Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine practiced by trained practitioners to target and stimulate specific points on the body. Most often, when we think of acupuncture we visualize the technique involving thin needles strategically placed around the body. This is the most common and most practiced form of acupuncture.
Though millions of people in America use acupuncture for various ailments, it is still a highly controversial practice. Several studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of this alternate form of medicine and we here at Epic Healthcare in Flower Mound, Texas are ready and able to answer any questions that you might have about this practice.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture dates back thousands of years in China. In recent decades, the practice has become far more common in the United States. The basic idea behind acupuncture is based on the flow of energy through the body that promotes health and well-being. Acupuncture’s goal is to balance the flow of energy to promote health and healing.
Acupuncture is considered to be a safe practice when performed by a trained practitioner using sterile needles. When practiced improperly or unsafely there can be serious side effects such as infection. As long as it is practiced safely and correctly, there are few complications and adverse reactions.
Most often, acupuncture is used in conjunction with traditional medicine to treat a number of health care problems. In fact, some traditional doctors even practice acupuncture themselves. Some of the conditions that are regularly treated using acupuncture include lower back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches, and much more.
How effective is Acupuncture?
There have been a number of studies conducted about the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating various illnesses and injuries. Studies have consistently shown that this practice does seem to ease pain in relation to lower back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis pain. It has also been found to help with tension and migraine headaches. Most of the studies focus on treatment of those who suffer from chronic pain.
Despite studies, many people still are uncertain about acupuncture. A large reason for this is because the effects of treatment are not fully understood. Evidence shows that there are many factors, including belief and expectations that may contribute to the success of the treatments. For this reason, some assume that acupuncture therapy is just a placebo, while others insist that it is the only treatment option that has helped their condition.
Seeking out Acupuncture Therapy
If you would like to seek out acupuncture therapy to help with your condition, then there are some important things that you should keep in mind during your search. Be sure to check the credentials of anyone practicing acupuncture prior to letting them practice on you. While most states require anyone practicing this method of medicine to have either a license, certification, or registration, the training and education requirements can vary greatly from state to state. It’s also important to understand that a license, certification, or registration does not necessarily ensure a high quality of care. Instead, it merely indicates that this particular practitioner has met the required standards regarding the knowledge and application of treatment. You can also check with your medical practitioner to see if they themselves practice acupuncture or if they have any referral recommendations.
When determining if acupuncture therapy will help your condition or not, it’s important to discuss the course of treatment with your practitioner. In many cases it can take several sessions to see substantial improvement. Find out about how many treatments your provider will recommend along with the cost of each treatment to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by the expenses. Some insurances may cover the cost of the treatments but some won’t so it’s also important to check with your insurance company to determine what costs are covered.
It’s also important to let your medical practitioner as well as your acupuncturist all of the treatments that you are currently undergoing for your condition. This will help them serve your condition better and ensure that you’re getting the best care possible without conflicting treatments.
It’s important to remember that while studies have shown improvements after acupuncture therapy in those patients who deal with various forms of chronic pain, using this method to treat other illnesses and injuries hasn’t proven effective. More studies are being conducted regularly about the use of alternative treatment methods for various injuries and diseases and new information is always becoming available.
Understand that while acupuncture may not necessarily work for everyone, there are those who swear by the treatment and say that it is the only thing that has helped to reduce or eliminate their issues with chronic pain.
If you have any questions about acupuncture, please contact Epic Healthcare in Flower Mound, Texas at (972) 355-0083.