Acupuncture – is it Right for You?

With all the prescription drugs on the market today, many alternate remedies are forgotten. Acupuncture is one of these remedies. It’s many uses have been said to cure headaches, help with postoperative pain, and many other ailments. Many of which, most people aren’t aware of.

What is acupuncture, exactly? Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines it as “an orig. Chinese practice of puncturing the body (as with needles) at specific points to cure disease or relieve pain (as in surgery).” Acupuncture is said to treat and even prevent pain and illness. There are many views and opinions on the practice of acupuncture. It’s obviously not for everyone. Some who’ve had it performed on them claim it did absolutely nothing, while others call it a miracle.

There are many uses of acupuncture. It’s been used to treat respiratory illness such as bronchitis and asthma, eye problems such as cataracts, mouth pain, gastrointestinal discomfort, neurological and musculoskeletal pain, as well as many others. Acupuncture has even been used to help with addictions, insomnia, anxiety and stress.

How does acupuncture actually work? Fine needles are inserted into various parts of the body, most of which are associated with a particular organ. There are many points on the body where needles can be inserted to get the desired effect. While acupuncture wasn’t originally meant to treat symptoms such as pain and nausea, it has been found that some points in the body do relieve such pain.

Acupuncture was used in ancient times to ensure the health of unborn children, and still is today. The use of acupuncture during pregnancy is fairly common, even today. The recommendation is that the mother receive the treatment once a month during gestation to ensure the health of herself and her unborn child. The point located below the calf muscle and above the ankle bone is called the Zhubin point. Stimulating this point is supposed to minimize the toxins to be transmitted from mother to child, as well as increase the health of the baby along with it’s resistance to disease. The last month of pregnancy, to prepare for labor and delivery, the mother is to be treated weekly. Acupuncture is also used to relieve extra stress and tension experienced with pregnant women.

When a client comes to an acupuncturist with the complaint of digestive problems, the first thing the acupuncturist will do is ask all kinds of questions about their digestion. Finding the root of the problem is the first step to treating the symptoms. Over the counter medications such as antacids treat only the obvious symptoms, without finding the cause. Acupuncture can establish the real problem and help return all digestion back to normal.

It’s been shown that acupuncture triggers a production and release of steroids and endorphins. Natural steroids in the body control inflammation, while endorphins help relieve pain. Acupuncture can decrease the need for pain medications or other prescriptions that can prolong the pain, as well as cause unwanted side effects. Acupuncture is a much safer and less costly solution to pain relief.

It is yet uncertain why or how acupuncture actually works, just that in some cases, it does. It’s been shown that acupuncture has an influence on central and peripheral nervous systems. Acupuncture has been shown to alter the way the stomach functions, and even influence sugar and cholesterol levels.

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