Acupuncture is a practice that originated in China around 600 B.C. and first recorded in the ancient Chinese text Huang Di Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, but some believed it began as early as the Stone Age when sharp-edged tools and stones were used to puncture and drain abscesses. What we now know as modern acupuncture was established later on by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and has been used in the west since the 17th century. It wasn’t until 1972 after President Nixon’s visit to China that acupuncture was introduced into the united states and later on in 1995 acupuncture needles were classified as medical instruments by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 1997 the National Institute of Health (NIH) considered acupuncture as an effective treatment for many health conditions.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is now widely accepted as a complementary medical practice across the United States. The practice of acupuncture still maintains the same basic premise it did centuries ago that the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body and responsible for overall your overall health. Acupuncture studies show that the exact opposite occurs when there is disruption of energy flow at these meridian points disease can occur and that by applying acupuncture to certain points it is thought to improve the flow of Qi and thereby improving health overall.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture works by inserting very thin metallic needles into the skin to activate Chinese meridian points and then applying gentle and specific movements of the needles by hand and sometimes with electrical stimulation, in order to clear the Qi (energy flow) alleviating pain and improving health.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Acupuncture?
The following are examples of conditions that may benefit from acupuncture treatment:
- Mental-Emotional Conditions:
- Upper Respiratory Tract Disorders
- Respiratory System Disorders:
- Acute Bronchitis
- Bronchial Asthma
- Disorders Of The Eyes
- Disorders Of The Mouth
- Gastro-Intestinal Disorders:
- Neurological & Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
- Headaches & Migraines
- TMJ Disorder
- Frozen Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Low-Back Pain
- Blood Pressure Problems
- Sexual Dysfunction:
- Low Libido
- Erectile Dysfunction
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
Since acupuncture is performed with small hair-like flexible needles most people feel little to no pain or discomfort when receiving treatment. Most patients describe feeling a bit of pressure or a slight ache when the meridian points are being stimulated, but overall most patients fall asleep because they say that the acupuncture relaxes them so much.
How Long Does Acupuncture Treatment Take?
Acupuncture treatment can last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes with your very first treatment lasting the longest due to the gathering of information about the symptoms you want to treat. Once the needles are inserted they will stay in place for about 10 to 30 minutes.
After Treatment Instructions?
After you have had an acupuncture session it is advised that you rest and take it easy. This means you should not do anything too strenuous or stressful, but doesn’t necessarily mean you should take a nap, although that’s not a bad thing either… Resting allows the physical and emotional restoration achieved through acupuncture to set in place. It’s much like a tune-up of your energy channels. If you feel the need to exercise it is recommended that you go very light. For example, if you are a runner then you should walk instead, if you do yoga then do a beginner series, etc..
Avoiding alcohol and coffee is also highly suggested, both alcohol and coffee are diuretics and it is important that you stay hydrated after acupuncture treatment to flush toxins out of your system. In addition, the goal of acupuncture is to heighten your senses so the last thing you want to do is to disturb that with alcohol or coffee which would be considered as drugs at this point.
Eating healthy post acupuncture is also important so as to not load your system up with processed foods or refined sugars. Instead, replace those foods with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Is Acupuncture Covered By Insurance?
Acupuncture is covered by most insurances including the Aetna Medicare plans.