What is acupuncture, how does it work and does it hurt? My daughter is an acupuncture practitioner and I am often asked those questions. Acupuncture is an important element of Chinese medicine and has been utilized for over 3000 years. In acupuncture, tiny needles, about the thickness of human hair, are inserted into specific points of the body called meridians. The needles stimulate the flow of energy through these meridians. Energy flow aids in keeping the body functioning normally. Pain results when energy gets blocked in a particular area of the body. Have you ever experienced this? When you first get out of bed in the morning, you feel stiff and sore. Once you move around and “get the blood flowing” early morning aches and pains tend to disappear. “Getting the blood flowing” or unblocking energy is the principle behind acupuncture.
I have had acupuncture and found that there is very little to no pain. It is generally very relaxing. Occasionally there can be an aching sensation around a needled area. This is considered a good sign and the aching diminishes quickly. I was treated for pain in my back muscles which was affecting my golf game. After one treatment combined with stretching exercises, I was back on the golf course. Besides pain relief there are other medical benefits of acupuncture. Two of these are facial rejuvenation and treatment for infertility.
Facial rejuvenation is an acupuncture face lift done safely and without surgery. It can reduce the signs of aging and can erase years from your face. There are numerous reasons to choose facial rejuvenation over plastic surgery. It is a gentle and non-invasive procedure that does not leave scars. Needles are used to stimulate the facial muscles and increase the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein which makes your skin resilient. There is no risk of disfigurement which there is with surgery. The results are more subtle than plastic surgery and therefore not artificial. Although the process consists of 10 visits and follow up maintenance visits, it is still less costly than plastic surgery. Facial rejuvenation promotes a healthy lifestyle. The healthier your lifestyle the better the results.
Acupuncture is also beneficial in the treatment of infertility. There are a variety of reasons why a couple may be unable to conceive. Some reasons are related to the female body and some to the male reproductive system. Since acupuncture promotes the flow of blood and energy in the body it can be helpful in dealing with problems occurring in both the male and the female. In the female acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and help to regulate and stabilize hormone levels. In the male it can improve semen quality. Overall acupuncture strengthens the immune system and promotes general health. A qualified acupuncture practitioner will also work with Western medicine practitioners using in vitro insemination.
There are many reasons to try acupuncture. It is not a procedure to fear because of the use of needles. Increasingly it is being used in conjunction with Western medicine. So my answer to my friends who question whether it works or not, I would definitely answer yes; and to those who ask if it hurts, I would answer no.