I have never tried acupuncture before, but have hard many good things about it from women that have endometriosis or pelvic pain, hence I wanted to look into it further.
I found out that acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine, used for pain relief, and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. The reason why this complementary therapy may be of interest to us, is because some studies have indicated that acupuncture may help in treating conditions such as low back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and even painful periods. That certainly got my attention!
Origin of Acupuncture
Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. The Chinese adopted the theory that energy flows through channels between the surface of the body and our internal organs. Acupuncture is believed to break up the pain of the blockage created in the energy flow.
Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada, and made available to the rest of the world.
How does it work?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at specific points on your body – the needles are inserted to various depths.
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. Most courses consist of up to 12 sessions. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of your condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Mayo Clinic), a typical session entails lying still while approximately five to twenty needles are inserted; for the majority of cases, the needles will be left in place for ten to twenty minutes.
You will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on your side, depending on where the needless are inserted. The acupuncturist should use single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted you should feel them, but initially without pain. However, when the needle reaches the right depth there should be a deep aching sensation. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion.
Benefits & Risks of Acupuncture
The medical community is not in conclusive agreement about how acupuncture works scientifically. However, we do know that it does have some therapeutic benefits, including pain relief:
When performed correctly it is safe
There are very few side effects
It is a very effective combination treatment
It is effective in controlling some types of pain
It may be considered for people who do not respond to pain medications
It is a useful alternative for people who do not want to take pain medications
Acupuncture is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner using clean needle technique and single-use needles, but possible risks of acupuncture can be:
It is dangerous if you have a bleeding disorder
It the dangerous if you are taking blood thinners
There may be bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites
The needle may break and damage an internal organ (very rare)
Unsterilized needles may infect you
When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lung (very rare)
Has anyone of you tried acupuncture? Let us know what your experience was like and whether it helped you with pain relief. I might actually give this a go! 🙂