Alternative Medicine has been gaining a lot of attention lately probably due to the fact that modern medicine costs a lot and might cause some serious side effects in the process of healing a disease. One type of alternative medicine, Acupuncture, is perhaps one of the most recognized and famous types of Alternative Medicine commonly practiced in the United States and Europe.
Acupuncture, as the name suggests is the practice in which small needles are inserted or punctured into specific parts of the body to manage pain and balance the flow of energy (qi). This practice began in China around 2500 years ago and can now be seen in almost all corners of the globe. If you are looking forward to your first acupuncture session or is planning to have one, here are some few reminders and helpful ideas you might want to know before you go in your first session.
Is it Safe?
Generally speaking, acupuncture is a relatively safe procedure with very little to no side effects. Side effects, if there are any, are few and far in between. Common side effects reported are mild skin rashes and after pains. However, acupuncture becomes unsafe if it is practiced by unregulated and untrained individuals. Different states have different laws and regulations that managed professionals who practice the procedure, make sure you check and do a little research about the clinic you’re planning to have acupuncture.
A lot of people are also concerned about the needles being used in acupuncture. Worry not as these aluminum needles are disposable and is thrown away every after the session. These needles are not to be used twice even in the same person to avoid the risk of contamination and infection.
Is it Painful?
This will greatly depend on your pain tolerance level, but as far as the reports of other acupuncture enthusiasts go, it is generally not painful at all. However, you will feel a little prick when the needle is inserted, and basically, that’s all there is to it.
How does it Work?
In traditional acupuncture, it is believed that disruption of the body’s natural energy is the cause of diseases and therefore must be corrected. The acupuncturist in traditional acupuncture inserts a needle to a very specific part of the body to correct this mal-flow of energy and therefore cure the disease.
In modern day acupuncture, especially in the Western Practice, a more logical and scientific explanation has been derived. It is said that by inserting the needles, it stimulates the body’s own healing mechanism by releasing hormones that act as a natural painkiller and increase the body’s capacity to heal.
Who can have acupuncture?
This procedure is designed to help individuals who are suffering mainly from pain due to musculoskeletal problems, however, it is believed that acupuncture also works for the following illnesses.
- Back Pains
- Dental Pain
- Postoperative pain
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Who’s not fit for Acupuncture?
Although there are no clear guidelines on who should not have an acupuncture procedure, the following list of conditions should be noted and a Physician’s advice should be sought before doing the procedure.
- Individuals with sensation problem (Diabetic Patients)
- Paralyzed patients
- Individuals who can’t speak
- Individuals who have altered consciousness (Coma, Confused)
- Children below 13 years old
- Elderly (65 and above)
Should I stop my Medical Treatment if I’m Having Acupuncture?
It is important to take note that acupuncture is not a cure and therefore medical treatments should not be stopped. This includes your prescribed drugs, therapy sessions, clinic visits and consultations, especially if you are medically diagnosed to have some conditions. It is also crucial to report your plans of having acupuncture to your Physician so he or she could give you an opinion about it whether yo allow you or not.