Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. During the second half of the twentieth century acupuncture began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient’s skin at specific points on the body – the needles are inserted to various depths.
According to current medical science, acupuncture works by triggering the release of internal chemicals that affect the patients’ pain experience. Acupuncture has admittedly shown therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and alleviation from nausea caused by chemotherapy.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more. People with tension headaches and/or migraines may find acupuncture to be very effective in alleviating their symptoms, according to a study carried out at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Another study at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that twice weekly acupuncture treatments relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia – severe dry mouth – among patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer.
How is an acupuncture treatment done?
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly treatments. A visit will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient’s condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 45-60 minutes.
The patient will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on his/her side, depending on where the needless are inserted. All needles are single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted the patient will usually feel relaxed and/or a heavy sensation. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about 30-40 minutes.