For centuries, practitioners of the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture provided relief from pain and chronic ailments to individuals. Western medical doctors concur that the practice reduces pain and symptoms to sufferers who seek relief through this alternative treatment.
This ancient technique involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through the skin at specific insertion points along the body’s meridians rebalancing the flow of energy or life force, known as Qi or Chi. The Western viewpoint feels that the procedure stimulates nerves, muscles and connective tissues providing a reduction in symptoms, increased blood flow and stimulation of the body’s natural pain killers. Whichever viewpoint one embraces, the end result seems to be pain relief.
Pharmaceuticals potentially produce a plethora of side effects that cause new problems in addition to the illness, and often come with a high price tag. Acupuncture’s side effects pale in comparison and can be minimized by proper sterility habits. Lessening the concerns about safety of Acupuncture, is current FDA involvement. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed acupuncture needles from the category of "experimental medical devices." The FDA now regulates acupuncture needles, just as it does other devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility.” <retrieved June 29, 2014 from http://www.medicinenet.com/acupuncture/page2.htm#what_are_the_possible_side_effects_of_acupuncture>.
Rare side effects reported include puncture of the lung and infection from needles. Carefully researcher providers to find reputable individuals greatly reduces the likelihood of such occurrences.
Common illnesses that respond to symphonic relief through Acupuncture include:
· Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
· Labor pain
· Low back pain
· Menstrual cramps
· Dental pain
· Tennis elbow
Retrieved June 29, 2014 from <www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acupuncture/basics/definition....
Symptomatic relief doesn’t imply cure, but acupuncture as an alternative modality has gained acceptance in comprehensive health management to bring relief to patients.
Jason Luban, a licensed acupuncturist shares additional reasons for individuals seeking out alternative medicines as a treatment options. He writes in an article for Kevinmd.com, “The bottom line is that people would have no reason to seek out alternative medical options if modern medicine was solving for their issues, or if patients felt their treatment was congruent with their beliefs and expectations. The reason I’m in business is not only because modern medicine is largely ineffective for a large number of patients with chronic medical conditions; it is because they are not getting the attention they feel they deserve from their primary care providers. They don’t feel they are being “heard” by their doctors.” Luban, J, retrieved June 29, 2014 <http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/08/patients-flock-alternative-medicine-providers.html.>
Personally, I concur with Luban’s statements, and have utilized acupuncture for my own treatment of sinus-induced migraines. Immediate treatment results included a sudden draining of sinuses, and relief of symptoms. Acupuncture failed to produce a lasting cure, but in combination with traditional medical treatments, it aided in care. The biggest drawback to this treatment proved to be cost. In 2002, my insurance company covered nothing of the $90 per visit charges. Many insurances now offer some coverage for such alternatives as chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture, as the benefits of these therapies have gained acceptance as credible treatment options.
Overall, acupuncture serves as great alternative treatment option to chronic pain sufferers to improve quality of life, and should be considered in an overall health plan.