Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is acclaimed as one of the oldest forms of healing throughout the world. The concept that lies underneath acupuncture is the belief that a disruption in the flow of qi and imbalances within the forces of both yin and yang cause disease. Using a combination of herbs, meditation, massage and acupuncture are believed to restore the balance of yin-hang and the flow of qi and thus aid the healing process. The process of acupuncture involves stimulating specific points in the body to remove blockages in the flow of qi and thus restore and maintain health. In the United States acupuncture falls into the area of alternative medicine, which means it is not accepted as part of conventional medicine.
Although acupuncture is not part of traditional medicine, there are several points that we have to consider about this procedure:
The Chinese and other Asian people have used the procedure for thousands of years.
Scientists are currently studying the effectiveness of the procedure for treating many different conditions.
Very few complications are known as a result of acupuncture although there can be serious side effects if the procedure is not performed by someone qualified to perform the procedure.
Although the procedure has been in existence in China and other Asian countries for many years, it has only been in use in the United States since 1971. Since it was first introduced, many people have chosen to use acupuncture for many different conditions including post-surgical pain, arthritis, chronic pain, and even migraines. Some people cringe at the thought of needles being injected into their skin while others swear by the benefits of acupuncture. Many people who cringed at the thought in the beginning chose to try it after all traditional medical procedures failed.
There is no need to be afraid of acupuncture as long as you visit a qualified practitioner. In the United States, the FDA has regulations for the use of the needles up to and including the needment for one time use. The problems develop when a provider does not follow proper safety procedures or a patient chooses to visit someone who is not a qualified practitioner. You would not visit a medical doctor who did not have the proper qualifications to care for you, so you should exercise the same precaution when choosing an acupuncturist.
By understanding the key concepts of the procedure and making certain you choose a competent practitioner, you will have a better understanding of acupuncture and will be able to make an informed decision regarding the benefits it may provide for you. Never choose a practitioner based upon the recommendation of anyone unless you conduct your own research first.