You’ve probably heard of acupuncture and perhaps have friends or family members who have undergone acupuncture treatment. Though this ancient form of Chinese medicine has been around for a few thousand years, it has only recently gained wider acceptance and understanding in the United States. Today, many seeking relief from back and neck pain turn to healthcare professionals who perform acupuncture.
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So, what is it, exactly?
Two kinds of acupuncture exist. Japanese acupuncture is based on the understanding that a vital energy (qi, pronounced “chee”) flows through the human body along meridians that connect more than 2,000 points. Chinese traditional medicine based acupuncture combines the practice with herbal treatments and is less focused on the movement of energy. Other theories also exist.
Very thin, strictly regulated metallic filiform acupuncture needles (no wider than the diameter of a human hair) are inserted strategically at groups of these points. Stimulating the central nervous system by means of acupuncture causes certain chemicals to be released, alleviating back pain and/or neck pain and providing both a physical and emotional uplifting effect. More specifically, acupuncture:
- Stimulates the 2,000 points of the body that are considered electromagnetic conductors in an effort to bring about a flow of endorphins
- Changes the secretion of chemicals from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, reducing pain
- Has a correlative relationship to improved immune functioning as documented in studies
- Stimulates the release of opioids, analgesic brain chemicals that help reduce pain
How does it feel to get acupuncture?
Your experience with acupuncture will be unique to you, but most who have this treatment will feel a tingling sensation or they’ll feel notably relaxed or energized. The tip of an acupuncture needle is actually designed for painless insertion: it comes to a smooth rather than a sharp point. The needles vary in length, and these lengths are intended for various areas of the body. Also, needles are inserted into or sometimes along and under the skin on the surface of the body. Your practitioner may also use the“cupping” component of acupuncture on you: heated cups are placed on the skin as a way to catalyze the movement of blood to the epidermis.
Find out more by contacting us.
We can discuss your needs and determine a treatment plan – one that may include acupuncture – to get you back on the road to whole body health.