What is acupuncture? An ancient form of medicine that is still practiced today, acupuncture uses special needles to prick the skin in order to promote wellness and treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.
What Is Acupuncture?
Considered a form of complementary medicine here in the United States, acupuncture is a time-tested practice that is increasingly embraced by the modern medical community thanks to a growing body of medical research that has demonstrated both its safety and its effectiveness. However, acupuncture can seem a little odd to people who are used to Western medicine.
Acupuncture Improves Health
While researchers are busy delving into the subject, it is difficult to measure what we know about acupuncture or to explain exactly how it works in scientific terms. While there are various theories, we do know one thing for certain: Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years because it is a holistic, safe, and effective medical technique.
How does acupuncture improve health? While scientists may find it hard to quantify, healthcare professionals have noted that acupuncture seems to provide the following benefits:
- Homeostasis. Homeostasis is a fancy, multisyllabic word for being stable or ideally balanced, and it’s what is required for the human body to function at its best. Acupuncture helps the body achieve homeostasis by supporting the body’s ability to regulate its functions and correct any hormonal or chemical imbalances.
- Calm. Stress is a common problem in modern life, and few would disagree that it has detrimental effects on the body. Acupuncture has a calming effect that can decrease stress, providing protection from the damage chronic stress causes over time.
- Reduced Inflammation. Inflammation is part of the immune system’s natural response to injury or illness, but too much of it creates trouble for the body. In fact, research has shown that persistent inflammation can lead to several serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease. Acupuncture decreases this problematic inflammation, which in turn reduces pain and promotes the body’s natural ability to heal.
Styles of Acupuncture
Everything evolves over time, and acupuncture is no exception. Much like artists use their experience and talents to create new styles of art, Tom Tarn, Richard Tan, and other notable practitioners have developed different styles of acupuncture based on their clinical experience and studies. The following are the two styles of acupuncture you are most likely to encounter:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture: This style of acupuncture is the one in which most acupuncturists are initially trained. The foundation for acupuncture techniques and treatment protocols, it encompasses a broad range of treatments. Modern clinical studies are usually focused on this style.
- Five-Element Acupuncture: Popularized by J.R. Worsley, this is a specialty style which expands on the groundwork established by traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture. This advanced needling style tends to place more emphasis on the psyche of a person and its impact on healing.
While these are the most common styles of acupuncture, others exist. Your acupuncturist may use a different style that better suits your condition.
What conditions can acupuncture treat? It is practiced worldwide as both a primary and an adjunctive treatment for many illnesses and conditions. At Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we use acupuncture to treat the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Digestive issues
- Migraine headaches
- Infertility and hormone imbalances
- Weight loss
- Smoking cessation
- Respiratory illness
For a more comprehensive list of the conditions that acupuncture can treat, please click here.
Choosing an Acupuncturist
If you decide to explore acupuncture’s benefits, be certain that you select a knowledgeable, trained acupuncturist. In the state of Missouri, acupuncturists must also be licensed; to achieve that, practitioners must demonstrate that they have the training and theoretical understanding necessary to properly apply acupuncture. At Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture, our skilled acupuncturists are properly licensed, fully trained, and deeply committed to providing you with acupuncture treatments that meet the highest standard of care.
Your Acupuncture Experience
Every person reacts to acupuncture differently. You will see variances from acupuncturist to acupuncturist and from style to style, and what works for one patient might not be helpful for another.
Open communication is a crucial component of any acupuncture treatment. Just as you would tell your doctor if a prescription worked well or failed to meet your needs, you should discuss your impressions of your treatment with your acupuncturist. Be sure to communicate with your practitioner about what you feel worked best for you and speak up if you feel like your treatment could be improved.
Is acupuncture a good choice for your health situation? Contact Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture today to learn more about our acupuncture services and request a consultation.