By:  Lauren Harper

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy treatment with the capacity to cure a variety of body pains. Photo courtesy of Google images

Most people share a common fear when it comes to anything related to doctors and hospitals: needles. Whether that needle is for a flu shot or for drawing blood, many people do not have good feelings towards them. Though needles have some very negative connotations associated with them, they can, in fact, have more relieving effects when used in a different way, like for acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a Chinese therapy treatment that has been used for hundreds of years, which is based off of the theory that ‘chi’ or ‘qi’ energy flows throughout peoples’ bodies. With the use of acupuncture, the chi energy and blood flow can be balanced and allow for the user to have restored health. Using up to hundreds of very thin needles, the body’s energy channels, or ‘meridians,’ can be allowed to flow and process properly, refurbishing the body’s yin and yang balance.

Each year, millions of Americans use acupuncture, especially when it comes to pain relief. Acupuncture is known to treat migraines, back pain, fibromyalgia, asthma, osteoarthritis and even addiction. Some medical researchers believe that acupuncture relieves these variations of pain through opioid peptides, which are chemicals in the body that have calming effects. Another theory is that acupuncture has an effect on brain glands, such as the hypothalamus, which produce hormones to regulate the body.

While there have been many people that fully back the use of acupuncture and tell of its great results, there are some precautions when it comes to this therapy. When not performed correctly, acupuncture can result in infection and punctured organs. Sterile, hair-thin, nontoxic needles should always be used on skin that has also been sterilized. Due to the risks of the procedure, those who are seeking to use acupuncture should also consult with doctors before they decide to try it.

Acupuncture may seem very intimidating with so many needles being stuck in the body at one time, but it can have some very positive and helpful results. The next time you have a serious headache or back ache, maybe try a new tactic. Skip the Ibuprofen and go with a hundred needles instead.


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