Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine which involves inserting thin needles into different parts of the body. It is believed to have originated around 100 BC in China, but even if it has existed for thousands of years, people still ask does acupuncture work?
It seems like a fair question since inserting needles into the body is a different way of treatment from what we were used to. Acupuncture does seem to work in certain situations and may even be more cost-effective than standard medical care.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice involving insertions of needles to different parts of your body. A typical acupuncture session lasts for about 10 to 20 minutes, but it could last up to an hour depending on the type of treatment.
Acupuncture is usually used to alleviate chronic issues such as lower back pain, but can also be used to help weight loss as well as for detoxification. The treatment can also help treat depression and anxiety.
There are many benefits from having acupuncture, but a lot of us are suspicious of the medical procedure as it doesn’t seem normal to stick needles into our bodies.
Types of Acupuncture
There are different types of acupuncture depending on their procedure and purpose. Here are some examples:
Body acupuncture is the most common type of acupuncture. Needles are inserted in various acupuncture points on the body. The needles used are very fine so only very little discomfort is felt. This is the type of acupuncture done for most conditions.
Auricular acupuncture is done on the ear. This type of acupuncture is usually used as detoxification from addiction to smoking and alcohol. Fine and tiny needles are used for this treatment.
Electroacupuncture is done in conjunction with body acupuncture. An electroacupuncture machine is connected to the top of the needles and stimulated with an electric current. Patients will feel a mild tingling sensation when this is done. This type of acupuncture is suitable for curing depression.
Another type of acupuncture is done in conjunction with cupping therapy. This is done mostly on the back and your back is pricked with tiny needles and a cup is placed over it. The cup creates a vacuum to suck the blood from the body. This works very well when you are suffering from the stagnation of qi or energy. This type of acupuncture usually causes bruises and discoloration and can be seen on some athletes such as the Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps.
Cosmetic acupuncture or facial acupuncture is also another type of acupuncture. While most other types of acupuncture are used for health and wellness, cosmetic acupuncture is done mostly for aesthetic purposes. It can help regenerate the skin, fight off acne, and can enhance the firmness of your skin.
There are also types of acupuncture that don’t involve needles such as acupressure and tui na massage. Acupressure is done by pressing on acupressure points and massaging them. This is useful for headaches and morning sickness. Tui na massage is a very deep massage that is useful in treating muscular sports injuries.
When Should I Get Acupuncture?
Always consult your doctor first before trying out alternative types of medicine and treatment. If your concern deals with chronic body pain, you should explore the option of having acupuncture sessions.
Acupuncture is good as a complementary treatment, but should not be regarded as the only treatment to ailments. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, you can complement your treatment with acupuncture.
Some researchers have found that electroacupuncture was just as effective as fluoxetine or Prozac in easing depression symptoms. Some also claim that acupuncture may even help clinical treatments work better and may be as effective as counseling.
Celebrities And Athletes That Believe In Acupuncture
Most people are hesitant to try out alternative medicine, but they become more inclined to try them once celebrities or athletes use the same alternative treatment. These are some celebrities and athletes who use acupuncture:
Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston used acupuncture to help lose weight. Mariah Carey and Celine Dion used acupuncture to help them conceive children. Athletes such as the late Kobe Bryant has been shown using acupuncture to help deal with injuries.
So, does acupuncture really work? These celebrities and athletes sure think so, but you’ll probably have to find out for yourself.