While most of us have heard of acupuncture, few of us understand what exactly it is. Sticking needles into one’s skin sounds dubious at best and dangerous at worst. Is acupuncture really a good idea?
While opinions abound surrounding this practice, we’re going to attempt to unravel the truth and separate fact from fiction.
Read on as we attempt to puncture some misconceptions – pardon the pun – and find out what acupuncture is really all about!
What is It?
Acupuncture is a type of Eastern medicine that is based on the belief that the energy runs beneath the skin. When energies become “disrupted,” pain occurs (so says the Eastern view behind this practice). Acupuncture is used to realign these disrupted energies.
Today, Western medicine takes a less spiritual and more practical approach to acupuncture. Western practitioners believe that the needles can help to alleviate pain by stimulating the body’s natural chemicals called endorphins that block pain signals.
No matter which approach that you prefer to take, it still begs the question... Does acupuncture work?
Is Acupuncture Effective?
It is believed that acupuncture can help relieve a number of different types of pain including headaches, back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.
Despite the fact that scary needles are involved, acupuncture is mostly painless. The needles are narrow enough that it doesn’t hurt when they puncture the skin.
While a number of people swear by acupuncture, and extol its benefits, there is no scientific proof for its effectiveness. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should rule it out altogether, but it does mean to exercise caution when considering acupuncture and to keep in mind that while it works for some people, others might find it to be completely ineffective.
Is Acupuncture a Good Idea?
In general, acupuncture is considered safe when performed by a certified provider and it’s important to look for a state license that ensures that the provider has certain level of training. Be aware, though, that a number of states don’t require licensing.
In the end, the decision to have acupuncture is a largely personal one – and one that has varying results for different people.
It seems that those who want it to work are those who receive the most benefit from it. While those who are skeptical, are unlikely to experience any significant benefits.
So what should you do? Is it worth giving acupuncture a try?
The answer? It depends. If you feel that acupuncture is a viable option, make sure you find a state licensed practitioner. When trying it out, you may be able to find that it relaxes you or provides a form of pain relief. Though, if you’re a sceptic, you’d be better off saving your money. It’s unlikely that any amount of acupuncture will be able to change your mind.
What are your thoughts on acupuncture?