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Is Acupuncture Really Effective? Let's Find Out

Thin needles are inserted into precise body locations during the practice of acupuncture, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) procedure. The earliest form of medicine is traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Compared to traditional Western medicine, which only emerged much more recently, such as with the founding of the American Medical Association in 1847, it is more than 3,500 years older. TCM should not be confused with “Oriental medicine,” a catch-all term used to represent a collection of techniques established not just in Asia but also elsewhere. Promoting both physical and emotional well-being is the aim. To treat pain or other ailments, these tiny needles are implanted into “acupoints” on the body.

The act of putting and manipulating needles into the body’s superficial skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscles at certain acupuncture locations is known as acupuncture. The human body has up to 2,000 acupuncture sites, which are connected by 12 major meridians in TCM.

Between the surface of the body and its internal organs, these meridians transport Qi. According to popular belief, acupuncture maintains the equilibrium between the Yin (connected with the parasympathetic nervous system) and the Yang (associated with the sympathetic nervous system). This restores both mental and physical health and permits the regular flow of Qi linked with neuronal transmission throughout the body.

Electroacupuncture, which involves applying an electrical current to the needles after they have been put, is sometimes utilised in place of manipulating the needles to further activate the appropriate acupuncture points. Neuromuscular diseases have been reported to respond particularly well to electroacupuncture treatment.

Scientific Evidence for Acupuncture

For chronic pain problems including arthritis and headaches, there is encouraging scientific data to support the use of acupuncture, however, there is less evidence to support its use for neck discomfort. When compared to a control or when acupuncture is combined with another intervention in the treatment of chronic low back pain, acupuncture also frequently exhibits a transient, clinically meaningful impact. When performed with sterilised or disposable clean needles, acupuncture is mostly safe.

Due to their needle anxiety, many patients raise worries regarding acupuncture. Acupuncture needles are firm and hair-thin, in contrast to other needles. Depending on the sort of treatment being given, they are typically put no deeper than a half-inch to an inch. Patients with needle phobia may benefit from auricular acupuncture, which involves inserting tiny needles, vicaria seeds, pellets, or ear tacks into particular spots on the ear, or acupressure, which involves applying pressure to pressure points with the fingers.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Meridians are pathways through which our body’s Qi (life force) energy and blood travel. The acupoints serve as the activation points for acupuncture treatments and are the sites that respond to illnesses such as infertility. There are more than 362 acupoints in the body, according to TCM theory.

The doctor uses acupuncture to increase the Qi’s flow through the meridian points. By correcting energetic imbalances, the treatment promotes the function of important bodily organs.

According to recent research, needling causes the nervous system to release chemicals into the brain and muscles. These substances may alter the perception of pain or promote the synthesis of other chemicals that promote healing. Acupressure can improve health and well-being by igniting the body’s natural healing abilities.