Have you ever gone under the needle? We don’t mean vaccinations or tattoos – we’re talking about acupuncture, the ancient Chinese medicine tradition that’s been practiced for thousands of years. Today, the practice is still used around the world with an aim to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease, as well as improve overall health. Here are 5 things to know about acupuncture: One. Very thin needles are carefully inserted into the skin in strategic locations. Most people find the practice to be painless, although mild discomfort is also normal.
Two. Traditional wisdom explains that acupuncture works by modifying the flow of energy (or chi) in the body. These days in the Western world, acupuncture is often used to treat pain. Some scientists think that acupuncture needles may actually trigger nerve fibers to reduce pain levels or stimulate the secretion of pain-relieving compounds in the body.
Three. While most states require licensure to practice acupuncture, requirements vary. Look for a practitioner with a minimum of a master’s degree in acupuncture or Oriental medicine. In addition, some professionals with a doctorate-level education, including physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists, offer acupuncture services or dry needling, a more recently developed technique for pain relief that uses the same type of needles.
Four. There’s no magic number when it comes to how many treatments will reap the best results. For some issues, a session or two could resolve the issue, while in more complex presentations, a dozen or more treatments over several months may achieve maximum benefits.
Five. Acupuncture may help in the fight against aging skin. Facial acupuncture is a practice that has been called a gentler and more natural alternative to Botox. When this theory is put into practice, needles are inserted into facial skin, relaxing muscles and improving circulation to the area – which in turn eases fine lines and wrinkles.
If you’re interested in exploring how acupuncture may help you improve your health and wellness, consider consulting your physician for recommendations – some health insurance plans may cover acupuncture services with a doctor’s referral.
Resources:acupuncture, aging skin, Health