A Brief Introduction to Acupuncture
The practice of acupuncture is an ancient Oriental medical therapy that treats a variety of medical conditions, from pain to insomnia to infertility. The premise is to correct the energies within the body. An acupuncturist does this by inserting a series of fine needles at specified acupoints in order to balance the energy flow through the pathways inside the body that are referred to as meridians and channels.
Acupuncture began in ancient Chinese medicine over 2000 years ago and is now administered at various acupuncture clinics around the country. It was introduced to Japan in the sixth century, where it is still used in addition with treatment via traditional medicine. In 1995, the US FDA determined that the use of acupuncture needles is indeed safe and effective, and in 1997, the US National Institute of Health stated that acupuncture is useful and insurance companies include coverage for acupuncture. In fact, acupuncture is now even part of the curriculum at UCLA and other medical schools and more than 40 states now recognize and provide acupuncture licensing and regulations.
For the most part, acupuncture doesn’t hurt. The fine acupuncture needles will either be disposable or they will be pre-sterilized with an autoclave, ensuring safety. These needles are much thinner than a hypodermic needle; in fact, they are thinner than a hair follicle, and most people say they feel more sensation if they pull a single hair out. Sometimes patients feel nothing, and other times they feel a tingling sensation. One should choose a licensed acupuncturist, which ensures the practitioner has completed training and passed the exams that are required for licensure.
Acupuncture is known to improve circulation and is used to treat pain from a variety of conditions such as: arthritis; cervical (neck) pain; dental pain; fibromyalgia; headaches; hip pain; jaw pain; lower back pain; migraines; pain from motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries; shoulder pain; and tennis elbow. It is used to treat other conditions like anxiety; bladder infections; depression; high blood pressure; infertility; insomnia; menstrual problems; obesity; prostatitis; sinus problems; and stress. Other patients seek acupuncture for treatment of addiction to smoking. This requires repeated sessions and may also be used in conjunction with Chinese herbal therapy.
Please feel free to learn more about our acupuncture clinic within the Dunn Clinic in Nashville, TN.