Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine and is used in the modern world as a form of alternative medicine. It’s based on the argument that the human body has energy patterns flowing through it and any slight disruption to their flow leads to disease. The theory behind acupuncture is that it corrects the imbalances in the energy flow at certain spots close to the skin.
Side effects of acupuncture
Just like any other conventional treatment method, acupuncture has potential side effects. The needles cause most side effects during an acupuncture procedure; there are reports of accidental lung puncture. Lung puncture causes a condition known as pneumothorax, partial collapse.
Acupuncture is also known to cause different infections with the most common being hepatitis, infection of the liver. Another common side effect is infections at the site where the needles are inserted into the skin or in other parts of the body. The acupuncture needles are also known to cause temporary soreness on the skin. Most acupuncture side effects are related to inadequate training and poor hygiene of the acupuncturist and can be avoided with proper care.
Acupuncture is not recommended for individuals using blood thinners or those who have bleeding disorders as they may be exposed to high chances of bleeding.
Conditions that acupuncture can be used to treat
Acupuncture may be used in treating, as an alternative, an adjunct treatment or in a management program. Acupuncture may be used for the conditions listed below:
Controlling post-operative dental pain.
Research is however still on-going on other procedures that acupuncture may be used.
How acupuncture works
The needles are inserted into the skin along the 14 energy pathways with the view of stimulation. The needles initiate the release of endorphins which leads to change in brain activity and boost blood flow. Endorphins are known to be a painkiller of some sort. However, there is a group of people who believe that the procedure only works because patients think it would.
Acupuncture provides pain relief when used with another form of therapy or pain medicine. It may lead to improved quality of life and reduce the use of drugs for persons with chronic pain.
As more research is conducted on the benefit of using acupuncture as an alternative form of medication we can only wait. Such research will confirm whether or not the effectiveness of the procedure is only based on placebo.