There are a lot of people who are overweight. For those who are obese, some consider surgery, strict diets or intense workouts as the best option. But for others, acupuncture has been an alternative option to help lose some excess weight.
Acupuncture is a form of holistic healthcare that uses needles to help treat a patient. Unlike the cartoon where the balloon will pop and all the air will go out, the needles that are inserted into the vital points will stimulate the body to release endorphins thus helping the person control their appetite.
But before needles are inserted, the specialist will first ask the patient some questions and perform an examination. This is needed to understand the main cause for the person to be overweight.
Part of examination is to help the acupuncturist figure out where the needles will be inserted. Your pulse will give the person an idea on your general state of energy and the general health of your stomach.
You will also have to open your mouth and show your tongue to check for cracks, peelings or puffiness on the stomach area as this provides clues to why you are overweight.
Once he or she knows the reason, this is the time that the needles are inserted into different parts of the body. One way is called the multi-targeted approach which is designed to lower the body’s weight by increasing the output of the pituitary gland.
The areas where the needles will be inserted will be in the ear and in two of three body points. These areas could also include the mouth, the stomach, the lung, the endocrine, the spleen, kidney or thyroid.
During the initial treatment, the “Four Gate” points would be used to circulate energy throughout the entire body. It is also possible that electro simulation will also be done to increase endorphin release and stimulate metabolism.
These needles will be kept in place for 30 to 45 minutes depending on how much support is needed. These are then removed and replaced with ear tacs with adhesives to make sure they are in the same spot as the needles.
These ear tacs work by applying mild pressure whenever he or she feels hungry. It causes a mild endorphin release and helps the patient relax making it possible to use their willpower and resist the temptation to eat.
The patient will also have to reduce cravings on certain food by cutting down the intake. Some studies suggest that this can also lower insulin levels or lipid levels in the blood.
The best part about acupuncture is that there are no harmful side effects and no chance for an addiction to occur. The patient will have to come back for regular treatment and have to pay attention to one’s diet and exercise regularly as needles can only do so much to control one’s weight.
Acupuncture Can Also Help Treat Migraines
Acupuncture can help treat migraines. This was discovered after a comparative study was done with conventional medical care. In some cases, it even prevents it from happening which helps improve the quality of life for the patient.
To understand how acupuncture helps migraine sufferers, you have to understand that in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that an imbalance in the flow of blood and energy causes this to happen.
In order to treat it, the specialist must relieve the tension by inserting needles into the body to improve the blood flow to the brain thus reducing the pain experienced during an attack.
The needles used helps the body balance the serotonin levels since it is a neurotransmitter that affects blood vessels and has a role to play in migraines. In fact the more frequent these sessions are the better. It may even come to a point where the specific point of contact is no longer needed but the general stimulation itself.
The end result of undergoing acupuncture is amazing. If you experience 15 to 20 days of agonizing pain, this may be count down to only 8 days. You won’t even need to use that much medication anymore as before.
For those who are working, this is good so that they are not absent from work that much and there won’t be that much deductions in their salary.
But how well acupuncture does for one patient may vary with another. This depends on the condition of the attack and the individual.
The best part about acupuncture is that there are no side effects and it is painless. Skillful professionals can do this so you don’t suffer from hematoma or pneumothorax. Another disease is potentially dangerous is HIV or hepatitis which can be prevented of course as long as the needles used are properly sterilized. It will be much better if the person uses disposable needles.
Acupuncture has been practiced in the United States for more than 2 decades. Although tests have shown how effective it can be to treat chronic conditions and certain addictions, more studies need to be done to see where else it can be useful.
Although one test has proven that acupuncture can help migraines, other tests will also have to be done to prove if this is true. Until such time that other results are published, patients will have to rely on conventional medicine that is prescribed by a doctor.
But you don’t have to wait for the results to come out. If you think it is worth a try, go for it. Just ask for a referral from your doctor as there are many practitioners who have accepted the fact that alternative forms of medicine can also help a patient.
You can also find someone online. You can be sure they are certified if they are recognized by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Aside from that, you should also make some lifestyle changes as there are trigger factors that have been known to cause migraines. Stress is number one on the list so you get enough rest and exercise as well as a balanced diet.
Patients who are suffering from migraine should also check if acupuncture is covered by their HMO. Most insurance providers and HMO’s these days cover all or part of the cost but there are restrictions so you should check what is covered by your policy.
Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking
Smoking is one hard habit to break. If nicotine patches and gum doesn’t work, perhaps you should try something else like an alternative form of healthcare like acupuncture.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice involving the use of needles. This instrument is inserted into the skin to allow you energy or Qi to start flowing freely around your body and thus help you quit smoking.
When you go visit an acupuncturist for the first time and tell him or her that you want to quit smoking, after answering some questions, the specialist will carry out an examination of your ears and search for areas where the energy is low.
Once these spots are identified, these sharp needles are then inserted. Usually 5 needles are placed in various acupoints.
The treatment is finished after an hour and when the needles are removed, you are advised to wear ear magnets so your session continues even when you leave the clinic. While acupuncture itself is a painless procedure, some smokers have claimed that they felt a prick or get sleepy.
Most smokers will have to come to the clinic 4 to 6 times before seeing any significant results. Just to give you an idea, one study shows that the respondents reported a decrease in the number of cravings to smoke just after one or two sessions. Seven out of 10 of the respondents were able to kick the habit after 5 or 6 sessions.
Because the number of test subjects is small, there are some who doubt the effectiveness of acupuncture. This is because although there are positive signs with regards to the short term effects of this technique, its effects were not sustained. This is why some medical journals have stated that it is unclear what acupuncture can do in smoking cessation.
But you have to remember that acupuncture is not permanent. It merely starts something that you have to finish on your own. Some smokers who go 2 or 3 times a week to the clinic will need to come back for follow up sessions in the future.
At the same time, you have to find ways to prevent yourself from picking up a cigarette. You can do this by staying away from people who smoke since you will be tempted to ask for a stick. You can create your own personal mantra which you repeat to yourself every time you have an urge.
Remember that this craving is only short term and will last only for a few minutes. You have worked so hard to leave this behind so stick to the path and stay smoke free.
Acupuncture treatment for smokers should only be done by a license professional. You can do some research online to find out if they are accredited by the National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, ask how long they have been in the profession, find out how many smokers they have helped and how much will they charge.
Once you have found one, you have to commit yourself to the program because both you and the acupuncturist have to work together to give up this habit.
Acupuncture can help smokers in the same way that it has helped addicts and alcoholics quit their addictions. You just have to try it even if you may not believe in it.
The foundation of acupuncture rests on the relevance of an individual’s chi in maintaining bodily and mental health. It is believed that chi is present in every living creature, and flows through specific pathways in the body. Health problems arise when the flow of chi on the body is blocked. As a result, a person may feel persistent headaches, muscle pain, fever, weakness, or in the worst case, becomes afflicted with more serious health conditions.
A Deeper Explanation of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has its origins in ancient Chinese philosophy and practice. More than ten thousand years ago, during the Old Stone Age of China, stones were fashioned into knives for medical purposes. After several years, during the New Stone Age, these stones were eventually made into needles intended for the same therapeutic end. These accounts are further evidenced by unearthed stone needles found to be of the same types used during the New Stone Age.
There are basically 14 pathways throughout the body where chi flows continuously. These are called the meridian points. In order for chi to course through the body unobstructed, there has to be a balance between the strengths of yin and yang. In ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang represent the forces of the universe- yin is for feminine, while yang is for masculine. Every single thing in the universe is believed to contain both yin and yang for harmony.
When the yin and yang are not balanced, chi cannot stream through the body liberally. Therefore, the meridian points through which chi courses through need to be stimulated. This is done by the insertion of hair-thin, disposable needles in specific areas on a person’s body to induce bodily harmony and bring about healing.
A certified and trained acupuncturist will be able to carry out an excellent therapy session for the patient. Trainings for acupuncturists are given in order for them to obtain their licenses. A poor practitioner may not be proficient enough with the practice and could end up jeopardizing the results of the entire procedure. Nowadays, it is wise to verify on a practitioner’s credentials to ensure a safe and effective acupuncture treatment.
What This Ancient Method Does
One of the foremost effects of acupuncture on the body is relaxation. Stress is frequently pinpointed as the main precursor for a host of physical ailments. There are particular points all over the body that direct the flow of harmony and relaxation and when these are enthused, the patient becomes more at ease.
Another positive effect of this alternative therapy is increased pain control. During a session, a patient will usually feel very minimal pain as the thin needles are being inserted gradually. However, the needles are deliberately placed in varying depths, depending on the health requirements of the patient. When the needles reach the right depth, the patient will feel deeper pain, although the entire procedure is not necessarily painful.
It is also recommended for relief from chemotherapy fatigue as well as chemotherapy-related nausea. It has also been found to be largely effective for back pains, migraines, menstrual cramps, and as a pain controller for patients after undergoing surgical operations.
Variations of Conventional Acupuncture
Auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture is one of the variations of conventional acupuncture. In this practice, it is believed that the ear provides a map for all the major bodily organs. A specific area or point on the ear corresponds to a particular organ, such as the heart, kidneys, or liver. Thus, the needles are placed in particular points around the ear and on the ear cartilage.
Staplepuncture is a method used in smoking cessation, wherein staples are placed for a certain period anywhere on the ear area to provide stimulation.
Indeed there is growing evidence that this traditional Oriental practice can rival any modern forms of treatment. If you are one of the many people who are looking for a widely recognized and time honored therapeutic practice, acupuncture may just be the alternative treatment for you.
Acupuncture is a Great Example of Holistic Healthcare
Holistic healthcare by definition is being able to cure an illness through the use alternative means. This means no medication is given to the patient and an instrument like a bunch of needles could do the trick.
Acupuncture has been around for than 2000 years. It is only recently that this holistic form of healthcare has reached the US. Studies have shown that it can treat minor problems and prevent some from happening.
The needles used in acupuncture are very thin but thicker than the human hair. This makes it smaller than those used on hypodermic needles.
Most patients that undergo acupuncture will not feel any significant change after one session which is why a few sessions are needed. Best of all, it is painless so your body will not feel sore afterwards.
Several studies have been conducted about acupuncture and there have been positive results. For instance in the UK, 400 participants who were suffering from migraines claimed they felt better after 3 months worth of sessions.
In the US, acupuncture has also proven to be effective in helping people deal with arthritis because the needles help the body fight against this chronic illness that is much cheaper and more effective than conventional medicine.
Acupuncture can do more than just helping patients deal with arthritis or migraine. Clinical tests have shown that it can help obese people lose weight and those who are suffering from insomnia.
In some countries, acupuncture has even been used to replace chemical anesthesia prior to surgery as there are some patients who are not able to tolerate regular anesthesia.
Another field which acupuncture has proven to be effective is helping patients deal with their addictions such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. One study of smokers revealed that the average patient will cut down by half the number of cigarettes they consume after just one treatment. Just imagine the potential after a few more sessions!
This has resulted in the establishment of clinics nationwide that only use acupuncture as the means of rehabilitation.
Acupuncturists in the US charge from $75 to $150 per session. This usually gets lower in the succeeding treatments. The person will probably have to undergo 10 to 15 treatments 2 to 3 times a week but this really depends on the condition of the patient.
Before you go to one, you should check if this is covered by your insurance. If it isn’t, perhaps you should suggest that it should be included as it is much cheaper than having to undergo surgery.
Although there are risks if you decide to go undergo acupuncture, these can be avoided as long as the one doing it is a licensed professional who makes sure that the needles used are sterilized before they are inserted into the body.
These days, a lot of people in the medical field have accepted the fact that alternative medicine such as this can also help the patient which is why they may refer someone when it is needed.
So, if you are tired of experiencing the side effects of conventional medicine and want to try a holistic form of healthcare, why don’t you see what acupuncture can do for you? It is painless and cost effective. In fact, it is just one of many you can try to help treat a chronic condition.