What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese medicine that is recognized all over the world for its effectiveness in treating a wide variety of ailments. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, natural and holistic approach for treating many disorders and illnesses. It works to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that acupuncture stimulates the flow of energy that nourishes tissue, stimulates blood flow and enhances the body’s functioning. Modern research has found that acupuncture can 1) affect the transmission of nerve impulses and block pain impulses from reaching the brain, 2) improve blood flow to specific areas of the body promoting the healing and repair of damaged tissue, and 3) modulate the release of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the body’s own natural pain relievers and mood enhancers.
Currently, one of the main reasons Americans seek acupuncture treatment is to relieve chronic pain, especially from conditions such as headaches or migraines, arthritis, lower back disorders and carpal tunnel syndrome. Clinical studies show that acupuncture is effective in relieving both chronic (long-lasting) and acute or sudden pain. They also have found that using acupuncture lowers the need for conventional pain-killing drugs and thus reduces the risk of side effects for patients who take the drugs.
Some people have a fear of needles and imagine that acupuncture is painful. However, acupuncture needles have been scientifically proven to release endorphins giving patients a pleasant experience. The needles are smooth and solid, not much thicker than a few strands of hair. Some people may feel a slight sensation upon the insertion of the needle into precise acupuncture points, but this is brief and vanishes almost immediately. These sterile needles are only used once and then thrown away.