Friday, October 16, 2015

Acupuncture Facts and Fallacies

Acupuncture as a Chinese medical practice is centuries old. There are 71 meridians in the body. It is believed that in order to function properly the body needs to be in balance. Even today, there are many false beliefs about acupuncture:

1. Acupuncture is painful.
Most people find the placing of the needles comforting and relaxing. However if discomfort should occur, it will fade quickly and on its own. The needles are no thicker than a cat’s whisker. You may feel a sensation often described as heaviness, throbbing, or an electrical current once the needle is inserted. This is good as it is your body opening up.

2. No reasonable healthcare professional would recommend it.
Actually acupuncture is recommended by many medical institutions. The U.S. military uses acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds many clinical research trial on acupuncture. Both NIH and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions.

3. There is a conflict between medication, physical therapy, and other conventional medical treatments.
There is no conflict, they complement each other. Acupuncture can help improve conditions that you are being treated for.

4. Acupuncture is only helpful in treating pain.
Although acupuncture certainly helps in the treatment of pain, it by no means is the only condition it treats. Acupuncture can help with nausea or vomiting, morning sickness, hypertension, allergies, depression, infertility, addiction, and other conditions.

5. Acupuncture’s effects are psychological. It doesn’t really do anything.
Quite false. Studies show that during acupuncture, our brains begin to release chemicals such as endorphins (natural painkillers). Acupuncture has also proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect and help people’s immune system.

In Washington, an acupuncturist needs to be licensed by the state Board of Medicine.
I work with many clients - including pediatric and senior patients. Acupuncture is helpful with the many aches and pains we experience as we age. It is helpful with arthritis pain, joint difficulties, and other pains. As we've discussed before, acupuncture acts as a wonderful complement to mainstream medicine.

Many of my clients use acupuncture as a maintenance program for their health issues. It helps sustain them between visits with their primary care physician. If you are interested in learning if acupuncture can be helpful, you can call Health On Point.

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