Let’s start at the origins. Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years, though not all in the same form. During the Stone Age, people used knifes and other sharp objects to relieve pain and disease. Warriors that were hit by arrows during battle noticed areas of relief in different parts of the body.
Monks noticed energy moving in specific areas of the body while they were meditating and eventually started recording these findings. Over time, the practice became modified and was researched in depth to bring the modern acupuncture we know and use today.
What does the treatment consist of?
A doctor will go over your health history (if they do not already know it) and assess what your health complaint is and where it’s located. From there, they choose the acupuncture points that will be beneficial for your care (they might ask you to change into shorts or a gown depending on the location). The doctor will use an alcohol pad to disinfect the area and tap the needle in the point.
Wait! Needles!? Yes needles, but acupuncture needles are TINY! They are only .25
mm thick, where the average sewing needle is 1 mm thick. There is very little to no pain at all when the doctor taps the needle into the point.
So how does acupuncture work? Let’s use a common condition that many people suffer from as an example. Headaches. There are many ways to get rid of a headache, including acupuncture! For example, here are three points that are used when treating headaches:
GB 20, Li 4, and Si 13. The letters stand for Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine channels.
Where the numbers stand for certain points along that channel. Now these channels are used for specific reasons. Gall bladder and small intestine are used because of their location on the body. The large intestine channel is used because Li 4 is the strongest point for a condition that involves the upper body. Depending on the type of headache, other points may be used. If the headache is considered a “pounding headache” then the liver channel might be used because that channel helps control blood flow.
Can pregnant women use acupuncture? YES! Acupuncture is a great natural treatment method for pregnancy pain and is safe for both mother and baby. Acupuncture can be used to help with pain and nausea associated with pregnancy. It can also be used to help with infertility issues.
What about children? There isn’t a specific age that is “too young” for acupuncture. If a child can sit still for 15-20 minutes then a doctor can perform acupuncture on them. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach pain or reflux, ADHD/ADD, and more.
Acupuncture is used for many different conditions like sinus allergies, depression, infertility, constipation, pain management, musculoskeletal disorders and more! It is a safe and natural way of treating health issues and goes hand in hand with chiropractic care!