The practice of acupuncture traces its roots to ancient China. The first records revealed facets of acupuncture present in their medical culture a few centuries before the Current Era. Evidence of the practice can be traced even further to nearly 6000 BCE. This evidence appears in the form of finely sharpened stones and bones that practitioners likely used for lancing abscesses and other medical uses. This practice has seen several revivals, with the most recent happening in our own time.
What Evidence Is There For The Efficacy of Acupuncture?
Practitioners never practiced acupuncture on its own. Its treatments always accompanied herbs, heat therapy, massage, and a conscientious diet related to the medical concerns being addressed. In the 15th century, bronze statues were created that were marked with important acupuncture points. These were used both to teach the principles of acupuncture and as references during treatment. From the 17th to 20th century, acupuncture would slowly fall out of favor for two centuries. This would all change in 1971 when an individual from the US Press Corps would receive acupuncture as part of an emergency appendectomy treatment. He reported this experience to the New York Times, which refired interest in the practice.
It became the subject of significant research by the National Institute of Health. The results of these studies would reveal notable health benefits to acupuncture. This led to the practice being accepted in the American medical industry and is now used to treat many conditions. These conditions include:
- Dental pain
- Labor Pain
- Neck Pain
- Menstrual Cramps
- Tennis Elbow
- Respiratory Disorders
- Migraine and tension headaches
Acupuncture is a relatively safe practice, especially in the hands of a skilled practitioner. These practitioners will be certain to use sterile needles and know their patients well. The side-effects of receiving acupuncture are mild, limited to bruising, soreness, and perhaps minor bleeding at the insertion points. Modern practitioners use disposable needles to limit the spread of infection. However, not everyone can safely benefit from acupuncture. Those who should avoid this form of treatment include those:
- With bleeding disorders – Acupuncture needles can increase the risk of bleeding. This also applies to those who are taking blood thinners.
- With a pacemaker – Some forms of acupuncture apply a mild electrical pulse to the inserted needles. This can interfere with the operation of a pacemaker.
- Who are pregnant – Some acupuncture points are known to promote the onset of labor. In pregnant patients, this can lead to a miscarriage or premature delivery.
When you’re considering acupuncture, be sure to get recommendations from people you trust. You’ll want to take the time to check their credentials and training. Specifically, you’ll want to determine if they’re certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
It’s Time To Schedule Your First Acupuncture Appointment
Are you ready to find out what acupuncture can do for your health concerns? Reach out to your wellness specialist to determine if acupuncture is right for you. They’ll provide a consultation covering all your health concerns and how acupuncture can help. After that, it’s time to schedule your first appointment!