Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that has been around for thousands of years. Originating from China, this holistic treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing response and bring about positive physical and mental outcomes. Acupuncture as a complementary therapy is also becoming more widely accepted in Western society as a viable way to reduce stress and increase general well-being. With costs for healthcare continuing to rise, affordable solutions such as acupuncture are becoming more appealing than ever before. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of using acupuncture as your primary or secondary method of healing.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. This is done to bring about positive physical and mental outcomes that can help to alleviate a range of health issues.
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used as part of a larger holistic treatment plan that also includes herbs, diet, exercise and lifestyle modification. When practicing this form of acupuncture, practitioners don’t need to be specific about the points they use, instead, they use general guidelines that are tailored to the individual and their unique health needs.
Acupuncture is often referred to as electro-acupuncture, electro-acupressure or electro-stimulation and applies electrical stimulation to the needles to help increase circulation and promote healing. This can be done using a variety of methods, including a small electrical device that is placed on the skin near the needles, a handheld device that delivers a small electric current to the needles or a foot pad that uses low-voltage direct current to increase blood flow to the feet.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The human body is a complex organism, and there is still much to be discovered about how it works. However, we do now know that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, and acupuncture is thought to be one of the major ways in which this is triggered. There are many theories as to how exactly acupuncture works, but they all show a strong link between the effects and the body’s natural flow of qi.
Qi is a Chinese word that translates to life-force or energy, and it is believed that all living things possess this energy. In the human body, qi can be found in the blood, lymphatic system, bones, organs and muscles. The flow of qi within the body is said to be interrupted when someone suffers from pain or any other health condition. Using acupuncture, the practitioner aims to promote the flow of qi to help alleviate pain and other symptoms.
Why Is Acupuncture a Good Option?
Acupuncture is a very safe, natural and drug-free way to promote your body’s natural ability to heal itself. It is recognized by most medical health providers as an effective treatment for a range of conditions. These can include chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, sports injuries, allergies, MS and more.
When compared to other medical treatments, acupuncture has proven to be equally effective, if not more so, in treating many of these conditions. It is also a much more cost-effective method of treatment and is, therefore, an excellent option for those on a budget.
Another reason why acupuncture is a good option is that it can be used as a secondary healing method alongside other therapies. It can be used to enhance the effects of other treatments to speed up the recovery period, or it can be used as the primary treatment that manages the condition on its own. This makes acupuncture a very versatile therapy that can be used with almost any medical condition.
Downsides of Using Acupuncture
There are very few negative aspects to using acupuncture, but it is important to be aware of them so you can make a fully informed decision about your treatment.
First off, results are not immediate, and it can take anywhere between a few weeks and several months for acupuncture to show results. Although some people experience pain when getting a treatment, it is commonly described as a minor sensation that is similar to a pinching or stinging feeling.
The cost of Acupuncture
The cost of acupuncture can vary greatly depending on the practitioner, your location and whether you are receiving treatment for specific issues or a general health check. You can expect to pay around $70 for a general health check-up, and around $150 for a session focused on treating specific conditions such as pain, allergies or stress. These prices are for a single session and are not indicative of the total cost of treatment.
Generally, acupuncture treatments are offered regularly, and many practitioners recommend coming to the sessions once a week for the first couple of months of treatment. They will likely suggest a reduced rate for multiple visits. Some practitioners are even willing to work for a reduced rate or for free if you are experiencing financial hardship. While the costs may fluctuate from one practitioner to another, the average cost of acupuncture is around $70 per session.
Who can benefit from Acupuncture?
As acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, it can be beneficial to almost anyone. While the effects of acupuncture are not immediate, it is a safe and natural way to promote the body’s natural healing process and is, therefore, an excellent choice for those who are looking for an alternative to traditional treatments.
Acupuncture is generally recommended for people who are suffering from chronic pain, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, allergies, depression and sports injuries. It is also a great option for those who are pregnant and want to avoid taking medication. Young children can also benefit from acupuncture and can often be treated at home with a small handheld device. Acupuncture is safe for all ages and can be used as a primary or secondary treatment.
Should You Try Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a very safe, natural and drug-free way to promote your body’s natural ability to heal itself, and it has been proven to be effective for treating a wide range of conditions. It is also a very cost-effective method of treatment and is, therefore, an excellent option for those on a budget. If you are experiencing pain or other health issues, acupuncture is a great option that can help to alleviate your symptoms while promoting your body’s natural ability to heal. It is a safe treatment that is recommended for people of all ages and can be used as a primary or secondary treatment.