Acupuncture is fast gaining traction in the Western world, despite being practiced for thousands of years. Originating in China, it focuses on the yin and yang concept of balance and harmony.
‘Qi’ (pronounch chee) is considered to be our ‘lifeflow’ which runs through our body’s meridians. These meridians are a network of channels throughout the body. As Qi runs through them in a balanced and healthy way, we find our bodies are harmonious and function at their optimal level. If our flow of ‘Qi’ is disrupted, blocked or not in an adequate supply, our bodies are knocked out of balance. This is said to lead to physical and emotional stress, pain, illness and a general lack of wellbeing.
So, who can benefit from acupuncture?
As the practice of acupuncture can be focused on various meridian points throughout the body, it has been used to both treat and prevent a wide range of issues. From a bodily perspective, the insertion of acupuncture needles has been claimed to bring blood flow to the specified area. Increased blow flow is said to assist in stimulating the body’s healing mechanisms and releasing endorphins, a natural pain-killer, and oxytocin, a hormone with anti-inflammatory properties that is responsible for a feeling of well-being.
For these reasons, acupuncture is commonly used to alleviate pain. Those who suffer from joint swelling, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and general wear and tear injuries have been known to find drug-free pain relief.
Other areas that acupuncture has been used to assist with are:
- Mood, such as anxiety and depression.
- Menstrual and menopausal issues
- Sleep disorders
- Anti-nausea (such as effects of morning sickness or chemotherapy)
- High/low blood pressure
- Respiratory concerns (such as chronic bronchitis or sinusitis)
- Skin conditions (including eczema, psoriasis and acne)
- Heartburn and other digestive issues
Whilst it remains a controversial discussion in terms of the legitimacy of its results, according to anecdotal evidence, acupuncture has been used to successfully treat all of the above and much more. As a result, acupuncture is now frequently being used in combination with other treatments for various ailments.
When to be cautious:
As a rule, acupuncture as a form of natural therapy may be considered a safe form of treatment for illness, pain and wellbeing. It offers a drug-free alternative and is rarely accompanied with any risks if performed by a well-trained and accredited practitioner.
There are a few things to be wary of, should you be interested in trying it. The following risks would be reason to avoid acupuncture and it’s always wise to speak with a qualified medical professional first:
- If you have a bleeding disorder
- If you are on blood thinning medication
- If you are bruised or the acupuncture site has suffered recent trauma
- If the needles are unsterilized
Have you ever received an acupuncture treatment? Let us know your own thoughts below!
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