What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of fast growing health care profession in Canada originated from China. It has been practiced for thousands of years in China, Europe and Americas. Even though there is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist, according to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which Qi vital energy runs. Acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points, releasing this qi. The qi then travels through channels called meridians
Acupuncture treatment includes the insertion of very thin needles through the patient’s skin at specific points on patient’s body. Needles are inserted to various depths according to the area of treatment. It is not clear that how acupuncture works scientifically but, we do know that it does have some therapeutic benefits, specifically works great with pain management treatments and it has been used in Canada as an alternative treatment for various medical conditions . Cancer patients use acupuncture as treatment for pain management after chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Acupuncture points are seen by Western practitioners as places where nerves, muscles and connective tissue can be stimulated. Acupuncture practitioners say that the stimulation increases blood flow while at the same time triggering the activity of our own body’s natural painkillers. According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating various conditions such as:
- Tension headaches and/or migraines
- Dry Mouth – among patients treated with radiation for head and neck Cancer
- Nausea after surgery
- Chronic pain
- Indigestion commonly experienced by pregnant women
- Post-operative pain
- Women with painful periods
- Allergies, including hay fever
- Depression and anxiety.
- Digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
How is acupuncture performed?
Acupuncture usually involves several weekly or days treatments according to patient’s condition. An initial visit to an acupuncture provider will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient’s condition, then the acupuncture provider will recommend a treatment plan and most courses consist of up to 12 sessions. Most treatment session would be about 30 minutes or less. The patient will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on his/her side, depending on where the needless are inserted. The acupuncture provider will be using single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted the patient should feel them, but initially without pain. However, when the needle reaches the right depth there might be a deep aching sensation. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about twenty minutes.
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