We’re confident that you’ve heard of acupuncture, but do you know where it comes from?The study and practice of acupuncture and acupressure have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years and is an ancient healing technique. Acupressure and acupuncture apply the same principles, but acupressure uses pressure points instead of needles…
Pros and Cons of Acupuncture
When something starts bothering your health and standard medications do not seem to work, you may seek other forms of treatment, such as acupuncture. This procedure from ancient Chinese medicine is finally becoming mainstream. Explore the good and the bad of this alternative treatment to see if it might work for you.
Participants experience few side effects
If you have ever taken medication for an illness, your pharmacist may have told you about the side effects. Some side effects are rare, while others are common. When you took the medication, you may have experienced the more common side effects, potentially leaving you feeling lethargic, bloated and sick.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture patients experience very few side effects. The most common is a reaction at the site due to needle misplacement. You may opt to forego medication with its side effects in favor of acupuncture if it provides the same relief.
The treatment often leaves people feeling energized
Acupuncture stimulates various points in the body that are believed to house "qi" or energy. It is the clearing of blockages in qi that mystics believed healed people. Today, modern acupuncturists target the sites in the body that help stimulate healing. Some of these are pressure-point areas. After treatment, people report feeling more awake and stimulated than before the session.
It is used in conjunction with typical medical plans
Chronic conditions, like back or musculoskeletal conditions, often involve a combination of medications and physical therapy to keep the pain at a minimum. Doctors have begun prescribing acupuncture as a part of treatment plans to give patients the most chance at finding relief for painful conditions.
There is the possibility of infection
Because acupuncture involves needles, there is the possibility of transmitting germs that leave you with an infection. The needles should be properly sterilized the same as other medical equipment to avoid this. Infections may originate on the skin and not the needle.
Improper placement can cause pain
Acupuncturists have their own individual techniques. While there is a standard of care, as in other medical practices, there are differing methods of achieving that standard. One nurse may administer a shot differently than another, and the same goes for acupuncturists. If the needles get inserted properly, there should be little to no pain.
It takes time to feel relief
Acupuncture does not provide instant relief of symptoms. It may take a course of treatment lasting three months before you recognize any positive effect from the practice. During this time, you may have to attend sessions multiple times a week, which can be disruptive to your life.
Like many medical treatments, acupuncture has good and bad features. If you experience a condition that your doctor believes may be helped by this practice, review what the pros and cons are. With a minimal likelihood of side effects or adverse reaction, it can be something worth trying.
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