatment, there are likelihoods of infections to happen in the body. Occasionally, in extremely rare cases, there are chances when the disease might worsen and also sometimes it might so happen that the patient might become unconsciousness. In general, responses like vomiting, sweating or dizziness might occur. However, these kinds of symptoms do not cause any sort of harm to the patient in the long-term and they are just for a short period of time after completion of a session of acupuncture.
Tips to reduce acupuncture side effects
- It is better to avoid insertion of needles in a few areas like the tummy and lumbosacral area, specifically for women who are pregnant.
- Likewise, it is good to avoid needle pricks into blood vessels.
- Acupoints that are present in the parts like back and chest should be pricked with great care as organs might get injured in the process.