A Primer on Acupuncture for those who are new to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Have you ever wanted to learn about Mississauga acupuncture but were apprehensive or skeptical? We are here to explain to you the basics of acupuncture as well as some of the benefits it can provide you in a natural and holistic way. Everything from acupuncture for pain to how acupuncture may help you deal with your anxiety and depression naturally. Welcome, and we hope you enjoy and come away with a better understanding of one of the most ancient and beneficial health remedies around.
There are two broad categories of acupuncture practice today, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and medical acupuncture. Both have their merits, so the choice is up to the individual patient. The decision for most people hinges upon which philosophy appeals more to them and which technique makes them feel most comfortable.
In TCM, practitioners adhere to the concept of Qi, or energy flow, and the meridians in which they travel. They use longer needles and insert them deeper in order to reach the various acupuncture points. Modern science has found little evidence to prove the existence of these energy channels, but this is the technique that has been used effectively for thousands of years.
In medical acupuncture, the practitioners are graduates of western medical schools. Their application of needles is not based on the traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data. These acupuncturists use shorter needles and the insertions are shallower. They also tend to use fewer needles and leave them inserted for shorter periods of time. Adherents to TCM feel this is a watered-down version of the real thing. Nevertheless, many patients have felt relief of symptoms through this method.
There is a broad and extensive list of ailments which can be treated with acupuncture. The conditions run the gamut from asthma to constipation, anxiety and depression to weight loss. Most TCM practitioners believe that any health condition results from an imbalance in Qi flow, therefore amenable to needle therapy. Western acupuncturists tend to have a more limited list of indications, the most common of which is undoubtedly pain relief.
Pain relief is the most well researched of all of the conditions that acupuncture treats. There is a definite beneficial effect for a majority of patients using this method. Migraines, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuralgia's are but a few examples. The theory behind its effectiveness is also medically accepted and well researched, called the gate-control theory of pain. It states that the needles can stimulate nerves so that they block the impulses from pain triggers.
It is important to emphasize that acupuncture is to be used on top of existing medical therapy. At no time should a patient discontinue medication or ignore traditional medical instructions in favor of acupuncture. After undergoing an acupuncture regimen, the primary care physician can make an evaluation with regards to decreasing dependence on other therapies.
An acupuncture therapy treatment course will last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This depends upon the complexity of the particular medical condition. Results also vary, so it is important to have a detailed discussion with the acupuncturist regarding expected results and their time frame. In general, you should begin to feel beneficial effects after three or four sessions. Certain specific conditions may worsen before improving so keeping yourself informed is key.
In modern medicine, the use of traditional techniques with proven results has become a widely accepted practice. Acupuncture has proven its worth time and again. Modern practice guidelines make it effective, reproducible, and safe. It is a gift of healing form ancient sages that has the potential to bring relief to millions of people.