We're hearing so much about acupuncture these days. You may have seen it on Oprah, the local or national news, or even making its way into the story lines of prime time television shows. But, what's it really all about?
Acupuncture is an integral part of Oriental Medicine with a well documented clinical history of over 3000 years. Chinese meridian theory is based on the idea that, when the body's vital energy or 'qi' (chee) is blocked or not moving properly, the body will move into a state of imbalance and disease will begin to manifest. When the body is in balance, disease cannot exist. Our modern lives are filled with stress, both emotional and physical, that can throw the delicate balance of our bodies out of order. Acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies can help the body achieve a state of balance and health naturally. That's why acupuncture can be so effective in treating a wide array of modern health issues. It's also virtually non-invasive and lacks the negative side effects of conventional medicine.
Most known for treating acute or chronic pain, acupuncture can be used for numerous health concerns such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, addictions, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, allergies and asthma, Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, stress, adrenal fatigue, PMS and menopausal symptoms, pregnancy health and infertility just to name a few. It can even offer the anti-aging aesthetic benefits from non-surgical acupuncture face lift procedures.
Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body, creating a reaction in which numerous chemicals are released that help the body to heal on its own, and return to a state of balance and health. Because these are the body's own natural chemicals, there are no negative side effects.
Many health issues may be resolved within just a few treatments. However, long standing ailments could require a series of treatments, lasting a few weeks to several months. The healing happens gradually and gently, although it is typically long lasting as well. The idea is to restore health by targeting and treating the root cause of the disease as well as the symptoms, returning the whole body to a state of health.
The most popular question is: "Does it hurt?" Acupuncture is not painful, but a slight sensation of warmth, heaviness, electricity, or pressure may be felt for a second or two. Most people actually fall asleep during their treatment! The most reported 'side-effect' from acupuncture is having a better sense of well-being, and increased ability to cope with daily stress.
Many insurance plans are covering acupuncture treatments, and as more insurance companies begin to understand the therapeutic value of acupuncture, coverage will be expanded.
Acupuncture may not be effective for every person or every issue. But it's definitely worth speaking with an Acupuncturist to see if it's a viable treatment for you.
Kathy Veon, AP, DOM is an Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She practices acupuncture and nutritional healing methods at Central Florida Preventive Medicine in Orlando, Florida.