Complementary medicines like acupuncture raise questions for a lot of people. Most of us have been visiting medical doctors and hospitals our entire lives. We are accustomed to the routines, the prodding and the examination rooms.
When you start to consider something different, the questions, terminology and unfamiliar techniques can be daunting. As you do your research – talking with friends, scanning the internet – you will find answers, but also many myths. Even though acupuncture has been practiced for somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 years, lots of people continue to resist the facts.
To help your research, we address several myths about acupuncture that continue to circulate, even after plenty of scientific studies confirm that it is effective and safe.
Myth No. 1: How can something that old be useful when we have medicines and techniques to cure disease?
Fact: Acupuncture does have ancient roots, and its techniques have been refined over thousands of years. The basic premise, however, has not changed: To treat a person’s physical issues, the whole person must be diagnosed. An acupuncture practitioner will ask not only where you hurt, but also about the other issues you may be facing in your life. Difficulties and challenges help determine where your energy flow may be blocked. While the practice is old, you will also find that doctors of “modern” medicine are now approaching their patients in the same way.
Myth No. 2: Acupuncture hurts. After all, it involves needles.
Fact: Acupuncture doesn’t need to hurt to work. The needles are very thin and expertly inserted. You may feel a tingling or a sensation described as similar to a mosquito bite when the needle goes in. After that, a feeling of warmth or perhaps heaviness might grow at the needle site. That is a sign of your body healing.
Myth No. 3: It’s all in your mind and placebos work just as well.
Fact: Many studies, including by the National Center for Integrative and Complementary Health, a department of the federal National Institutes of Health, have confirmed that acupuncture works for short-term and chronic pain, including headaches and pain in joints. Studies are also being conducted on acupuncture’s efficacy in treating allergies and respiratory problems, depression and anxiety, nausea and vertigo.
Myth No. 4: If treatments don’t work after two or three visits, acupuncture isn’t for you.
Fact: Some patients need only one or two treatments. Many will require eight or 10, depending on the severity of their symptoms. The benefits of acupuncture build up and your practitioner will tell you what to expect before you begin treatment.
Myth No. 5: Acupuncture will conflict with other treatments.
Fact: Acupuncture complements your traditional treatment. The only side effect might be occasional and minor bruising at the point where a needle is inserted. It will not make other treatments less effective.
From a scientific view, there are still unanswered questions about how acupuncture works. Some medical doctors don’t accept that there might be meridians of energy flowing through the body. They refuse to believe that some pains and symptoms might be the result of energy blockages. They don’t understand how the practice of inserting needles in the correct spots might allow the energy to flow.
Almost all of them do admit, however, that acupuncture relieves pain. Despite the myths, many of them now recommend that at least some of their patients try acupuncture when conventional treatment doesn’t work.
Would you like to ask questions about acupuncture? Contact us at (860) 413-2118 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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