Is Acupuncture the Real Deal?

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Maybe the thought of needles being poked into your skin isn’t your idea of a good time, but for nearly 3.5 million Americans, acupuncture has been an effective treatment for a variety of different health concerns. But is it the real deal or just a pseudoscience? Let’s find out.

Acupuncture was first given FDA approval back in 1996, but the practice of acupuncture has been happening for thousands of years. This method of healing has been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 3,000 years, and in the 20+ years it has been recognized as an approved medical treatment in the US, studies have confirmed its efficacy.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe as being a body of two opposing forces – Yin and Yang. When these energy forces are in balance, the body is in a healthy state. However, if energy, called “Qi” becomes blocked among key pathways in the body, then the disruption in energy is said to cause illness, pain, and lack of function. During acupuncture, this Qi is released from its blockages, allowing the body to remain to a state of equilibrium.

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Acupuncture works by improving the body’s functions by promoting its natural self-healing processes. By stimulating specific anatomic sites using fine, sterile needles, acupuncturists are able to stimulate the body’s various essential systems, improving a variety of symptoms a patient may be experiencing.

Acupuncture is most well-recognized for being an effective treatment for chronic pain. Millions of Americans have turned to acupuncture for natural relief all sorts of pains, including back, neck, and knee pain. A number of studies conducted by the National Institute of Health have found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for chronic pain and should be considered by patients who suffer from it. Another article that appears in the Practical Pain Management journal shows that acupuncture is effective in eliminating pain by elevating endorphin levels.

Those who use acupuncture often report a sense of well-being, despite the procedure looking quite unsettling, especially to those who have a fear of needles. This, however, is said to cause none or very mild discomfort. For the most part, it is considered as being non-invasive and quite gentle. One writer for the Huffington Post even talks about the “side effects” of acupuncture, listing them proudly as including “better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, better digestion, and less stress.”

Image by Ryan Hoyme from Pixabay

I actually have first-hand experience with acupuncture, and I can say without a doubt it has made an impact in my life. After struggling with nerve pain in my shoulder blade for some time, my doctor recommended acupuncture. Without much to lose, I decided to try it out. During my treatment, I experienced no discomfort, but rather a serene feeling of relaxation. Afterwards, the nerve pain was significantly reduced, and I promptly scheduled several more appointments to continue my treatment.

No matter how you feel about acupuncture, the fact that it has remained as a relevant medical treatment for thousands of years gives it some merit. If you’re struggling with pain, and want to seek out natural remedies for it, acupuncture just might be something you’ll want to check out.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon


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