If you’re considering acupuncture or are a first-time patient, you may not know what to expect. It’s a complementary or alternative therapy to western medicine that is becoming increasingly mainstream. There are many types of acupuncture techniques, and it is important to do your research and find what works for you. Here are some of the essential facts to be aware of before opting for this holistic healing method.
It’s Not Painful
The fact that acupuncture is carried out with needles may lead you to believe that it’s a painful process. However, you can still get the benefits of this technique even if you’re not a fan of needles. Acupuncture needles are smaller and thinner than medical needles. They are conical in shape and don’t have a sharp edge or hole to pierce the skin deeply. In fact, when acupuncture is carried out on parts of the body such as the lower back, most people barely feel the needles.
Acupuncture Goes Beyond Needles
While needles are the primary tool used in this healing practice, many acupuncturists combine this with other techniques such as acupressure, massage, scraping, cupping, and heating of the skin. These therapies have been a part of Chinese medicine for centuries and are used to treat a host of health issues. Some healers also recommend taking Chinese herbs to boost the efficacy of the therapies. So, on the basis of your diagnosis, your acupuncturist may suggest more than needles to treat your condition. Always go to a licensed acupuncturist for any of these treatments.
You Can Expect a Variety Of Reactions
People have differing reactions to acupuncture treatments. Apart from the physical responses, you may also have an intense emotional reaction. This is common among people who are undergoing their first treatment or going through a stressful or difficult times in their lives. When getting acupuncture, you may feel like laughing hysterically, crying, or expressing yourself in other ways. In some cases, people feel like they are in a semi-dream state and see vivid colors and shapes. Unless they cause you discomfort, these reactions are perfectly normal. Feel free to let your emotions flow out as this has a healing effect and is part of the treatment. Depending on your needs, your acupuncturist will help you deal with your reactions or simply leave you alone to process them.
While the scientific basis of the benefits of acupuncture remains unclear, many people swear by it. Some studies claim it works by balancing vital energy while others point to neurological benefits. It is important to go with a licensed practitioner who understands your medical history and needs. If practiced correctly, it can help relieve pain and treat a range of other health problems.
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