VITALGATE HEALTH

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Understanding Acupuncture

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

According to many studies in animals and humans, acupuncture can cause many biological responses. Its effects can occur close to the site of application or at some distance throughout your body, primarily mediated by the central nervous system and its neurons. In some cases, the effects can be observed both locally and generally.

The role of acupuncture in the body is still being researched to determine its efficacy and to understand its mechanism more. The most common focus on the uses of acupuncture is pain relief or what we call analgesia. It is not surprising since many people suffer from chronic illness such as rheumatoid arthritis, vertebral distortion and the likes which are undeniably painful. It has also been documented to have an effect towards the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. This supports the idea that acupuncture has broad spectrum systemic effects. Other studies have also shown that it has immunologic effects which are still unclear.


Considerable efforts have been exerted to know more about acupuncture and its “acupuncture points” which still remain debatable. Despite the uncertainty of some information about the technique, it continues to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture. The specificity of biological changes of acupuncture in humans is still vague; therefore, accuracy in measuring the biological changes in control groups is vital. Some of the biological changes are that of blood pressure and the release of endogenous opioids.


The therapeutic outcome may be influenced by many factors which include the degree of trust between the clinician and the patient, the quality of relationship, the compatibility of the backgrounds and belief systems of the acupuncturist and the patient, the expectations of the patient including the many factors that define the therapeutic setting.


Some of the uses of acupuncture are its efficiency in treating nausea and vomiting in adults post-surgery or those under chemotherapy treatment and a number of other conditions. Despite these facts, research continues in order to define the role of acupuncture in healthcare. The method provides not only a chance to discover its many benefits in healthcare; it also opens an opportunity for exploration of human physiology not previously examined in a systematic manner.

Although the full effect of the method still remain unclear, it is promising to note that research studies have already been delineated making it easier for further studies to trace the flow of improvements. It is wise to be open-minded about Oriental medicine if you are looking for a natural and drug free alternative to conditions successfully treated with acupuncture.


The China Connection.

Acupuncture originated in China wherein the energy flow “Qi” is considered important for a person’s health. A disruption of the energy flow throughout the body can result in illnesses or certain diseases.

The theory states that needle insertion at certain points on our skin can actually alter some physiologic phenomenon in our body. Many Western doctors today include acupuncture as part of the healthcare interventions alongside the conventional ones. Sometimes you need to rely on more natural ways to counteract some diseases, stress or psychological bearings.


As I mentioned earlier, one example is its efficacy in adult post-operative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting. Generally, nausea and vomiting is the side effect of anesthesia during surgery and by the chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of cancer. Also noted is its efficacy in alleviating post-operative dental pain. It can also be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative in a comprehensive management program for menstrual cramps, asthma, tennis elbow, stroke rehabilitation, addiction, low back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.


The resurgence of acupuncture alongside conventional treatment, has made it readily available for the public to benefit from. Just remember it’s important you choose the reliability of a New York acupuncturist who is licensed and certified. Check with a friend or relative if they know a good acupuncturist they’ve had results with. Read the testimonials on their website to see what others say about the practitioner and their skills and bedside manners.


Photo by Tomas Fano