Introduction to Acupuncture: What is it?
Acupuncture can help increase the quality of your everyday life, whether it is helping you manage pain or your overall well being, it is a natural holistic approach that can help you feel better and happier.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative or complementary medicine that involves inserting needles into specific points in the body to encourage natural healing and promote function. It is mainly known as a way to treat chronic pain but can also be used as a preventative treatment and alleviate many different conditions as well as improve your overall physical health and mental well being.
Acupuncture: Origins & Beliefs
Acupuncture comes from ancient chinese medicine and can be traced back over 2,000 years. The traditional belief is that we all have a life energy that flows through our bodies known as Qi (or Chi) and that illness is caused by an imbalance of that life force between the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ and acupuncture helps by restoring the balance by inserting needles into some of these specific pathways the energy flows through (known as meridians) in order to release energy and restore the balance of the flow.
How it works
You should be open and honest with your acupuncture practitioner on where the pain is and be examined before treatment begins so that the right acupoints can be identified as there are over 350 of them. Once that happens you lie on your back and the sterilized needles are inserted into the pathways in your body and left for five minutes to up to half in hour in place.
Your acupuncturist may move, twirl, or run heat or an electrical current through the needles, or not at all during the treatment before they are removed. During this time the inserted needles are said to release energy and bring the flow back into balance, resulting in the healing effect.
For those less convinced by traditional chinese ideas of Qi and energy flow the modern take on acupuncture is that the needles stimulate the nervous system and also release chemicals in the brain, spinal cord and the muscles themselves. These chemicals can either affect the experience of pain in the body or active other parts of the body’s internal regulating system, leading to feeling better overall.
Acupuncture & Modern Medicine
While modern medicine has not be able to conclusively decide on the exact benefits of acupuncture because of the very nature of it, many medicinal studies lean towards the positive benefits that it provides and it is prescribed by doctors and institutions as a holistic, natural approach to healthcare. Miami Acupuncturist Michael Forman DOM, P.A believes in integrating this traditional approach with modern day advancements in healthcare to treat and prevent future illness by identifying and fixing the underlying problems.
What can Acupuncture help with?
From physical to mental, here are some of the things acupuncture can help with:
- Neck Pain
- Back and muscle pain and spasms
- Knee pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Blood Pressure/Blood Sugar
- Muscle Spasms
- Lack of Energy
- Depression and overall mood
- Inability to sleep (insomnia)
- Recovery from chemotherapy and cancer treatments
- Does it hurt?: The needles used in acupuncture are so thin that they are barely felt during treatment. Acupuncture is used to help treat pain, not cause it.
- Is it safe? The Food and Drug administration regulates acupuncture needles as a medical device so it is required that they only be used one, be sterile and non-toxic. For this reason it is recommended to only visit with a qualified practitioner.
- How many treatments will I need? It varies from person to person depending on why you are seeking treatment. Ask your acupuncturist before starting treatment.
Acupuncture is a great way to treat a wide variety of physical and mental ailments in a natural, holistic way but also to take care of your body and help you feel better in your everyday life. Give acupuncture a try today and start feeling your best.