What is acupuncture and how it works
Acupuncture, or acupuncture– is an ancient method of treatment based on the impact of needles on the so-called biologically active points of the body. It is also called reflexology, acupuncture.
Acupuncture originated in ancient China more than 6 thousand years ago. It is based on the doctrine of the vital energy of qi, which circulates through the body through special channels – meridians so that all human organs and systems work normally. The disease occurs when there are obstacles in the way of energy and its flow is disrupted. As a result, there is an overabundance of energy in one organ, and a lack of it in the other, that is, the balance of energies is disturbed. By acting with needles on certain points – biologically active or reflex, you can eliminate these obstacles and restore the correct passage of qi along the meridians. In what way? Each reflex point is connected to a certain organ, and when a needle is mechanically irritated, the flow of energy to the diseased organ increases or, conversely, weakens.
From the point of view of modern science, needle irritation affects nerve fibers, as a result of which certain impulses are sent to the brain. They can block a certain part of the brain that perceives pain, or cause the release of a large number of endorphins, and thus the effect of anesthesia is achieved. In addition, with the help of acupuncture, you can activate the part of the brain that regulates the work of a certain organ, thus improving its innervation and blood supply, which helps a quick recovery.
Acupuncture in its modern form appeared in the early 1930s thanks to the works of Chinese pediatrician Chen Dan’an. He studied various acupuncture practices and summarized their data, suggested using thin needles instead of thick ones, compiled an accurate atlas of points, of which there are about 700. In our country, acupuncture has been used since the 1940s, it is recognized by the Ministry of Health and is widely used in medical practice, although representatives of official medicine still have no consensus about this method: after all, its effectiveness has not been confirmed by clinical trials. Nevertheless, acupuncture has helped millions of people get rid of many diseases.
For what diseases is acupuncture used
Acupuncture has a positive effect in a variety of diseases and pathologies. This:
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system: arthrosis, arthritis, periarthritis, osteochondrosis, scoliosis, myositis, heel spur, sprain;
- respiratory diseases: bronchitis, bronchial asthma, chronic pneumonia (in remission), tracheitis, laryngitis;
- diseases of the digestive system: biliary dyskinesia, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, duodenitis, functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract;
- diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system: vertebral hernia, sciatica, neuritis, neuralgia, neurosis, migraine, dizziness, nocturnal enuresis, nervous tic, hysteria;
- cardiovascular diseases: hypotension, grade 1-2 hypertension, cardiac blockade, arrhythmia;
- gynecological diseases: menstrual cycle disorders, ovarian dysfunction, infertility caused by hormonal causes, manifestations of menopause;
- diseases of the genitourinary system: chronic cystitis, prostatitis, nephritis;
- eye diseases: decreased visual acuity, strabismus, oculomotor disorders;
- endocrine disorders: thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, mild hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes mellitus;
- allergies: urticaria, neurodermatitis, eczema;
- getting rid of bad habits: alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking;
- getting rid of excess weight.
How is the acupuncture procedure performed
The doctor feels the area where the needles will be placed to determine the desired point, then treats the skin with alcohol and inserts the needle with a rotational movement. Depending on the desired effect, the needle is inserted at different depths, at different angles and at different times. Sometimes needles are left for several days, in these cases gold or silver needles are used. To enhance the therapeutic effect, an electric current can be supplied to the needles.
What are the contraindications
There are a number of contraindications to acupuncture. The absolute ones include mental disorders, tumors, blood diseases, high fever, infectious diseases, complicated pregnancy, age up to one year, as well as acute pains of unknown origin.
Relative contraindications to acupuncture include impaired cerebral circulation, polio, multiple sclerosis, progressive muscular dystrophy, normal pregnancy, age over 70 years, as well as exhaustion and severe physical fatigue. In these cases, the doctor decides whether it is possible to carry out the procedure to the patient.
In addition, it is not recommended to put needles in places with skin lesions, moles and scars, the area of varicose veins. It is undesirable for children under 7 years of age to affect the points of the face and the front of the head.
Can acupuncture be dangerous
With acupuncture, some side effects and complications may occur.
So, a person in a state of severe fatigue or stress may have a decrease in blood pressure and weakness, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, and sometimes fainting may occur.
If the blood vessels are damaged, soreness is felt at the needle insertion site and a bruise remains. If the tendons, nerves are damaged, there is a sharp pain. If an infection gets into the puncture, inflammation develops.
Injury of moles, benign tumors, keloid scars is dangerous for the development of malignant formations.
Another danger of acupuncture is infection with AIDS, hepatitis, which is possible with reusable needles. But in good clinics, only disposable needles are used.
One of the frequent questions of concern to patients is: how painful is the procedure itself? With the correct placement of the needle, a slight soreness is possible, but it is quite tolerable.
In general, the safety of acupuncture depends entirely on the skill and experience of the doctor.
How to prepare for the acupuncture procedure
No special training is required.
It is undesirable to carry out the procedure after eating, and it is not necessary to eat immediately after the session. At least 30 minutes should pass between eating and the procedure.
You should not go to the session after heavy physical exertion, after a hot bath or bath.
Well, the main thing that determines the success of treatment is full confidence in the doctor conducting the session.