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Acupuncture has a reputation in America for being a mysterious, magical treatment that stimulates the nerves. Because of its use of needles, many people may think it’s painful or even barbaric. But acupuncture is an ancient form of treating many illnesses and chronic issues. It’s important to understand what acupuncture is, how it’s different from other medical treatments, and how it can help individuals dealing with chronic pain, common illnesses, and other issues. 

An Ancient Healing Artform with 3,000 Years of History

The development of acupuncture started more than 3,000 years ago. Because its origins are in Asia, and specifically China, Korea, and Japan, it is often referred to as “Oriental medicine” or “Chinese medicine”. 

Acupuncture is the main part of Oriental medicine, but practitioners may use herbal medicine and even cupping to get different results. An acupuncturist will prescribe different healing methods based on the patient’s needs. An experienced practitioner will listen to your needs and may try many different methods to ensure you get relief from long-term ailments.  

The Balance of the Body in Oriental Medicine

According to the theories of Oriental medicine, our internal organs are related to each other, and each organ mirrors another partner organ. For instance, the lungs stand face-to-face with the bladder. This is why we may urinate when we cough. This mirroring of the organs means that balance is key. Acupuncture aims to treat that balance to ensure that it’s strong. 

A balanced body develops proper immunity against viruses or bacterial infections. It also helps heal chronic pain, or mitigate anxiety and depression. And if you’re looking to lose weight, the balance provided in acupuncture is an excellent place to start.

Differences Between Acupuncture and Western Medicine

Acupuncture is different from western medicine in a number of ways. Acupuncture is considered to be more of an “art” than other forms of medicine. Although there are scientific studies that show the effectiveness of acupuncture, the practice depends less on scientific theory than western medicine does. 

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine make different assumptions about the body than western medicine does. In Oriental medicine, the reason someone gets sick is due to an imbalance in the body. Acupuncture doesn’t use chemical medications to treat bodily imbalances, although herbal medicine may be prescribed to help. Of course, herbal medicine tends to have fewer side effects than prescription pills, and is generally gentler on the body and more natural. 

Acupuncture Uses Different Needles Than You Expect

Another difference between acupuncture and western medicine is in the needles. The needles you may have seen in your traditional doctor’s office are hollow to deliver medicine and are thicker than acupuncture needles. These needles are meant to be pushed through the skin and often into veins to deliver medication or fluids. They’re sharp and usually painful.  

Acupuncture needles are very thin and fine and aren’t meant to penetrate deeply into the skin. They also shouldn’t hurt if you are receiving acupuncture from a licensed and experienced practitioner. People who are afraid of medical needles will find that acupuncture needles are far less scary.

If you want to know more about how acupuncture can help you feel better and enjoy a better quality of life, make an appointment with 120 Acupuncture Clinic today.

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