Acupuncture is the shallow insertion of sterile, single use needles to specific points on the body. If this does not sound weird to you, it probably should. Who wants needles stuck in them? Not everyone, but lots.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective remedy for a variety of conditions. It has survived for thousands of years as a healing modality. We have only recently been seeing a slow trickle of scientific studies to see exactly what it is doing and what it is most effective for. So skeptics, please be open to the fact that acupuncture probably does some things.
If we had to pick a few things that acupuncture is most reliably effective for we will tell you the following:
- Musculoskeletal issues (acute/chronic pain, injury, back pain, neck and shoulder tension, TMJ/teeth grinding)
- Stress-related issues (insomnia/fatigue, anxiety, depression, addiction)
Those are the conditions where we see people benefit most with acupuncture. That being said, acupuncture is often extremely helpful for a wide range of concerns that people either have had had trouble resolving through other means or have undesirable side effects from other approaches. This list can include:
- GI problems (IBS, nausea, constipation, gas/bloating)
- Women’s health (menstrual irregularities, fertility, menopause)
- chemotherapy side effects
And truth be told, sometimes people use acupuncture to not really “help” anything. They use it as a preventative approach, a way to de-stress or simply a way to escape the hustle and bustle for a moment. Yes, all while willingly being poked with needles.
Acupuncture does not reverse chronic illness; it helps manage the condition and alleviate side effects from medications. When treating chronic conditions with acupuncture, there is not necessarily a beginning and end point. It’s more about maintenance. With community acupuncture, patients can make acupuncture an ongoing part of their overall healthcare plan.