You may have heard through the grapevine about people using acupuncture for a variety of different reasons, but you might know exactly how it works.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that is approximately 3000 years old. It was used to diagnose and treat a variety of physical and mental conditions.
Though acupuncture is originally an ancient Chinese practice, many forms have been developed in other parts of the world. Approximately 3 million Americans have tried acupuncture for a variety of conditions.
If you’re considering giving this treatment a try, you should know that there are different types of acupuncture. Not only is it a holistic treatment for ailments, but it is also a great way to maintain your overall health and well-being.
Keep reading to learn more about acupuncture and decide which type is right for you!
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a procedure where thin metallic needles are penetrated into the skin in different areas of the body. They are activated from electrical stimulation or with the guidance and movement of an experienced professional.
It is used to relieve emotional and physical pain, as well as a variety of other conditions. The points are meant to stimulate the central nervous system, release chemicals into different parts of your body, initiating your body’s natural healing abilities.
Practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine believe that there are 2,000 points of connection for acupuncture around the human body. These points are connected to routes or pathways that create a flow of energy responsible for the body’s overall health and wellbeing. You can learn more about the top 10 accupuncture points and what they do to get a better sense of the benefits.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture helps to release the flow of energy that may be blocked or disrupted in the body. This energy is referred to as “chi” and it is vital for fighting diseases and maintaining healthy functioning.
There are 14 energy pathways that are stimulated during the practice of acupuncture and they help the body release natural endorphins. The practice can also help increase blood flow and improve activity in the brain.
Aside from the use of needles acupuncture uses some other methods that you may not know about.
Here are some other forms of stimulation:
- Moxibustion, or the use of heat
- Acupressure, or simply pressure
- Cupping, or suction
- Electromagnetic energy pulses
These are also forms of acupuncture that target the same pathways. They each have their own benefits and are great as adjunctive techniques.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
The needles used in the acupuncture process are very thin and many patients report mild discomfort when the needles are inserted into the skin. Needles are sometimes heated or there may be a stimulation with a gentle electric current.
Some patients say that the points of insertion are tender or achy afterward, but many say that they feel relaxed and even energized after the process.
If you do experience pain when the acupuncture needles are inserted, this might be a sign that your practitioner is inexperienced. You want to ensure that you go to a certified practitioner. The right clinic will be FDA-approved with sterilized needles and well-trained staff.
Benefits of Acupuncture
This holistic treatment has a variety of benefits. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are becoming more popular methods of treatment because of all their efficacy in healing physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental issues.
One of the major advantages of acupuncture is that it does not have a long list of pesky side effects like many pharmaceutical medicines and practices.
Acupuncture can be used to boost and maintain your overall health and is not limited to those suffering from certain conditions. However, here are some of the conditions that can be treated using acupuncture:
- Issues with fertility
- Compromised immunity
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Chronic stress and fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Substance abuse and addictions
- Sleep disorders
- Respiratory issues
- Emotional issues
- Menstrual cramps
- Nausea due to chemotherapy
- Improvement of mental clarity
- Improvement in diet and nutrition
These are just some of the conditions that can be improved with acupuncture therapy. It is recommended that acupuncture is used in combination with other treatment modalities for the best results.
Types of Acupuncture
There are many forms of acupuncture that can have different effects on your health. These are some great holistic treatments, especially if you prefer to avoid Western medicine. Ensure that you understand what each type has to offer before you decide which one is right for you.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
This is one of the most popular practices. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is one component of traditional Chinese medicine, used to treat different types of physical and emotional pain.
TCM is used to promote overall health and wellness by creating a treatment plan for each individual patient for their specific needs. There is an evaluation to decide what treatment options are best and what areas of the body (or pathways) to focus on.
Many patients experience relief from anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, arthritis, and headaches.
Japanese Acupuncture is performed using thinner needles and much less of them. In fact, this type of acupuncture requires less stimulation but is meant to create stronger changes in the body.
Before the treatment begins, there are a variety of diagnostic procedures to create a treatment plan that is personal to each patient. The treatment focuses on areas of the body that need balancing.
Patients who undergo Japanese acupuncture report changes in the state of their mental health. They also report an increase in energy, fewer headaches, and less physical pain from injuries.
Korean Hand Acupuncture
This type of acupuncture focuses on points on the patient’s hand rather than their entire body. However, it is said that the points in the hand can activate the rest of the body, treating a variety of ailments.
Those who have Korean hand acupuncture experience relief from physical pain in the neck, head, shoulders, and back. They also report improvement with digestive issues, respiratory issues, and skin issues such as eczema.
Auricular and Scalp Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture focuses on the eat to access other parts of the body, particularly healing vital organs. Needles are placed into the ear, connecting to areas that help remove toxins, increase brain function, calm mood swings, and improve allergies.
Like auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture uses the scalp to access and treat issues in other parts of the body. Thin needles are placed on the scalp and can help those who suffer from spinal issues.
Acupressure, as the name implies, is an amalgamation of the words “acupuncture” and “pressure”. With this type of acupuncture, there is no need for needles.
Here, the practitioner uses finger placement and applies pressure to parts of the body in order to stimulate the flow of “Chi”. This is similar to Japanese shiatsu which provides relaxation.
Moxibustion is a therapy that uses heat by burning mugwort. This is an herb that is applied to points in the body that are triggered and improves circulation. The heat along with the herb is meant to have a healing effect on the body which can help with insomnia, digestive issues, respiratory health, and pain management.
Cupping is the process of placing suction cups on the surface of the skin in order to draw blood to a specific area. Simulating blood flow can create relief from inflammation and blockages.
Through the suction process, toxins are also eliminated from the body, through the surface of the skin. Patients who have been treated with cupping experience relief from coughs, arthritis, depression, and blood disorders.
How To Find The Right Acupuncture Services
Although acupuncture is a great alternative treatment, it might not be for everyone. What’s more, you want to ensure that you find the right acupuncturist before undergoing the treatment.
The team at Centre for Health and Well Being in San Diego is dedicated to merging Western medicine with alternative therapies. Many of these work better in conjunction with one another and their mission is to provide both services to suit your health needs.
Their goal is to optimize your health and wellness, with a variety of modalities that include conventional and holistic treatments. They have a team of caring professionals that are dedicated to giving you the quality of care that you deserve.
If you are in the San Deigo area, the Center for Health and Well Being offers a variety of medical services to suit your personal needs with care and compassion.
The Bottom Line of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a great alternative treatment method for a variety of physical, mental, and emotional conditions. With many different types of acupuncture, you want to ensure that you pick the method that is right for you. From cupping to Korean hand acupuncture, and traditional Chinese acupuncture, there are so many benefits for each of these wonderful practices.
For more information, visit our website to make an appointment today!