Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing science used for thousands of years. It’s only been in the last 20 years that it has become a mainstream alternative to more traditional medical practices. It still has a aura of mystery and many people don’t understand that mechanism behind the science. They chalk it up to Chinese mysticism, but science has backed up its many claims.
The Science of Acupuncture
In Eastern medicine, the body has an internal flow of energy called qi. When qi flows freely through the body, you feel healthy. If the qi is blocked or slowed in certain areas, then it can lead to illness and pain. Acupuncture was used to break up these blockages and increase the flow of qi, thus eliminating illness and pain.
Modern medicine understands that acupuncture helps stimulate the nerves using acupuncture needles, cups, warmth or electricity. This stimulation is what causes the many benefits. Acupuncture was legitimized in the medical community in 1996 when the National Institute of Health classified acupuncture needles as medical equipment.
Practitioners of acupuncture don’t just place needles and cups anywhere. There are specific acupuncture points in the body that are designated for various illnesses and pain relief. The licensed practitioner initially talks with the patient and goes over his medical history. The may do a cursory physical examination and then the patient lies down and he begins placing the needles or the cups on the body.
Acupuncture needles are sterile and very thin. They slip easily and painlessly into the skin where they stay until removed by the practitioner. Cups are placed at acupuncture points and heated to eliminate the air inside the cups and create a suction effect.
The amount of needles/ cups needed, the duration of the session and treatment depends on the individual’s needs and the issues requiring treatment.
What can be Treated?
Acupuncture isn’t a cure for everything and has been used to treat various illnesses and issues including pain management. For people with chronic pain, standard treatments using strong painkillers can have serious side effects and the worry of dependency. Acupuncture provides people with a natural alternative that isn’t addictive.
It’s also been used for treatment of hyper and hypotension, stomach ailments, depression and more.
Austin Medical is an industry leader in acupuncture medical supplies including acupuncture needles and cupping items. If you’re interested in these supplies, visit our acupuncture page.