The human body has an amazing capacity for healing, yet our modern lifestyle often makes it difficult for many people to tap that potential. Acupuncture an ancient practice rooted in the ancestral science of Chinese medicine, helps promote that natural healing potential. By balancing the body, mind and spirit and restoring overall energy balance, acupuncture can help people embrace optimal wellness without medication or invasive medical procedures.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a procedure that uses tiny needles inserted into the skin to help balance a person’s energy. The needles are inserted at specific locations along the patient’s body that align with energy points. This triggers the body’s natural healing capabilities, helping restore balance to both the mind and body.
The Philosophy Behind Acupuncture
Traditional acupuncture works on the belief that the body is controlled by an energy flow, known as qi (pronounced “chee”), that travels through pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that problems or blockages with the flow of energy along these meridians is responsible for many ailments. Toxins, stress, trauma, hormones and even the foods we eat can all contribute to blocking qi.
While some practitioners still follow the traditional philosophy of qi, others have also started incorporating a more integrative approach, supported by research and western medicine principles. For example, many of today’s acupuncturists view the acupuncture points as places that stimulate nerves, invigorating the body’s natural pain fighting and healing processes.
Common Ailments Treated with Acupuncture
One of the main focus of acupuncture treatment is the reduction of pain and improvement of overall health. It may be used to reduce pain after surgery or medical and dental treatments. Patients with chronic headaches and migraines can also greatly benefit from acupuncture treatment, and it is commonly used for muscle and back pain, stress relief and overall wellness. Patients with neurological conditions also report relief after acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture can also help support better immune and nervous system function. This, in turn, promotes improved overall wellness and helps the body heal itself naturally when illness or injury occurs.
The History of Acupuncture
It is believed that acupuncture originated in China in 6,000 BC. In its earliest days, acupuncture treatment was performed using sharp bones. As early as 198 BC, ancient Chinese documents that talked about meridians and qi were found. These early practitioners theorized that balance and health came from qi, and when it was out of balance, the body struggled with illness.
Acupuncture procedures were first documented in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, a book that was published around 100 BC. Over the next few centuries, precise acupuncture points were developed, and the procedure became mainstream in China. During the Ming dynasty of the 14th through 16th century, the acupuncture points were officially recorded.
The practice fell out of favor in China in the 18th and 19th centuries as Western medicine took over, and in 1929 it was outlawed in China. Yet over those years it spread to other Asian countries, particularly in Japan. It then experienced a revival in 1949 under Communist China, and soon the knowledge began to spread again. In 1971 a member of the US press corps was treated with acupuncture in China, and he described his treatment to the New York Times. American interest in the practice began to grow, and today people across the country benefit from acupuncture treatment.
14 Health Benefits of Acupuncture
If you are considering acupuncture for the first time, you may feel curious about these techniques. Here are some of the health benefits you may enjoy if you receive an acupuncture treatment:
1. Reduced Stress
One of the primary reasons people seek acupuncture treatment is to reduce their stress levels. Restoring energy balance and triggering nervous system responses is a key factor in lowering the body’s stress reaction. According to Healthline, research has found that acupuncture lowers stress hormone levels and improves mood to help reduce feelings of anxiety and increase feelings of happiness.
2. Reduced Back and Joint Pain
Pain relief is one of the top benefits of acupuncture. The technique can reduce tension in the back and neck and alleviate pain in the joints. This is a drug-free way to address common pain complaints. It can also reduce inflammation in these affected areas.
3. Headache Relief
Patients struggling with chronic headaches and migraines who do not want to have prescription medications as part of their treatment protocol may find relief with acupuncture treatments. Several studies reported in the National Institutes of Health found that acupuncture treatment was effective in reducing both the frequency and severity of headaches among chronic sufferers. It may also be more effective than pain-reducing medications in treating tension headaches.
4. Improved Eye Health
Eye strain is a common complaint in the modern world with its heavy reliance on computer and phone screens. Acupuncture reduces eye strain and can also help improve vision for people dealing with problems like night blindness or lazy eyes.
5. Enhanced Mental Clarity
Brain fog occurs when stress and other concerns rob an individual of mental clarity, making it difficult to think well. Acupuncture treatment can enhance mental clarity and reduce the risk of problems with brain fog.
6. Reduce Symptoms of Neurological Disorders
Neurological disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, can have a huge impact on a patient’s life. Acupuncture is an alternative medicine option to help treat these diseases. Clinical studies have shown improvement in language and motor function of patients with many neurological diseases and conditions who seek acupuncture treatment.
7. Reduce an Individual’s Risk of Falling Ill
Patients who routinely have acupuncture treatment enjoy a reduced risk of getting sick because the treatment supports the body’s natural immune system responses. When the individual is exposed to a virus or bacterium, the body is better able to fight it off, and the person is less likely to fall ill.
8. Fewer Digestive Problems
Constipation, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome are common digestive problems for the modern individual. When your digestive system isn’t working as it should, your overall health and wellness is damaged. Acupuncture treatment helps regulate digestive health and bring relief from these common ailments.
9. Increased Energy
After acupuncture treatment, patients may experience a surge in energy levels. This can help people feel more productive at work and home.
10. Better Sleep
When the body’s energy is in balance and the nervous system is properly stimulated, many people have better abilities to fall asleep at night. Acupuncture has shown in scientific trials to benefit people struggling with insomnia, and some results found that acupuncture actually had a greater benefit for patients than sleep medications.
11. Relief from Allergies
Allergy sufferers can use acupuncture to strengthener their immune response before the start of allergy season. Sometimes when used in conjunction with allergy medications, acupuncture can help reduce the symptoms of allergies once an attack begins.
12. Controlling Blood Pressure
Rising blood pressure levels are a problem in modern society, especially with high-stress jobs and overall obesity levels on the rise. Regular acupuncture treatment combined with medical treatment for the cardiovascular system can help reduce blood pressure levels. The practice helps support proper heart function and blood flow, and at times it is more effective than medication at controlling blood pressure.
13. Enhancing Fertility
Couples who are trying to conceive a child may have faster results with acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can actually optimize the production of reproductive hormones, and subsequent treatments can support a healthy pregnancy once a woman conceives.
14. Improved Healing After Medical Procedures
Acupuncture can assist people who have had surgery or undergone cancer treatments heal more quickly after their procedures. The immune system and wellness support achieved through acupuncture triggers the body’s natural healing abilities to speed healing.
Acupuncture: A Safe Alternative to Modern Medicine
Acupuncture, when performed by a licensed acupuncturist in a controlled clinical setting, offers numerous benefits. In many cases, it delivers the same or better results than modern medicine without the risks and side effects.
If the study of acupuncture fascinates you, consider a career in this field. Pacific College of Health and Science offers a comprehensive acupuncture program that will teach you everything you need to know about starting a practice. If you are interested in learning more about the San Diego acupuncture program, New York acupuncture program, or Chicago acupuncture program offered at Pacific College of Health and Science, visit admissions or contact us today.