What is Acupuncture? Benefits for Health
Acupuncture has been a method of care in Asia for thousands of years. On the other hand, western cultures view acupuncture as a new alternative treatment. Though it seems mysterious to many, the practice has been around for over 5,000 years.
What is the Theory Behind Acupuncture?
Cultures that utilize acupuncture believe that the body has channels of energy. This energy is known as “Qi”. Qi is believed to be the balance of total health: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Qi consists of two parts, known as Yin and Yang. They work in combination with Qi to keep the body in balance.
The Qi energy travels through channels or “meridians” in the body. There are a total of 14 meridians, which correspond with the areas and functions of the body. If any of these channels become unbalanced or obstructed, Qi cannot flow and illness can occur.
What is Acupuncture?
To put it simply, acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin’s surface. The needles are placed into channels or meridians that may be unbalanced. Each meridian is believed to have an effect on different areas or functions of the body. Depending on what is being treated, acupuncture will be performed on the corresponding meridian.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Though there are several different ideas, scientists do not know exactly how acupuncture works. However, studies show that it does work in treating pain, illness, and emotional problems. Some compare it to a computer system, saying that the entrance of the needle sends a signal to the brain to repair that area. The majority of explanations note the stimulation of nerves and the nervous system.
Most importantly, we must remember that the whole idea of acupuncture revolves around the body’s energy, Qi. Repairing the flow of Qi brings a balanced and healthy body. That is the answer to the question.
What Conditions are Treated by Acupuncture?
Like all treatments, acupuncture is not a guaranteed cure. It can be viewed as a reliable treatment used to relieve symptoms, pain, and to restore emotional health. It is used to treat diseases of the muscles, ulcers, asthma, strokes, circulatory problems, blood pressure problems, and addictions, etc. The lists of diseases can almost endlessly go on. This is because treatment to the affected channels overtime can relieve or lessen the pain as well as the symptoms.
As with all types of care, research should be done about the benefits acupuncture can have for you and your condition. The decision to try acupuncture should be an educated one with the help of a qualified acupuncturist.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Lots of people turn to acupuncture treatments in the world today. Acupuncture is part of the national health systems of Eastern countries such as China, Japan or Korea. It begins to gain the trust of the medical profession in Western countries and in some of them can only be made by medical doctors.
Acupuncture has become an area of ?? work for so many people in the West and due to the absence of regulation, began to be practiced by people without training to do so. Lack of training of many professionals makes many people, who can benefit from acupuncture, not resort to it.
In this article, I give some advice on how to seek an acupuncturist professional and have security in the choice we have made.
The needles are sterilized and disposable? This is a major concern that any patient should have when they resort to acupuncture treatments.
Generally, the needles are disposable (after first time application and are placed in special containers).
Beware of clinics that sell boxes of needles for patient safety. This is a strategy to earn extra money by making the patient pay more for needles.
Talk to your acupuncturist about concerns you have about the safety of acupuncture treatments. Be assertive and not afraid to place your doubts. In this case, you are interested in whether the skin will be disinfected or not.
Good practice involves skin disinfection with alcohol on the places where acupuncture is to be made.
I’ve read reports of professionals in Brazil who do not disinfect the skin because it affected the “energy circuit”.
As we have seen the sterilization of needles is important. The needles should be sterilized and disposable.
Another important aspect is the sterilization of suction cups. Almost no acupuncture clinic that I know, sterilize cups. The suction cups not infrequently come into contact with the patient’s blood. Most acupuncture clinics that I know do not sterilize the cups.
As a patient and if the acupuncturist will then propose this treatment make sure that the cups are sterilized. Otherwise refuse to do the treatment.
Almost no one pays attention to this aspect. I use gloves when I do acupuncture. In the absence of gloves, I use cotton to avoid direct contact with the locations where it has been done acupuncture.
Always give preference to professionals who excel in clinical asepsis. Or ask your acupuncturist to wear gloves when you do acupuncture treatments with him. Wearing gloves while not mandatory gives more security to the acupuncturist and the patient.
If you live in a country where acupuncture is not regulated always ask for information about the training of the acupuncturist. Some acupuncture professionals you should avoid:
Acupuncture professionals with deficit formations: weekend formations, for example, courses with few or no hours of practical classes and clinical work. To make sure to check the different existing schools and see what kind of training they give their students.
Acupuncturists who use and abuse of esoteric terms and religious perspectives in their treatment: most often they do not know how to make the difference between a patient’s clinical approach and a religious approach. In general, this approach is associated with deficient training.
5. Clinical practice
Your acupuncturist may also prescribe herbal medicine. In this aspect of clinical practice, you should take into account two very important points.
Acupuncture professionals that give advice on the Western medication you are taking: an acupuncturist is trained not to give an opinion about Western medicine. This is the exclusive competence of those who prescribed the drug. In other words, is the responsibility of your medical doctor.
Acupuncture professionals prescribing herbal medicines when the patient already takes many western medications: medicinal herbs have active ingredients that may influence the active ingredients of western drugs. If the patient takes many western medications the likelihood of pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions is much greater.
6. Request a second opinion
In countries where acupuncture professional’s training is not good, it is common appear misleading advertising on the benefits of acupuncture.
Do not see the first acupuncturist. Look for reviews with other colleagues in order to get an idea of ?? the actual acceptance of a given treatment area. If you want to search for a research scholar in Google or ask the opinion of blogs and sites worldwide.
7. Final Thoughts
These are the main points to consider when thinking about safety in acupuncture consultations. Now that you know what you should ask your acupuncturist and you are aware of major risks, do not be afraid.
If you need an acupuncturist search in your city and benefit from the advantages of this treatment.
If you think there are other important aspects to take into account do not forget our comments box. And tell us about your experience with acupuncture treatments.