These days, many people are looking to alternative health practices to supplement the Western medicine they already rely on. One such practice is acupuncture, which is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has become very popular in recent times, 6.5% of Americans attest to having undergone acupuncture treatments, and of those, 22% visited an acupuncturist during the past year. In the U.S., acupuncture has been practiced for approximately two centuries, though it has been used in China to treat a myriad ailments for millennia. Approval of the acupuncture needle as a medical device was granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996, and since then the practice has taken off considerably. But what is acupuncture exactly? Does acupuncture work? And whom does acupuncture benefits the most?
Acupuncture involves small needles which a practitioner uses to pierce the skin at various different pressure points, known as meridians in acupuncture terminology, on a patient’s body. The points at which needles are inserted depends on the patient’s health concerns. Acupuncture benefits people suffering from chronic pain a great deal. A great deal of research suggests that acupuncture benefits people with conditions like chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee. As well, acupuncture benefits people suffering from tension headaches; clinical studies show that 46% of study participants report significant lessening of tension headache related pain, whereas just 4% of participants in the control group showed such reductions.
One reason that patients are particularly enthusiastic about acupuncture benefits when it comes to reducing pain is that unlike many medications, acupuncture does not cause unpleasant side effects, nor does it result in possible dependency. In other words, there are many acupuncture benefits and few acupuncture risks. Some people are wary of trying acupuncture because they are afraid that the needles will cause them acute pain. However, acupuncture needles are very tiny, and patients report barely feeling them as they are placed. As well, people who have undergone acupuncture therapy find the sessions to be highly relaxing, which can help with stress management and even lower blood pressure. Acupuncture benefits patients in numerous ways, and as more and more studies are conducted, evidence for those benefits continue to grow.
Get more info here.