Do You Know??? about Acupuncture


Acupuncture is a very important element of ancient Chinese drugs (TCM) that involves the insertion of skinny needles at specific bodily points (acupoints), most of that square measure classified per their clinical effects on lines called meridians. The TCM theory of treatment relies partially on the premise that blood and energy termed ki (pronounced chee) flow into in an exceedingly alternate fashion through these meridians. This energy flow is needed permanently health; blockages in ki will result in pain and/or unhealthiness. (Many ancient Oriental drugs practices concentrate on up the flow and balance of ki.) Thus, TCM practitioners can needle specific treatment points on the meridians to revive (or maintain) a healthy flow and balance of ki and blood in them.

TCM practitioners use treatment to treat and forestall a spread of conditions and sicknesses, even colds and influenza. In the us, one in all its commonest uses is to alleviate pain, but it is also used for other conditions ranging from ear, nose and throat diseases to neurologic, respiratory or even psychiatric problems such as depression. Acupuncture is also used alone, in conjunction with alternative TCM therapies like herbs, or with more conventional therapies.

Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is wide practiced within the us. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, including a comprehensive survey of complementary and medicine use by Americans, about 3.1 million adults and 150,000 children undergo the treatment each year. And the quality of treatment is increasing over time; per a similar survey, treatment use inflated by one million folks between 2002 and 2007. People sometimes notice the procedure to be comparatively painless, though some points in some patients is also quite sensitive. Depending on your professional, the needles is also stirred with manual manipulation, heat or electricity.

There square measure several state treatment organizations, and many states have acupuncture regulations and codes. Almost every state has a State Acupuncture Board, and there are approximately 50 accredited schools of acupuncture in the United States. There also are several physician-acupuncturists UN agency follow treatment as a part of their medical practices.

Widely practiced round the world, particularly in Asia (the follow originated in China) and Europe, treatment did not gain a notable following within the us till the Nineteen Seventies, when New York Times journalist James Reston piqued public interest by writing regarding however physicians in Peiping mitigated his postsurgery abdominal pain with treatment. Acupuncture has been gaining popularity in the United States ever since.

The 1997 National Institutes of Health (NIH) accord Conference on treatment gave a lift to treatment by final that treatment is safe and, for a few conditions, tried effective. These embody reducing nausea related to therapy, anesthesia or pregnancy and lessening the pain from dental surgery. There was conjointly proof suggesting treatment is also effective in treating migraines, depression, tendonitis, constipation, low-back pain and sterility. Additionally, acupuncture may be useful in treating neck pain, asthma, insomnia and wound healing, among other conditions.

More recent proof suggests that high blood pressure and sure vessel diseases will likewise be improved by treatment with treatment. The NIH continues to fund a variety of research projects relating to the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture.
The World Health Organization (WHO), victimization totally different criteria, has recognized acupuncture as an appropriate treatment for more than 50 conditions, including certain digestive, respiratory, neurological, muscular, urinary, menstrual and reproductive disorders.

There are many styles of acupuncture practiced here, many of which are different from traditional Chinese acupuncture. “Medical treatment” refers to acupuncture practiced by a Western MD. Physicians as well as nonphysicians who are licensed to practice acupuncture (LAcs) will often use a variety of acupuncture styles. The most common vogue instructed in yank faculties is termed ancient Chinese drugs (TCM) treatment, but Five Element, Auricular and Neuro-anatomical acupuncture styles are also widely used.

Scientists square measure finding it exhausting to reconcile normal} rationalization of however treatment works with standard Western medical models. Although several studies have documented acupuncture’s efficacy and effectiveness, much remains to be learned about its mechanisms of action from a Western perspective.

Human and animal studies show that acupuncture can generate various biological responses—some close to the insertion point and others at a distance. Research has incontestable that treatment stimulates the body to unharness hormones, as well as naturally occurring opioid analgesics (termed endorphins and enkephalins) from thecentral nervous system. Endorphins diminish pain, influence the body’s automatic systems and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Associated mechanisms are also at work:

  • Electromagnetic signals: proof suggests that treatment points square measure strategic conductors of magnetism signals, and treatment permits magnetism signals to be relayed at a bigger rate than below traditional conditions.
  • Brain blood flow: Studies indicate that treatment clearly affects blood flow to centers of the brain and therefore the central systema nervosum associated with sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and the regulation of blood pressure, blood flow, oxygenation and body temperature. Specific activation of bound brain regions, together with a number of the pain perception centers (such because the complex body part space and hypothalamus) is incontestible throughout treatment treatments.

Ultimately, scientists do not know precisely that mechanisms build treatment effective; a lot of analysis is required. It is often believed that to get the best results, treatments need to be individualized. That’s one in all several reasons treatment is harder to analysis than a typical pharmaceutical medication


When is acupuncture an appropriate treatment? If you have got pain, nausea and innate reflex from therapy or maternity, or face surgery and square measure troubled regarding anesthesia-induced nausea, you may want to ask your health care professional about acupuncture. If you have got had very little or no success victimisation standard medication, you will would like to raise your health care skilled whether or not treatment would possibly facilitate. When the risks related to standard treatments square measure nice or the outcomes unsure, you would possibly take into account the safer choice of treatment initial. Often, treatment is used effectively as a complementary medical aid to standard therapies.

For example, acupuncture is often used in combination with more conventional pain relievers. Some medical professionals report higher results by combining treatment and bound standard pain-killing medication than from victimisation the medication alone.

The National Institutes of Health panel explicit that there’s clear clinical proof that treatment provides relief from the nausea related to therapy, anesthesia or pregnancy, as well as post-operative dental pain. Recent analysis additionally has incontestible acupuncture’s quality in treating cephalalgia headaches, neck pain, low-back pain and knee osteoarthritis.

There square measure different things within which analysis on acupuncture’s effectiveness is a smaller amount convincing, nevertheless still promising:

  • addiction
  • asthma
  • fibromyalgia
  • myofascial pain
  • infertility
  • insomnia
  • tennis elbow

Studies counsel that treatment can also facilitate relieve a number of the physical issues related to tension, stress, depression, anxiety and different emotional conditions.

The World Health Organization has taken a broader approach than U.S. organizations, recognizing acupuncture as appropriate for a wide range of conditions. Among them are:

  • gastrointestinal disorders: ulcers, acute and chronic colitis, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea
  • respiratory disorders: sinusitis, rhinitis, common cold, bronchitis, and asthma
  • neurological disorders: headaches, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, facial paralysis, frozen shoulder, neuralgia, sciatica, arthritis and Meniere’s disease
  • poor eyesight
  • urinary, menstrual and reproductive problems
  • orthopedic disorders: tennis elbow, low-back pain, tendonitis and neck pain

One advantage of stylostixis is its very low incidence of major aspect effects—especially in comparison to traditional medical treatments. The complications involved stylostixis square measure similar however less common than the complications seen with alternative styles of needle use. The most common aspect effects square measure native bruising or transient worsening of native pain. Rare aspect effects rumored embrace unwellness transmission, infection, needle breakage, nerve damage or organ puncture. Major adverse events are extremely rare and are usually associated with poorly trained or unlicensed acupuncturists.

A Japanese study of sixty five,482 acupuncture treatments reported no major adverse effects, and another two surveys performed in the United Kingdom totaling 66,000 acupuncture treatments reported no serious adverse events. Also, in an exceedingly prospective German study of ninety seven,733 patients receiving acupuncture, the most frequently reported side effects were needling pain (3.3 percent) and hematoma (3.2 percent). The more serious events included two cases of collapsed lung. And an asthma attack, exacerbation of depression, acute high blood pressure and fainting were considered to be possibly related to treatment, but not definitely. Overall, stylostixis is taken into account terribly safe, and the risk of adverse effects is extremely low.

Finding an Acupuncturist

If you think acupuncture is for you, you may need to find a health care professional who is open to the possibility; many are skeptical. But there is conjointly an honest likelihood that your health care skilled are going to be able to refer you to a authorised practician. Don’t be surprised if you are referred to a physician: some neurologists, anesthesiologists and other physicians have training in acupuncture. Referrals for stylostixis from somebody you trust square measure notably necessary since state licensing and regulative tips for acupuncturists vary wide.

National organizations can provide the names of practitioners in your area:

  • The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture,, or 310-364-0193
  • Referral Center, or 760-630-3600

Check to check if the acupuncturist you’ve got chosen is authorised and/or documented. Approximately forty states have established coaching standards for stylostixis certification.

Traditionally, acupuncture, even more than Western medicine, acknowledges the “art” of medicine. Therefore, recommendations from other health care providers, friends and family can be helpful.

Check treatment costs and insurance coverage. If your insurance underwriter covers stylostixis treatment, it may have preferred providers or require pre-certification. Your Dr. or acupuncturist ought to inform you concerning the calculable range of treatments and also the price for every visit.

The First Visit

During your first visit, the acupuncturist will probably ask about the condition and symptoms that led you to seek acupuncture. Discuss any health conditions you have, especially pregnancy. Certain points should not be stirred up throughout pregnancy; you will risk female internal reproductive organ contractions, premature labor and a possible miscarriage.

Take a listing of all the medications you’re taking to share with the acupuncturist. For instance, if you are taking anticoagulants (blood-thinning drugs), you should warn the acupuncturist because you are more prone to bleeding complications (although acupuncture generally doesn’t draw blood). Also let the practician grasp if you’ve got a pacemaker or the other planted medical device.

The acupuncturist can raise concerning your medical record, but he or she will probably also ask questions seemingly unrelated to medicine. This holistic approach is typical of the many different and complementary therapies. It’s the person, not only the symptoms and condition, who is being treated. The practician could take your pulse, examine your tongue and ears and touch (palpate) parts of your body.

Ask concerning the treatment procedures which will be used and their probability of success for your condition or illness.

In the u. s. and Europe, the training and licensing of practitioners who provide acupuncture makes the spread of infectious diseases through the procedure extremely rare. If the practician is authorised, you can assume he or she knows how to protect you from infectious diseases spread by contaminated needles. Your acupuncturist should use sterile, single-use disposable needles. This may not be true in underdeveloped countries.


Here are some guidelines to follow before going for acupuncture treatment:

  • Don’t eat an extremely heavy meal or drink alcohol right before or after your treatment.
  • Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Try to arrange your schedule so you can get some rest afterward, especially early on in the process. If you can’t, at least avoid scheduling activities that require you to be in top physical and mental condition. You may feel very relaxed or even tired after your session.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Continue taking your medications as directed by your health care professional, but make sure the acupuncturist knows what they are. Don’t ask advice from your acupuncturist to change or stop the medications because it is your primary care physician’s duty to oversee your medications.
  • Don’t take illegal drugs. Drugs, as well as alcohol abuse, may seriously interfere with the effectiveness your treatment.

The average session may last from 15 minutes to an hour; your first one may take a bit longer. The number of treatments depends, of course, on your condition and the way well you respond. For some chronic or complex problems, you may need one to two sessions a week for several months. Some conditions need maintenance medical care, even as they are doing in Western medication.

As you are needled, you may feel something akin to a mosquito bite or perhaps a dull ache, numbness, tingling or a warm feeling. That is a traditional reaction to the needle insertion. Sharp or severe pain is not.

If you’ve got had unhealthy experiences with shots and drawing blood, stylostixis are going to be totally different. Acupuncture needles square measure sleek and solid; hypodermic needles square measure hollow with cutting edges. This makes stylostixis needle insertion a lot of less painful and reduces the chance of bruising. Needle phobias square measure common and typically non-needling techniques could also be used for psychoneurotic patients or kids. Acupuncture using lasers is gaining popularity as a painless way to provide treatments.

Once the needles square measure in place—they square measure sometimes left there for ten to fifteen minutes—you most likely will not feel something. The acupuncturist might manually stimulate the needles, heat them or use electrical stimulation on them. Typically, the needles, that square measure a lot of diluent than hypodermic needles, are inserted between one-quarter and one inch in depth. However, you would like to remain comparatively still and relaxed, because you could feel achy or tight in the needle spots if you move suddenly or tighten your muscles.

If you are uncomfortable, tell the acupuncturist. If you are feeling faint, dizzy or queasy or become in need of breath or entered a chilly sweat, speak up. It’s often a function of nervousness, but your practitioner can readjust or withdraw the needles if necessary.

Acupuncture, performed correctly, has almost no side effects. Your relief could also be immediate or delayed for a couple of hours or up to a few days, and you may notice dizziness, sleeplessness, nausea or euphoria. You may also have a little bleeding and bruising where the needles were inserted.

Some of these aspect effects might indicate the stylostixis is commencing to work, and they don’t last for long. If they do, check with your regular health care skilled and your acupuncturist. Often, the first one or two treatments may leave you deeply relaxed or even mildly disoriented. You should take precautions whereas driving, especially after the first several sessions.

Emotionally speaking, most patients feel relaxed, energetic or even cheerful after treatment.

Make sure you retain your primary health care skilled apprised of your stylostixis treatment. And keep your acupuncturist up to date on changes in your health. You may wish to counsel that they check with one another to cut back the prospect that necessary medical issues are going to be unmarked.

The National Center for Complementary and practice of medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) has studied or is continuous to analysis the utilization of stylostixis within the following areas:

  • How exactly acupuncture works, such as what happens in the brain during treatment
  • Acupuncture and its use in treating pain
  • Acupuncture to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Whether acupuncture works for specific health conditions, such as chronic low-back pain, headache and osteoarthritis of the knee
  • The use of acupuncture to relieve the side effects of hormone replacement therapy
  • Ways to better understand and identify the potential neurological properties of meridians and acupuncture points
  • Methods and instruments that can improve the quality of acupuncture research
  • The use of acupuncture in improving pregnancy rates following IVF

Researchers hope to point out that stylostixis at sure acupoints produces long-lived pressure level reductions in hypertensive patients however not in subjects with traditional pressure level. To be of clinical worth, stylostixis should give associate degree medication result that persists in an exceedingly cost-effective manner.

Encouraging analysis continues on potential stylostixis treatments for odontology pain, attention deficit upset disorder, asthma, bronchitis, myocardial infarction and rehabilitation from stroke and other conditions.


Acupuncture is taken into account a style of treatment or medical care. However, stylostixis practitioners believe that stylostixis could also be most booming once it’s applied as associate degree early intervention for symptoms or conditions. In theory, stylostixis will stop or reverse some diseases, or a minimum of stop them from worsening or turning into chronic. For example, analysis has shown a positive result in preventing opening births among pregnant girls. More research is needed to define the preventive value of acupuncture.

Facts to Know

  1. Medical stylostixis refers to stylostixis performed by a doctor trained and commissioned in Western medication.
  2. The theory behind stylostixis in ancient Chinese medication involves, in part, the regular flow of energy within the body. Various points on the body (acupuncture points) area unit connected by pathways, termed meridians. Traditional practitioners believe these meridians conduct energy, or qi, between the surface of the body and internal organs. Blockage of this energy could end in unhealthiness or illness. Acupuncture is alleged to unblock the meridians, permitting the energy to flow properly.
  3. Studies show that stylostixis will relieve physical issues related to tension, stress and different emotional conditions (such as depression).
  4. You don’t have to believe in acupuncture for it to work, but you should at least be neutral to its effects.
  5. Pregnant girls could have stylostixis treatments, but they should always advise the acupuncturist of their condition. Stimulating sure stylostixis points, significantly those on or close to the abdomen, could induce premature labor and possibly miscarriage.
  6. About 3.1 million people in the United States undergo acupuncture each year.
  7. While studies have documented acupuncture’s efficacy, none have fully explained how it works in the context of Western medicine.
  8. The World Health Organization has known quite fifty conditions that stylostixis may be used.
  9. In general,you should avoid treatment once you area unit terribly hungry, full from a heavy meal or upset. Treatment can be adjusted according to a patient’s condition and symptoms.
  10. Speak up during treatment. Let the acupuncturist apprehend if you’re nervous, uncomfortable, dizzy, sick or suffering the other unwell effects. Your acupuncturist will change the needles or maybe withdraw them, if needed.

Key Q&A

  1. Does acupuncture work the same for everybody?No. In fact, researchers are not utterly certain however or why it works. Your response could also be completely different than that of another patient with similar symptoms. Most patients have a positive response to treatment, and none area unit created worse long-run.
  2. Isn’t acupuncture just a placebo?No. whereas researchers do not discount the result, proof indicates that stylostixis is effective in treating a spread of conditions, including postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain associated with dental surgery, neck pain, low-back pain, migraines and knee osteoarthritis.
  3. I know I want to try acupuncture. Why should I talk to my primary health care professional first?Pain could also be a signal of a heavy condition. You should be screened by a professional with formal coaching in Western allopathic drugs if the designation isn’t clear or normal treatment choices unknown.
  4. Is acupuncture a replacement for conventional medicine?Sometimes, however typically, it’s prudent to continue any current treatments prescribed for you. Acupuncture typically is complementary medical aid, operating in conjunction with alternative treatments. In fact, in some cases, victimisation stylostixis and bound typical painkillers along results in complete pain relief. And remember: If you are seeing several health care professionals, keep them all apprised of your various treatments and therapies.
  5. Are the acupuncture needles like those used to give shots or draw blood?No. stylostixis needles area unit hair-thin, sleek and solid, whereas hypodermic needles area unit thicker, hollow and have cutting edges.
  6. When is acupuncture an appropriate treatment?If you have got pain, nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy or pregnancy, or are facing surgery and worried about anesthesia-induced nausea, talk to your physician about acupuncture. You may also talk with an acupuncturist to get information. Acupuncture could supply pain relief or improve alternative symptoms notwithstanding you have got had very little success with typical drugs.