Originating in China, acupuncture aims to improve the overall wellbeing and health of a person. Traditional Chinese medicine renders the belief that the mind and body should be in perfect balance.
What is it?
Acupuncture uses very fine, thin needles which are gently inserted into the skin at certain points. These points can be found all over the body, including the lower arms and legs and are generally found where a nerve enters a muscle.
Acupuncture is believed to influence energy flow and help unblock or balance your ‘chi’. Chinese medicine suggests that ‘chi’ is energy that’s flows through pathways called meridians around your body.
Before you begin your first session of acupuncture, the practitioner will ask about your overall health and conditions that need treatment. It is likely that your pulse on both wrists and your tongue will be examined as well as the practitioner asking questions about any muscular tension. It is important not to go to your sessions on an empty or full stomach and to wear loose clothing.
The diagnosis you receive will vary depending on your needs. The practitioner will likely offer dietary and lifestyle advice in addition to your acupuncture. Other methods of Chinese medicine may be used alongside acupuncture, such as cupping to stimulate blood flow and tuina – a gentle massage to stimulate acupressure points and relive muscle tension.
After an acupuncture treatment, you may feel mentally peaceful, happy or weightless. It’s advised not to drive straight after a treatment due to feeling sleepy and you should also avoid alcohol. Some patients gain a small amount of bruising around the acupressure points, however these are likely to disappear within a few days.
So what can be treated?
Acupuncture is known to treat a variety of conditions, such as muscle pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and nausea. The World Health Organization also includes dental pain, stroke and induction of labor as symptoms and conditions treated effectively with acupuncture. Recently, it’s been noted that acupuncture is used on animals, including dogs to help with arthritis.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a treatment varies between practitioners but it’s usually in the range of $60 – $120 per session, depending on where you live.
Despite, the well-known success of acupuncture aiding health, there has been some sceptics. Some believe as it cannot be measured, it is irrelevant, whilst some claim that people think it works because they believe it will. Whilst there are arguments against acupuncture, there are of course those who do believe in the treatment. Not only is it highly popular but organizations such as the WHO (world health organization) have backed some of the claims that acupuncture does work for certain health conditions.
As it continues to be a popular treatment, it’s highly likely that acupuncture will stay around for a while. If you’re looking to have treatment, its best to find a reputable practitioner as well as making sure that the practitioner offers you a consultation before your first treatment in order to give you the correct diagnosis for your health condition.