Chiropractor Chandler AZ
For the millions of people who live with pain, acupuncture is no longer an unusual treatment option. It's now widely accepted among the medical community and popular among patients as well. In addition to pain management, this alternative medicine technique is used to treat a wide range of other conditions and often used in combination with other treatment options.What Is Acupuncture?
A holistic health technique, acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which can be traced back at least 2,500 years. According to TCM, there is a natural energy flow (Qi) through the body that is essential for health. Disruptions of this energy flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture is a technique used to restore the natural flow of energy in the body by activating its own self-healing.
Acupuncture is considered a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin using a variety of techniques. There are different approaches to diagnosis and treatment in American acupuncture that incorporate practices from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. However, the most common method involves penetration of the skin by thin, sold metallic needles that are manipulated by electrical stimulation (electroacupuncture) or manually.Why Should I Try Acupuncture?
Many people use acupuncture as part of a holistic healthcare plan, or when their condition does not respond well to allopathic medicine. Some patients seek acupuncture as a natural and drug-free approach to pain treatment. Oftentimes, pharmaceuticals can have several adverse side effects while acupuncture does not have any of these same side effects.
Acupuncture treatments help people with more than just pain, and people have found improvement with acupuncture for:
Like the yin yang symbol, your body needs to be in harmony. Yin and yang have opposite effects but work together. When there is too much of one, it counteracts the other, and this impedes the flow of energy.
There are 14 meridians, or energy channels, in the body that are associated with the yin and yang organs:
Each channel has specific points where thin acupuncture needles can be inserted to restore balance. Some channels have more points than others. The needles are inserted into specific points on different channels depending on which area of the body is being treated.
Acupuncture points are generally located where nerves enter a muscle, the midpoint of a muscle, or where the muscle connects to the bone.
Imbalance in your acupuncture meridian system can disrupt your muscles, organs, circulation, and cause other problems. Identifying these meridian system imbalances is critical to restoring your body's ability to function.How Do Acupuncture Treatments Work?
Blending aspects of Eastern and Western approaches to medicine, each practitioner has their own unique style. To determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will help you the most, your practitioner may ask you about your symptoms, behaviors, and lifestyle as treatments vary based on the condition. They may also examine:
An acupuncture treatment involves three steps:
During an acupuncture treatment, it's a good idea to wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes, as most of the points that will be needled are on the arms, legs, and back.
Each individual's response to acupuncture is unique. Some people notice a vast improvement immediately. Others may need more sessions because acupuncture has a collective effect on the body. Most patients should feel confident that the acupuncture is effective after six visits and acute conditions can be resolved.
Generally speaking, once your symptoms are gone treatment is no longer necessary. Some chronic conditions may require future treatments if they flare up. Chronic conditions usually take longer. Most conditions should be treated in 12-15 visits, excluding longstanding conditions such as smoking.
The most common type of acupuncture is called manual acupuncture, which is when the needles pierce your skin. The needles are hollow and so slender that you should not feel them at all during insertion or removal.
Any discomfort usually goes away after insertion of the needle. If the discomfort continues, the needle will be removed.
Sometimes there is a slight tingling sensation upon insertion that only lasts for a short period. This is thought to be the point where the needle has reached the "Qi" or energy point on the channel.
Sometimes you may bleed a few drops after removal of the needles. That is a good sign in TCM, as your bad or stagnant "Qi" has been released.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture has fewer side effects than most prescribed and over-the-counter medications you might take.
The side effects that do happen as a result of acupuncture are minor. The needles may hurt when they are inserted into your skin, but if this does happen, it won't last for more than a few seconds. You may also bleed a little bit. Rarely, patients have nausea and vomiting as well as headaches, but these side effects usually don't last more than a day.
Acupuncture is safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the equipment and requires trained professionals to use each needle only once. Alcohol is used to sterilize the area of the body to minimize the risk of infection. The needles used are disposable, pre-packaged filiform made for one-time use. After use, the needles are disposed of in a hazardous waste container.
Clean and sterile needles make sure that more serious side effects like infection with HIV or hepatitis B won't happen.
Combining Acupuncture With Other Treatment Options
Oftentimes, your practitioner will suggest combining acupuncture with another related treatment. Depending on your treatment goals, they may suggest:
For individuals looking for a holistic treatment option, acupuncture provides pain relief for a variety of symptoms. It revolves around the premise of using the body's natural energy flow to promote self-healing.
Each individual's response to acupuncture is unique. Some people notice a vast improvement immediately while others may need additional sessions. However, most patients should feel confident that the acupuncture is effective after six visits, and acute conditions can be resolved.
For more information or treatment options in Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Mesa AZ visit our clinic or call 480.812.1800.