Acupuncture can immediately elicit an image of a person whose face and body is riddled with thin needles. Of course this will generate horror in some people who imagine the pain of patients with needles stuck in their bodies. Reality is entirely different. Acupuncture which is an ancient Chinese healing method is a quite painless procedure, quite different from needles used for vaccination or for blood drawing. The needles stimulate the nervous system which generates physiological changes that are beneficial to the health of the person. This treatment can effectively relieve ailments such as fatigue and chronic pain.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views a person’s good health dependent on the free normal flow of vital force which the Chinese called chi all over the body. Chi travels throughout the body using energy pathways called meridians or ley lines. The meridians are believed to lie near the skin and chi flow can be redirected or controlled by non-hollow, filiform and sterile needles inserted on points connected to the meridians called acupuncture points or acupoints.
These theories may be seen as absurd to self-styled experts of Western medical science. The meridians and chi are concepts that are not evident to the eyes and are not included in the western human anatomy diagram and in biology. Nevertheless, the meridians and chi which are the foundation of the acupuncture treatment are studied by acupuncturists and the knowledge of chi and the meridians are used to effectively many types of disorders. Acupuncture, Western researchers argue somehow stimulates the nervous system to produce and release beneficial chemicals that remove pain and help the body heal itself.
There are very small risks if there are at all entailed in acupuncture treatment. This modality is a natural form of treatment and does not use any kind of pharmaceutical medications (this is the traditional type of acupuncture as opposed to medical acupuncture which integrates medication along with smaller and thinner acupuncture needles). The risks, if they arise include infections, light bleeding, bruises and small injuries.
In order to get the best acupuncture treatment, be sure to select a licensed acupuncturist or one certified by a government agency. In the United States this would be the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
As mentioned before the biggest setback for acupuncture is people’s fear of needles. People in the United States hate pain and are not really that excited to undergo a treatment that uses needles to treat their sickness. However, for people who have overcome their fear and have tried acupuncture report a slight tingling sensation or even no sensation at all as the needles are inserted into their skin. All the patient’s fear of needles disappear on the first session.