What is Acupuncture?
While most know of the needles associated with modern Acupuncture many aren't aware of what they're used for. Traditionally the use of the needles was explained as a methodology for modifying the flow of the patient's energy and promoting the body’s self-healing capabilities. This redirection of energy throughout the patient’s body is seen as the contributing factor to pain relief and the relief of many other symptoms.
More formally, modern science has discovered that the application of the needles may stimulate the production of adenosine, an amino acid that provides pain relief. Research has demonstrated Acupuncture's effects on the cardiovascular system, endocrine and immune systems, and nervous system. It's by stimulating the body's natural responses that it's thought that Acupuncture can resolve pain, improve sleep, and otherwise benefit other ailments.
It’s Acupuncture’s propensity for pain relief that has popularized the practice in the West but, traditionally, it was often used for a wide array of ailments and utilized as a technique to balance a patient’s health overall, not just for pain relief. Allergies, digestive problems, and depression are often treated with acupuncture and are reported to provide promising results.
What is Acupuncture User For?
Clinical studies have shown Acupuncture to be effective in treating:
- Allergies / Hay Fever
- Bell’s Palsy
- Biliary colic / Gallstones
- Depression / Anxiety
- Headaches / Migraines
- Hot Flashes / Night Sweats
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain / Shoulder Pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Stroke Sequelae
- Tennis / Golfer’s Elbow
Finding the Right Acupuncturist
First and foremost, it's imperative to find an Acupuncturist that is certified and licensed. While licensing requirements may differ from state to state, in New Jersey, it's required that anyone practicing Acupuncture is certified by the Acupuncture Examining Board. Certification guarantees that the practitioner has been properly trained and is in good standing amongst the medical community.
Beyond certification, it's important to find an acupuncturist that you feel you can develop a good rapport with. Acupuncturist vary in their preferred techniques and methodologies. A comfortable environment is also important. Ultimately you want to be as relaxed as possible during each session so as to receive the maximum benefits available.
What Should You Expect on Your First Visit?
As with most medical establishments, an initial visit will always start with a comprehensive health assessment. Questions regarding your overall health including, diet, exercise, ailments, and even sleep patterns will be taken into account so as to provide the most effective care. Like a puzzle, it's the doctor's ability to fit together the pieces that ultimately enable them to provide the most effective and appropriate treatment.
After the assessment, the needles will be placed in precise locations. The Acupuncturist may manipulate the needles, utilize heat, or even electricity in certain situations. The needles are left in for 20 minutes to 30 minutes before being removed. As with any compressive treatment, Acupuncture shows cumulative results through successive treatments over the course of two to 10 weeks with monthly visits thereafter.
Remember, acupuncture is a holistic means of effective pain and ailment relief that utilizes the body’s natural healing. As with any treatment, following a regiment is paramount for effective, long-lasting results.