What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of healthcare. It involves putting very fine needles into specific parts on the body to regulate normal body balance. It is a holistic approach that enhances our body function with a stress on disease prevention over treatment. This traditional Chinese medical practice was originated over 5000 years ago, and in the last few decades, increasing research and studies have proven the effectiveness of Acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture’s medical philosophy holds that within living beings reside an energy ‘Qi’, which circulates around the body through invisible passages ‘meridians’. Diseases and illnesses are believed to be caused by the congestion of ‘meridians’. When the flow of ‘Qi’ is blocked, balance of the body is interfered, leading to malfunction of the body. Frequent fatigue, insomnia, restless sleep and aches and pains are some common symptoms of the blockage of ‘Qi’.
‘Meridians’ run throughout the whole body, and each meridian is associated with a different organ system. Acupuncture inserts fine needles into ‘Acupoints’ (critical points on a meridian) to stimulate energy flow, allowing the balance of body to be restored, so that illnesses can be cured and prevented.
Demystifying acupuncture – Western Medicine’s Perspective
Perhaps mystical terms like ‘Qi’ or ‘Yin-yang’ may put you off, but acupuncture is not as unfathomable as you think when put it in scientific terms. The efficacy of acupuncture is generally attributed to the series of events it causes to the nervous system and hormonal system. The balance of ‘qi’ can be translated to the balance and better coordination between parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, which regulate biomechanical responses. In acupuncture, the nerves’ activities are balanced and clients would instantly feel calm and less agitated during the treatment. In the long run, physiological disorders and physical pain can be relieved.
On top of that, clients are benefited by the effects of rise in dopamine and endorphin, both associated with happiness. This explains the feeling of calmness and relaxation during an acupuncture treatment as well as its effectiveness and relieving depression and anxiety.
When do you need acupuncture?
You can receive acupuncture anytime, even when you are healthy. Many clients go for this healthcare to look for a stronger physique or inner balance. Acupuncture is well-known for treating common conditions such as fatigue, stress, headaches, muscle aches. At Alive Wellness, we believe that prevention is better than cure, so that we hope to we equip our clients with knowledge and awareness towards their wellbeing.
What does acupuncture treat?
According to World Health Organization, acupuncture is effective in treating 28 conditions, while evidence suggests that it has an effective therapeutic value for many more. (For more details, please refer to http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/)
What happens during a session?
- Needle insertion: The practitioner examines the body and lightly inserts very fine needles (around 0.25mm) into healing acupoints on the skin. Most patients do not feel pain but a subtle prickling sensation.
- Needle manipulation: The practitioner may rotate or adjust the position of the needles to achieve optimal effect
- Healing time : The needles will be put into the body for 30-40 minutes depends on the disease / situation.
- Needle removal: After certain time, the practitioner removes and disposes the single-use needles
How does it feel like? Does it hurt?
It is a misunderstanding that acupuncture will hurt. Most people can only feel a slight prickling but soothing sensation when the needle is inserted. Just keep in mind that different people may experience acupuncture differently. Typically, the client just rests and let the meridian to self-regulate. Indeed, many patients fall asleep during the treatment because of the nervous response. Extremely thin and smooth stainless steel sterile needles are used.
Are there any side effects?
Acupuncture is a natural way of healing by activating body’s natural healing mechanism, so it is unusual to see side effects of the treatment. Sometimes but rarely, there would be small bleeding and bruising that lasts for a day or two. That could due to the self regulatory system in the body. This is a rare case and even if it happens, it is nothing serious.