ACUPUNCTURE

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner’s hands or with electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.
Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for a variety of conditions.
Acupuncture is not for everyone. If you choose to see an acupuncturist, discuss it with your doctor first and find a practitioner who is licensed as having proper training and credentials.
What does Acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture is done using hair-thin needles. Most people report feeling minimal pain as the needle is inserted. The needle is inserted to a point that produces a sensation of pressure or ache. Needles may be heated during the treatment or mild electric current may be applied to them. Some people report acupuncture makes them feel energized. Others say they feel relaxed.
Improper placement of the needle can cause pain during treatment. Needles must be sterilized to prevent infection. That is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner. The FDA regulates acupuncture needles just as it does other medical devices under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility.
Instead of needles, other forms of stimulation are sometimes used over the acupuncture points, including:
Heat (moxibustion)
Pressure (acupressure)
Friction
Suction (cupping)
Impulses of electromagnetic energy
How does Acupuncture affect the body?
Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies to treat the following:
Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
Dental pain after surgery
Addiction
Headaches
Menstrual cramps
Tennis elbow
Fibromyalgia
Myofascial pain
Osteoarthritis
Low back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Asthma
It may also help with stroke rehabilitation.
What conditions may benefit from Acupuncture?
Many Americans seek acupuncture treatment for relief of chronic pain, such as arthritis or low back pain. Acupuncture, however, has expanded uses in other parts of the world. Before considering acupuncture, talk to your doctor. Conditions that may benefit from acupuncture include the following:
Digestive
Emotional
Gastritis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Hepatitis
Hemorrhoids
Anxiety
Depression
Insomnia
Nervousness
Neurosis
Eye-Ear-Throat
Gynecological
Rhinitis
Sinusitis
Sore throat
Menstrual pain
Infertility
Musculoskeletal
Neurological
Arthritis
Back pain
Muscle cramping
Muscle pain and weakness
Neck pain
Sciatica
Headaches
Migraines
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Parkinson’s disease
Postoperative pain
Stroke
Respiratory
Miscellaneous
Allergic rhinitis
Sinusitis
Bronchitis
Irritable bladder
Prostatitis
Male infertility
Some forms of impotence
Addiction
Considerations when choosing Acupuncture
Because scientific studies have not fully explained how acupuncture works within the framework of Western medicine, acupuncture remains a source of controversy. It is important to take precautions when deciding about acupuncture.
Discuss acupuncture with your doctor first. Acupuncture is not for everyone. Discuss all the treatments and medicines (dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter) you are taking. If you have a pacemaker, are at risk for infection, have chronic skin problems, are pregnant, or have breast or other implants, be sure to tell your doctor. Acupuncture may be risky to your health if you fail to mention these matters.
Do not rely on a diagnosis of disease by an acupuncture practitioner. If you have received a diagnosis from a doctor, you may wish to ask him or her whether acupuncture might help.
Choose a licensed acupuncture practitioner. Your own doctor may be a good resource for referrals to a licensed or certified practitioner. Friends and family members may also be good sources of referrals. You do not have to be a doctor to practice acupuncture or to become a certified acupuncturist. About 30 states have established training standards for certification in acupuncture, although not all states require acupuncturists to get a license
Source Information’s
 Johns Hopkins Medical University
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/acupuncture_85,p00171