Perhaps you’ve heard of an ancient healing practice called acupuncture? Maybe a friend or coworker has experienced a few treatments and can’t speak highly enough of its impressive results. You’re curious but not convinced, or you’re maybe even scared. Maybe you think it’s not affordable.
Let us lay out some facts about acupuncture, and hopefully some of your questions and concerns will be addressed and alleviated. Because truly, this may be the answer in which you’ve been seeking to relieve pain or stress.
First of all, it’s true that acupuncture is practiced in traditional Chinese medicine. The belief is that disease in the body is caused by disruptions to the natural flow of energy. Acupuncture stimulates pressure points on or under the skin to release the “Qi”, the energy. Although much history points to the origination of this healing practice in China, there is speculation that acupuncture was used elsewhere in the world as far back as 3300 BC.
In 1991, when an Alpine glacier melted on the border of Italy and Austria, a 5,300 year-old corpse was discovered. He’s since been named the “Iceman.” He had tattoos that indicated he practiced a form of stimulatory treatment similar to acupuncture. In China, there is documented proof that as long ago as 6000 BC, instead of needles, acupuncture was performed using long sharp bones and sharpened stones.
Acupuncture is regarded as a supplementary treatment along with the use of diet, herbs, exercise, and other medical processes that may be required. It can be used to treat migraine headaches, balance mood swings, reduce allergy symptoms, reduce pain and inflammation, lower blood pressure, help with fertility, relieve stress and anxiety, amongst treating thousands of other disturbances in the body.
During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, Chinese leader Mao Tze Tung re-popularized the use of acupuncture throughout his country and the world. He was touting a pragmatic and affordable way to assist with ailing healthcare.
Since then, the World Health Organization has recognized that acupuncture may be useful in treating a long list of diseases and conditions, many pain-related. When it’s performed correctly, it is safe and causes little-to-no side effects.
There’s no need to be afraid of the needles. They are not thick like blood-drawing needles. They are extremely thin and placed into pressure points very quickly. It’s like a tiny, momentary, prick-sensation. It doesn’t hurt and won’t make you bleed.
Once the needles are placed in the specific places on your body, you continue to lie down and relax. It’s actually quite soothing and a good excuse to have a 20-30 minute rest to chill out and think about nothing—except for how much better your body will feel after the treatment.
Many health insurance policies now cover a number of visits to an acupuncturist. A low co-pay is worth the treatment. Just think of how much you’ll be saving not having to buy medication or pain-relievers. Another option is to look online for a local school or college that teaches acupuncture.
Many of the students will offer free treatments as they are preparing for their certification. If you’re still on the fence, just remember this: If acupuncture didn’t provide some benefit, there’s no way it would have lasted for over 8,000 years. Happy healing!