What is Acupuncture? Its Health Benefits, and more
Acupuncture has long been known as a method of treatment that includes the insertion of needles in the skin. Of course, this technique does not recommend inserting the needles arbitrarily on any part of the skin. Rather, each zone is chosen with precision, and its impact and link with the rest of the body are deeply analyzed before moving on to the action.
We understand you might be a little suspicious about this method, especially if it is your first time learning about it. For this reason, we dedicated this article to introduce you to acupuncture and its health benefits, and answer the most famous question related to this technique: does acupuncture hurt.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of alternative medicine. This method made its appearance in China as traditional medicine, where it was believed to relieve pain and balance the Ying and Yang energies. It has also known many changes and interpretations as it gained more popularity and attracted the attention of schools of thought from different cultures and backgrounds.
According to Chinese culture, acupuncture is used to balance the energies belonging to the life force called ‘qi’. This force goes around the needles inserted in the body creating pathways. Thus, by inserting the needles in the right position, the energies will flow back into the life force to re-create the balance.
While acupuncture is not backed by any scientific study or proof yet, neuroscientists explain its impact by the stimulation of specific zones in the body, like the nerves and muscles, to boost the blood flow in the body, which consequently enhances it to release endorphins.
What are the health benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be a good method to relieve pain, especially when it is combined with medical treatments.
Patients mostly feel encouraged to try the acupuncture method since it has very few to no side-effects known so far. However, we recommend you see a medical doctor before deciding to proceed with acupuncture and to never use it as a definitive alternative to medicine.
Other than that, you can reap the benefits of acupuncture and reduce pain levels in different parts of the body successfully when it is correctly performed by an expert.
We do not recommend you try this technique by yourself at home, considering the precision it requires.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The idea of having needles inserted through the skin can seem painful. This alone can make many of you hesitate when it comes to trying acupuncture.
Contrary to this popular belief, acupuncture can be a soothing experience if performed by an expert. The acupuncturist will start by carrying out a full examination of the body to mark where each needle should be inserted. Then, depending on the conditions of the patient, they will start inserting the needle through the skin with great precision and care.
At first, you may experience a slight feeling of pain, but it will quickly fade away, leading you to a more relaxed state.
As we mentioned the existence of different versions of acupuncture, some acupuncturists would heat the needles before insertion or stimulate them with electricity, then keep them in place for up to 30 minutes. The timing highly varies according to the patient.
Acupuncture is not a completely safe practice that you can get at random places. Instead, you should focus on choosing your acupuncturist with great care before making any hasty decisions.
There are many risks related to acupuncture that you must also be aware of. These may include bleeding, the appearance of bruises, or even infections in the case of unsterilized needles.
That being said, and despite the absence of any scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture, this Chinese technique lives on until today to help patients globally reduce and manage their pain in better ways.