Acupunture has been practiced in both animals and humans for thousands of years in China. It usually involves the insertion of thin sterile needles into specific points on the boy in order to cause a therapeutic effect, but may include other methods such as electrical stimulation and moxibustion.
Acupunture works! But, how does it work? Modern research shows that acupoints are located in the areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, mast cells, small arterioles, and lymphatic vessels. The stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphons, serotonin, and other neurtotransmitters.
Acupuncture is a painless and very safe medical procedure when administered by a qualified practitioner. Each session may take 20–45 minutes. Some results can be seen immediately but others well require several treatments. Generally, a minimum of 3–6 treatments for chronic conditions are needed before one can expect notable improvement.
Studies have shown that acupuncture stimulation induces:
- Pain relief
- Promote tissue healing
- Regulate gastrointestinal motility
- Anti-Inflammatory effects
- Antifebrile effects
Studies have shown acupuncture can be effective in the following conditions:
- Musculoskeletal problems: back pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease.
- Neurological disorders: seizures, intervertebral disc disease, laryngeal hemiplegia.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, vomiting, constipation, impactions.
- Renal failure.
- Chronic liver disease.
- Behavioral problems.
- Geriatric weakness.
- Skin problems.
- Quality of life and hospice care.
Many acupuncturists choose to combine acupuncture with herbal medicine because the use of herbs enhances the effectiveness of acupuncture.