Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world.
Today it is used as a complementary medicine alongside conventional medicine. And it is not unusual to see some of the largest teaching hospitals utilizing this alternative form of healing.
Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and documents dating from 198 BCE contain references to a healing practice utilizing meridians or energy pathways throughout the body.
What to Expect from Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture works by stimulating various points on your body using a variety of techniques that include manual placement of very thin needles by hand, with or without the augmentation of electrical stimulation.
The goal is to stimulate or unblock energy channels in the body that may be contributing to ill health.
Before treatment begins an acupuncturist will take a thorough history of your health, lifestyle and behavior. They will observe your features, note the condition of your skin and hair, look at your tongue and take a pulse.
Any medications you are taking should be disclosed as well.
Generally you will be lying down in a warm room. The practitioner will clean the area of your body with alcohol before inserting a small needle into a meridian point. Most people report no pain or minimal discomfort when the needles are placed. The needle will stay in place during the treatment that generally lasts about 30-40 minutes.
After the needles are placed the acupuncturist may dim the lights and leave the room.
Often there is soft music playing.
Some people are energized by this treatment and many others are so relaxed they fall asleep. After about 30- 40 minutes the acupuncturist will return and remove the needles painlessly. At this point you are encouraged to rest a few more minutes and then get up.
15 Conditions Most Often Treated with Acupuncture
There are relatively few side effects reported by people who have had acupuncture treatments.
And according to The National Institute of Health acupuncture “is being widely practiced by physicians, dentists, acupuncturists and other practitioners for pain relief and various other conditions.”
Some of the more common conditions being treated with acupuncture are:
- Anxiety & Depression
- Asthma & Allergies
- Bladder Problems
- Cardiac Palpitations
- Chronic Fatigue
- Diet & Weight Control
- Pain Management
Most treatments take place over a period of several weeks or months.
How to find an acupuncturist
If you’ve never had acupuncture before, finding an acupuncturist can feel a little scary.
You’ve decided to try a different kind of medicine, and you have no clue how to find the right local acupuncturist for you. The key is to ask questions.
Ask about their training, background and experience. Ask about the seemingly little things so you won’t be surprised when you get there and have to park six blocks away. And then ask yourself, is this the right person for you?
Has he or she instilled confidence in you that they can help?
Were they happy to take the time to answer your questions?
If your feel like this is the right person, then go for it. If not, keep looking. Just remember that no two acupuncturists are alike.