One of the greatest forms of alternative medicine is acupuncture. Used commonly throughout Asia, this controversial treatment involves placing thin needles into the pressure points of the body. It has been known to treat a wide variety of conditions and many swear by the ancient practice. There are many clinicians that practice this form of therapy in the United States, though it is typically used alongside a standard treatment also. Some refer to it as pseudoscience, as there is really no scientific knowledge that backs the legitimacy of this method. However, many people who have had chronic conditions and have been in debilitating pain are putting down the prescription bottles and turning to this radical form of treatment. Chinese Acupuncture and moxibustion is feared by many because the insertion of needles makes them uneasy. Though many say there is little to no sensation when the needle inters the body.
What Can Be Expected During The Sessions
Though Acupuncture is known to treat a great variety of problems, typically those who seek this type of assistance have some sort of musculoskeletal problems. The typical patient will have lower back pain, stiffness in their shoulders or knee pain. It’s not considered to be a cure and other treatment methods are encouraged. Before each session, the practitioner does a consultation by checking the pulse in both of the arms and inspecting the tongue. The first time can take up to an hour. However, each subsequent visit shouldn’t be any more than half an hour. The frequency of the visits is decided upon by progress. A treatment plan can be anywhere from 6-12 procedures, and one session is never sufficient. Anywhere from 5-20 needles can be inserted into the body. The needles are left inside for 10-20 minutes. The most common conditions treatment with Acupuncture and Moxibustion are:
- Headaches and Migraines
- Fertility and Childbirth
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatological conditions
The Sanitary Nature of The Practice
For those who are concerned about safety and contamination, the needles are mostly disposable and not used on more than one person. Though some practitioners will use the ones that can be sterilized, it is frowned upon these days. These needles are small, flexible and made of stainless steel. The needles are anywhere from .51 to 5.12 inches in length. The shorter needles are reserved for delicate areas, like around the eyes. The longer needles are meant to go into thicker tissues that are harder to penetrate. If there is a great deal of fat cells to break through, the thicker needles are typically preferred. The needles are not super sharp, as that can cause breakage. However, a needle that has a blunt tip will cause more pain when inserted. The pain is minimal and the results are usually better than most patients had hoped for.