Alternative medicine has become increasingly popular in recent decades as a healing tool in addition to—and in conjunction with—standard western medicine. People suffering from acute or chronic pain or injuries use acupuncture to aid the healing process. Everyone knows that it’s important to eat healthy food and exercise regularly. It is less commonly known that acupuncture can be used as a safe and effective way to maintain health and well-being. For thousands of years, eastern countries have used acupuncture to prevent illness, and now western countries are also reaping the benefits of preventative alternative medicine. Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain in a wide range of conditions, from osteoporosis to headaches to back pain. Used on a regular basis, it helps the body maintain the proper balance and prevent future flare ups.
How it Works
Acupuncture works by inserting a thin needle into specific points on the body, creating a “micro-wound.” These tiny wounds are not big enough to cause harm, but even a little prick is enough to stimulate the body to release self-healing endorphins and boost the immune system. The pain-relieving hormones reduce stress, fatigue, and minor aches and pains. Strategically placed close to certain nerves, the pinpricks allow energy that was blocked up, often without the person’s knowledge, to flow freely once again, creating a feeling of overall wellness. Getting acupuncture treatments on a regular basis can keep the body in this optimal state and stop illnesses that can small from turning into something more serious. Similarly, minor problems are dealt with before they become chronic conditions. Increased immunity has boundless benefits that lead to a long and healthy life.
Not Just for the Body
Acupuncture can help maintain more than just physical health. According to Dr. Daniel Hsu, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, acupuncture can relieve anxiety. Just as needles placed near certain nerves stimulate the body to release endorphins, they also stimulate parts of the nervous system connected to emotions. Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective at reducing anxiety and improving memory, so people feel more balanced. Athletes often use acupuncture to reduce stress and anxiety before competing, thereby increasing performance and preventing injuries caused by lack of focus and stress.
How We Know It Works
The question many have about all preventative medicine, including acupuncture, is how we know it works. If we don’t get sick, maybe we just weren’t exposed to as germs. Acupuncture treatment has measurable effects other than lack of illness and pain. After treatment, people feel more relaxed and stress-free, and they even sleep better. They are left with an overall feeling of rejuvenation and vitality. This increased wellness boost is the buffer that prevents the onset of future illness.
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