Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most respected forms of medical treatment known to humanity. Over thousands of years of development, its relevance has continued to increase for the simple reason that it works. Here is some brief and basic information on acupuncture and how it can help you. 5 1/2 good reasons you should try acupuncture are:
#1. Acupuncture relieves pain – When people think about acupuncture, mostly they think about pain relief. This is what acupuncture is most well known for in the U.S. and for good reason. For painful injuries, especially where soft tissue damage is a primary concern, acupuncture excels as a primary therapy. During acupuncture treatment, ultra thin, disposable, stainless steel needles are utilized to actively stimulate the intrinsic healing mechanisms of the body and to heal painful tissues. Neuro-endocrine and immune functions are stimulated, reducing the activity of and desensitizing activated nerves, while simultaneously speeding repair of the damaged tissue. Acupuncture is a great choice for back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, headaches, menstrual cramps and almost any type of physical pain.
#2 Acupuncture doesn’t hurt! – Sometimes when I tell people what I do they cringe and tell me they “hate needles”, or they “just don’t do needles”. It’s understandable. When most people think of needles, they think about those huge hypodermic needles that they got poked with when they were little kids. Now that was painful and the lollipop at the end was small consolation. Acupuncture generally uses teeny, tiny, small gauge needles, no thicker than a hair. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, needle insertion is painless.
#3 It’s been around for thousands of years - Estimates vary as to exactly how old acupuncture really is, but most sources agree that it’s been around for at least 4,000 to 5,000 years. Over the course of four to five thousand years practitioners have had alot of time to find out what works and fine tune this particular treatment modality. In our modern day and age, the practice of acupuncture continues to evolve and be refined as scientists begin to understand the exact physiological mechanisms by which acupuncture’s effectiveness are explained.
#4 Acupuncture can balance moods and emotions – Acupuncture has long been used as a therapy for helping people balance mental and emotional states. While the process is explained in Traditional Chinese Medical theory as a balancing and redistribution of a person’s energy, we now know, thanks to modern technology and research involving MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans of patients undergoing acupuncture, that acupuncture can actually stimulate activity in certain parts of the brain and affect the release of endorphins and other neurochemicals.
#5 Acupuncture is Safe – When practiced by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is very safe. The most common side effect of an acupuncture treatment is a small hematoma, in other words, a bruise; and even this happens only rarely.
#5.5 Everybody in Eugene, OR gets acupuncture: Just kidding. But they must. I think there are over 60 acupuncturists around here.