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Acupuncture And Its Use In Pain Relief
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Acupuncture And Its Use In Pain Relief

Acupuncture, originating in China, two thousand years ago, is the practice of inserting needles into specific body points for improving health and well-being.

Acupuncture treatment in America draws many medical elements from China, Korea, Japan and other countries. Acupuncture sought its place in American Medicine when President Richard M. Nixon visited China in 1972. Since then, use of acupuncture has gained momentum in Western medicine.

The most popular acupuncture treatment involves inserting solid, thin needles employing manual use or electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture works on the principle that we have energy (Qi) flowing through our body. Disruptions in energy pathways cause illnesses.

Chinese medicine recognizes 12 meridians or energy pathways through which Qi circulates in our body. These 12 meridians form a network of energy channels. Each meridian takes its name from an organ. The main ones are : kidney, lung, stomach, gallbladder, heart, spleen, small intestine, large intestine, urinary bladder, pericardium (heart protector/ or circulation sex meridian) and san jiao (three heater).

As classified by WHO, more than 400 acupuncture points lie along these meridians. However, as many as 2000 points have been in use in acupuncture.

How is the treatment done?

Generally, a patient will be required to take acupuncture sessions over a period of a week or fortnight. A course may contain up to 12 sessions. A session will be about 30 minutes.

Depending on where the needles are to be inserted, the patient will be asked to lie down with face up, face down or on either of the two sides. Disposable needles should be used by the acupuncturist. Initially, the person will feel no pain as the acupuncturist is inserting needles in skin. However, you will feel an aching sensation when the needle reaches the right depth.

Needles might be heated or electrically stimulated as in electro-acupuncture. In electro acupuncture needles are inserted as they normally would be. An electrode is then attached to needles for stimulating acupoints.

How does it work?

Through the use of acupuncture needles, energy pathways in our body can be accessed and energy flow can be balanced properly. Acupuncturists say it improves our blood circulation and stimulates production of natural painkillers in our body.

For what purposes can acupuncture be used?

According to researches, acupuncture can be beneficial for post-op and chemotherapy vomiting and nausea. It may also be useful in menstrual cramps, headache, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow osteoarthritis, low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. According to a recent study, it can also help indigestion problems in pregnant women.

Acupuncture is also making its way into veterinary medicine.


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