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Trying Acupuncture for the First Time

It is important to understand acupuncture and how it works before trying it, because the treatment a trained acupuncturist will administer is based upon the specific condition or ailment. The acupuncturist will do an extensive consultation to access the condition and how best to treat it, which gives a personalized treatment not often found in mainstream medicine.

The History of AcupunctureAcupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, often abbreviated TCM, which includes many other treatments such as herbs and massage. TCM can be traced back 3,000 years or more in Chinese history. It is commonly believed that acupuncture came to the United States after a journalist, who was treated with acupuncture after an emergency apendectomy in China while traveling with Henry Kissinger in 1972, later wrote about the experience.

How Acupuncture Works and What it Treats

Acupuncture functions on the belief that energy flows through the body in channels called meridians, and that there are points along these meridians that can be stimulated with the gentle insertion of needles. By stimulating these points, it is thought that energy will move through the body causing natural healing. It aims to bring a balance to the body’s external and internal environment. Patients may feel relief as soon as after the first visit, or it may take several treatments, but the belief is that focusing on these specific meridians in the body will affect the body’s energy flow, bringing about a natural healing process.

The needles are solid, not hollow, and are generally painless. It is commonly reported to be a completely painless procedure that results in a relaxed, calm feeling. Acupuncture is recommended for myriad conditions causing pain or discomfort. Most places offer treatment for infertility and other women’s health issues, to help with weight loss and for treating pain associated with injuries or illnesses.

Other Types of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Herbs, another type of TCM, may also be used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Herbs differ from Western medicine in that they are prescribed based on an individual treatment plan and don’t contain any of the chemicals used in mainstream medicines. Herbs are prescribed to help treat the whole body by restoring energy for maximum healing.

Massage is also commonly used as part of TCM treatment as it relaxes the body and can help stimulate circulation and boost immunity, among other benefits.

Those who struggle with chronic illness, difficulty conceiving or other issues, may be frustrated with Western medicine or feeling hopeless as to what to do. Acupuncture is an extremely viable option, and is now accepted by many health insurance policies. In many cases the length of treatment is relatively short, starting with frequent visits and tapering off to every once in awhile for maintenance of the condition’s treatment.

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