How Does Acupuncture Work
Acupuncture is a form of healing that originated in China many centuries ago. Acupuncture works with the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points along the body’s meridians or energy channels. These points are located on the surface of the body and at specific depths below the surface. The needles may be manipulated by hand or electrically stimulated.
The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance and harmony within the body by stimulating its natural self-healing processes. By restoring this balance and harmony, your symptoms may be relieved and your body will function more efficiently.
Acupuncture works by stimulating certain points on the body called meridians. These points are located in different areas of your body, and each one helps to balance a certain part of your health.
When an acupuncturist inserts a needle into these points, it creates a small amount of damage to your tissue. This damage activates your immune system, which response by sending out chemicals that help to repair the damage and stimulate healing throughout your body.
The stimulation from acupuncture can also help reduce stress levels, increase circulation and improve sleep quality — all of which can have a positive effect on your overall health.
Also, read Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture Needles and their use
Acupuncture needles are made from stainless steel, which is the most common material used for needles. The length of the needle is determined by your practitioner and the treatment being performed. The thickness of each needle varies. Some people feel that thinner needles are less painful than thick ones.
The most common type of needle used in acupuncture is a sterilized, disposable needle that’s inserted into the skin to stimulate certain points on your body. The needles are typically short — about 1/4 inch long — and have a beveled tip (which makes them easier to insert). They’re also very flexible and can bend slightly as they enter your skin, which helps minimize pain during insertion.
Once inserted into your skin, the needles remain in place for about 30 minutes while your acupuncturist applies pressure or twirls them to stimulate the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”). You may feel sensations such as heat, tingling, or numbness at each point where a needle is inserted.
When it’s time for your treatment to end, your practitioner will remove all of the needles at once by pulling them out quickly with a twisting motion before they’re fully withdrawn from your skin.
There are also other types of acupuncture needles that you might come across, such as:
Needles with a thicker gauge These are generally used for electrotherapy rather than traditional acupuncture, but they can also be used under certain circumstances (such as when someone has extremely thick skin) to help avoid bruising and swelling after treatment.
Needles with multiple tips: These have three tips at the end, instead of just one like a standard needle does. They may be useful for treating certain types of pain or inflammation where there are multiple areas that need treating simultaneously.
Specialized needles: Some acupuncturists use needles with extra features such as magnets or convex heads to help with certain conditions such as pain relief or insomnia.
How does Acupuncture work to relieve pain?
Acupuncture divides the human body into a series of zones and pressure points. Within these zones are pressure points called acupuncture points. Acupuncture needles are inserted into these pressure points, depending on symptoms and ailment. These needle points are usually near nerves in the body. Each needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site. The injury is slight enough to cause little to no discomfort. These insertion points signal the body to respond by stimulating the nerves. In response, the nerves release hormones, such as endorphins response. This response stimulates the immune system. It also promotes circulation to the treated area. Thus, this stimulation of the immune system and circulation system relieves symptoms and brings relief. In essence, inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is said to bring the energy flow back into proper balance.
Acupuncture treatment also claims to remove negative energy that causes pain.
How long does Acupuncture take to work
It is hard to say how long it takes for an acupuncture treatment to work. The nature of treatment and number of sessions required depends on many factors such as:
- How chronic the injury is
- How old is the injury
- What the symptoms are
- What the level of pain is
- How old(or young) a person is
In addition to these factors, There are many other variables that contribute to how effective the treatment is, and how long it takes for it to work. Usually the more chronic the injury, the longer it will take. The more recent the injury, the faster the acupuncture will work. The frequency of the treatment also makes a huge difference. The more you do it the better you feel. Age sometimes also makes a difference. The younger you are, the faster you heal.
There is no short answer to how Acupuncture works and how long Acupuncture takes to show results. It certainly is not a quick fix to any medical condition. It requires commitment and patience. Typically many sessions of treatment are needed. Since the diagnosis is different for each person, the number of sessions required varies. Some people only need one session. Others may need more sessions to achieve the desired health benefit.
The frequency of sessions can vary too. Sessions can be as little as once a week or as often as daily.
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Frequently asked questions
What are 3 benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a great way to relax, relieve stress, and get your body moving again.
Here are 3 benefits of acupuncture:
1. Acupuncture helps you relax. While you’re getting your treatment, you’ll be able to let go of all the stresses in your life and enjoy the peacefulness of being in the moment.
2. Acupuncture relieves pain. It’s been proven to reduce pain by up to 75% for many people suffering from chronic conditions like migraines and back pain, as well as acute injuries like sprains and strains.
3. Acupuncture can help you recover from injuries faster than traditional treatments alone by increasing blood flow to the area and improving your range of motion!