What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has its base in traditional Chinese medicine which dates back 2500 years. It is a process where an acupuncturist stimulates different locations in your anatomy—usually with the help of thin metallic needles.
According to Chinese medicine, there are different types of Qi (energy) that flow through the body in a specific pattern. This Qi or vital energy is the key to a healthy body. Any disruptions in the flow of this Qi are thought to be the cause of health problems. There are 350 pints located throughout the human anatomy through which these energy patterns can be accessed and stimulated. By stimulating these points, the acupuncturist aims to restore the balance of the vital energy or Qi in order to restore the health of the body.
While many still seem to be skeptical about this treatment, it is slowly gaining much popularity due to its effectiveness in combating some types of chronic pain symptoms, as well as frequent nausea and vomiting.
Is Acupuncture Truly Effective?
Scientifically, the process of acupuncture does not have much concrete proof backing its effectiveness. But, this is not to say that it is not beneficial at all. This treatment is seen to reduce some specific types of pain such as:
- Lower back pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
It has also been effective in reducing:
- Frequency of a headache due to tension
- Migraine headaches
There are very few complications which are reported in relation to acupuncture, and most of them stem from the use of unsterilized needles and improper training. When this treatment is not delivered properly it can result in significant complications such as:
- Infection due to the use of unsterilized needles such as viral hepatitis
- Punctured organs
- Collapsed lung
However, these complications only arise when the practitioner has not received sufficient training.
What to Do When You Visit an Acupuncturist?
If you have decided that you want to try out acupuncture for its benefits, then you should keep certain things in mind. Just as you would do if you were visiting any other doctor for treatment, you should be confident in your medical professional’s ability to treat your condition:
- Make sure that you do your research before you visit your acupuncturist. Some traditional medical professionals also offer acupuncture therapy. You may also be able to locate national acupuncture organizations which will be able to recommend an acupuncturist who may be the right fit for you.
- Do not hesitate to ask your acupuncturist about their training and experience. An acupuncturist needs to be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia, and you should not be hesitant to ask him or her about their credentials.
- Have a conversation beforehand about the number of sessions that you would require. While many can walk away after just a handful of sessions, people with chronic disease require regular and frequent sessions to be effective.
- Additionally, you should establish the cost which would be required or the entire treatment. There may be some insurance companies that cover the cost of acupuncture therapy, while some others who do not.
- You should make sure that you have provided your acupuncturist with a true and accurate medical history. Many different health practices that you undertake may determine the effectiveness of this procedure.
- It is also recommended that you do not skip out on visiting doctor in favour of undergoing acupuncture therapy. While it has been effective in treating various different conditions there are still several fields in which the effectiveness of this therapy is yet to be studied and proven.