What Is It?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment/ medical practice used around the world for thousands of years. In this procedure, small thin needles are carefully inserted into specific points on the body along key meridians. Administered correctly, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. Acupuncture has been popularized in movies such as The Matrix and Kung Fu Panda as well as in documentaries such as 15 Million Needles, A Return to Life, and Golden Needles.
Acupuncture is widely used in many parts of the world beyond China, and is growing in prevalence and acceptance in North America. It has been shown to offer several benefits for the body and mind. It is recognized by the World Health Organization, and major health institutions such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA Health, and the Mayo Clinic. But what exactly are its benefits?
Benefits of Acupuncture
One of the most well-known advantages of acupuncture is its ability to reduce pain. Studies indicate that acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of bodily pains, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and even menstrual cramps. In addition to this acupuncture for depression is also a very common and sought-after form of treatment.
One of the reasons acupuncture is effective is because of how it stimulates the body to produce endorphins, which are our body’s own natural painkillers. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and irritation, contributing to further pain relief.
Another benefit of this procedure is relaxation and reduction in stress. When the needles are inserted into the body, they energize the nervous system and release other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
Collectively, these neurotransmitters help to regulate your mood and reduce stress levels, making you feel relaxed and calm. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress and anxiety).
Acupuncture can also be used to treat a lot of other health conditions. For example, it effectively treats digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and acid reflux.
It can also be used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and seasonal allergies, as well as neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Your best chances of success are through a licensed acupuncturist who is trained in healing injuries and diseases from within. Look to the talented team at Red Leaf Wellness, or search for acupuncture near you, to begin to enjoy its benefits.
Components of Acupuncture
The key component of acupuncture is the concept of ‘Qi’ (pronounced “Chee”). Qi is the positive energy that flows in our body. A good Qi is essential for maintaining good health. When Qi is blocked or disrupted, it can lead to restlessness and spiritual illness. The needles used in acupuncture are thought to help unblock and regulate the flow of Qi, thus promoting healing and restoring balance to the body.
Another important component of acupuncture is the selection of acupuncture points. There are hundreds of acupuncture points throughout the body. Each point is believed to have unique properties, functions, and effects on the body.
The selection of these points in acupuncture treatment depends on the patient’s requirements. For example, face acupuncture can target issues related to the face and head such as migraines, sinus issues, skin problems, etc.
A trained acupuncturist will start by taking a medical history and conducting a physical examination. They will then use this information to develop a treatment plan tailored to the person’s needs. The needles they use for acupuncture are very thin and usually inserted into the skin only at a few millimeters of depth. Depending on the desired effect, they are left on the skin for a few minutes to half an hour.
Which Areas Can Acupuncture Be Used In?
Back and Neck:
Acupuncture is common to treat back and neck pain, as it can help to reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and stimulate the body to release endorphins.
Acupuncture effectively treats respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies /seasonal allergies, and sinusitis and can even improve lung function.
Acupuncture can help to reduce stiffness, pain, and inflammation in joints, making it useful for treating arthritis and joint injuries.
Acupuncture can also help to regulate digestive function and help with digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and acid reflux.
Acupuncture has been highly effective in treating infertility, helping with menstrual cramps, and other reproductive health issues.
Head and Face:
It may help relieve tension headaches, migraines, and other issues and improve facial circulation and skin health.
Acupuncture can help to calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, help with stress, and improve sleep quality.