Learn More About Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been around for roughly 3000 years as a powerful natural tool against pain. In fact, the National Institute of Health has documentation on record showing that acupuncture can be effective against certain conditions. Some of those conditions include arthritis, persistent lower back pain, herniated discs, etc.
How Does it Work?
Acupuncture helps propel the body’s self-healing mechanisms by stimulating specific parts that have over the centuries been identified as “acupoints” or “acupuncture points”; it, in essence, enhances normally-autonomous anatomic and physiological functions.
Strategic stimulation of these acupoints is customarily achieved by inserting special, sterile, and painlessly-thin needles.
Electrical stimulation, heat or pressure can also be used to enhance the process. Additional stimulation techniques for the acupuncture points may include:
Heat therapy or moxibustion
Applying topical ointments & herbal medicines, and
These FDA-approved needles used in acupuncture are not reusable, which helps guard against the spreading of disease or complications and side-effects that might otherwise abound.
During the placement of the super-thin, usually-painless needles, there may be a “pinching” sensation. The sensation may feel differently to each person, but it is in most cases negligible or, at worst, mildly stimulating.
One of the advantages to acupuncture for the treatment of stiffness and pain is that results are often felt soon after each session. Additionally, it’s safer, in general, to get on-going, regularly-scheduled acupuncture treatment sessions than it is to keep taking painkilling chemicals with almost-impossible-to-escape complications & side-effects.
You may, of course, consult with a doctor for any concerns or questions you may have; it’s preferable, though, if you if seek the advice of a physician familiar with this type of well-established, highly-scrutinized traditional, holistic Oriental medicine.
Is Dry Needling For You?
One now-highly-popular tool used against muscular pain is “dry needling.” During this procedure, several relatively short, stainless steel, fine filiform needles are inserted into selected areas of your body. Because these needles don’t have any hollow parts capable of injecting any fluids into the skin, they are called “dry.”
Acupuncture specialists insert these needles into selected trigger sites on muscles (why this type of treatment is often labeled “intramuscular stimulation”) or other types of tissue. The selected areas of the muscle are often found to be “hard” or “knotted.”
Dry needling is reported to relieve such symptoms, as well as the accompanying spasms, pain, and discomfort. Acupuncturists may leave the needles in place for between 10 to 30 minutes.
A Comparison of Dry Needling & Acupuncture
Each of these modalities can be effective against pain. Dry needling is often imparted by not only acupuncturists but also by naturopaths and physiotherapists and is a popular treatment for myofascial dysfunction or pain.
Acupuncture, one of several holistic healing practices of ancient Chinese medicine, revolves around redirecting the positive side of natural internal energy (a.k.a., the “Qi”) in order relieve pain and related symptoms/conditions.
What Is Acupuncture Ideally Suited to Treat?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has determined, after reviewing several different studies, that acupuncture can be an effective tool against chronic pain, including the neck and back varieties, headaches, knee pain, and the type imparted by osteoarthritis. Acupuncture may also be effective against (possibly even preventing) migraines, as well as tension headaches.
In fact, case-controlled, formal clinical studies have confirmed that acupuncture may be a viable, effective medical option for the treatment of:
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Craniomandibular diseases & other painful facial disorders
- Postoperative pain
- Periarthritis of the joints (including the shoulders)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
Are You A Good Candidate For Acupuncture?
- You may be ideally suited for acupuncture if the following criteria, considerations, and situations apply to you:
- You suffer from pain on an ongoing basis, even though you may not know the exact source of or causes thereof.
- Diagnosing the source of pain is only half the battle; you then have to find relatively safe, inexpensive and effective ways to control, manage and/or reduce the pain.
- You don’t want to get addicted to or succumb to the many potential complications and side-effects that can often accompany chemically-based pain relief options.
- Conventional medicine pain management options aren’t doing as good a job as you expect or desire.
- You want to avail yourself (or at least be fully informed about) all the viable, relatively-safe, generally effective and affordable pain management/reduction options available to the public.
- You know someone that has benefited (without incurring any harmful side-effects) from acupuncture; sometimes, the best referrals come from people who can personally vouch for a treatment option. Doctors can explain the science behind something but people who’ve tried acupuncture can tell you how the treatment actually felt and, more importantly, whether it helped significantly.
- You have finally realized that, although health experts may be around to advise you on the different treatment options, it’s up to you to decide what is ultimately best for your health. Besides, it isn’t just a question of how a condition or set of symptoms are most often treated but, instead, what are the safest, most affordable, and most recommended options out there.