This ancient practice has many benefits for whole health
Acupuncture has been around for centuries, and many people swear by this practice for healing ailments and improving overall health. Keep reading to find out all the incredible benefits of acupuncture and whether it can be helpful for you (hint: it probably can).
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is an ancient practice that involves probing specific points on the skin (known as acupuncture points) with tiny, thin steel needles. According to TCM, there are over 2000 acupuncture points in the body.
Many Western practitioners use acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissues, and some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers.(Mayo Clinic) Acupuncture is used for both preventative and treatment measures.
Does acupuncture hurt?
We can’t lie— poking dozens of tiny needles into the skin doesn’t sound very soothing or appealing, but it’s not painful at all. Many people say that it feels relaxing or energizing. These needles are as thin as a strand of hair, so there’s nothing to fear! However, it’s extremely important that you go to a qualified acupuncturist. These needles probe your skin, so proper sterilization and insertion are critical; otherwise, it can be painful, and you might risk infection. Any qualified and skilled acupuncturist will know how to make the experience relaxing and stress-free for you.
What do acupuncturists do?
Your acupuncturist will typically take a health assessment during your first treatment. They will ask you questions, understand what you are looking to heal, and work with you to create an appropriate and effective treatment plan. Then, you will lie down on the table, and treatment will begin. They stimulate the necessary acupuncture points by inserting the thin needles. These needles can stay anywhere between five minutes to half an hour, depending on your treatment needs. It’s a very relaxing process if the acupuncturist is doing their job right! Some acupuncturists may also apply heat or electrical current to the needles to enhance treatment.
Which Conditions Can Acupuncture Help With?
The list of conditions that acupuncture can help with is exhaustive. Acupuncture is known to help with anything from digestive problems to back pain. The following conditions are commonly treated with acupuncture, with plenty of case studies that show their effectiveness:
- Sinus Problems
- Back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Joint problems, such as knee or elbow pain
- Digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Nausea (including morning sickness)
- Anxiety, depression, and nervousness
- Menstrual cramps and pain
- Induction of labor
Is acupuncture safe for me?
Generally, acupuncture is safe for everyone, especially if you choose an experienced and qualified acupuncturist. However, as with any treatment, you should consult with your doctor first. You should not attend your acupuncture treatment if you have any skin infections on or around the acupuncture points. As always, disclose any medications or conditions that you have with your doctor and acupuncturist before starting treatment.
Want to give acupuncture a try? A Personal Health Plan from Saskatchewan Blue Cross offers up to $400 coverage for acupuncturists and other health practitioners. Learn more.