Does Acupuncture Really Work Or Not?
Despite the growing number of researches supporting the claims stating that acupuncture is effective in treating a wide range of illness, many people remain sceptical about the capacity of this traditional medicine to improve overall health and fitness. Does acupuncture really work or not?
For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of diseases but scientific researches regarding the mechanisms of how acupuncture works only began half a century ago. Japan, China, France, Russia, USA and Germany were among the top countries which have conducted extensive studies about acupuncture. Through time, there has been a significant improvement in the theories and discoveries regarding acupuncture.
Assumptions of Acupuncture
Acupuncture works under a pre-scientific notion that the body contains channels and meridians where the energy flows freely. A free flowing energy in the body usually results to health and vitality. On the other hand, when these channels or meridians are blocked, it prevents the chi or life energy from flowing, resulting to diseases.
Acupuncture is actually done by inserting thin needles into the skin and manipulating them. This is what makes people doubtful about the effectiveness of this contemporary medicine.
Professional acupuncturists are using solid and very thin needles which are made from stainless steel. Some patients report slight pain when the needles are inserted while others don’t feel any pain at all. Acupuncturists guarantee no pain when the needles are put in place.
Science Explains Acupuncture
Applying electrical and heat stimulation when the needles are inserted actually encourages a human body to improve its functioning and promote natural healing and therapy. Needling the acupoints in the body stimulates the central nervous system to produce chemicals in the spinal cord, muscles and the brain. It will also trigger the release of other essential chemicals which play vital roles in the body’s internal regulating system.
The restoration of biochemical balance in the body results to the stimulation of the body’s natural healing abilities. In the long run, this results to overall emotional and physical well-being. Furthermore, research shows that acupuncture is beneficial in restoring balances in the absorption, energy production and digestion activities as well as in re-establishing the natural flow of energy along the meridians of the body.
Some scientific studies claim that acupuncture plays a vital role in altering the brain chemistry which results to a significant change in the production of neurohormones and neurotransmitters. This can significantly affect the involuntary body functions including immune reactions and internal processes which regulate the blood flow, body temperature and blood pressure of an individual.
The WHO Recognises Acupuncture
This contemporary medicine is primarily used to prevent illness, treat a wide range of medical conditions and of course, promote overall health being. Nowadays, even the World Health Organisation has recognised the role which acupuncture does in improving human health.
According to the World Health Organisation, acupuncture is beneficial in treating digestive disorders which include spastic colon, diarrhea, gastritis, constipation and hyperacidity. It can also be used to treat respiratory disorders which include sore throat, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and recurrent chest infections.
This complementary medicine is also effective in treating menstrual, urinary and reproductive problems as well as neurological and muscular disorders which include headaches, neck pain, frozen shoulder, rib neuritis, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, sciatica, facial tics, tennis elbow and low back pain.
The Placebo Effect
For more than 3000 years, acupuncture has been widely used in treating a wide range of illness. Nowadays, it is widely practiced in Soviet Union, Europe and Asia. In America, more and more doctors are using this traditional treatment in promoting the emotional and physical health being of their patients.
Some people claim that the effectiveness of acupuncture only works at the placebo level. Meaning, if people believe in the power of acupuncture, then it works! Contrary to this common belief, acupuncture really works whether you believe it or not. It has been successfully used in animals such as horses, cats and dogs, and the procedure worked for these animals even if they don’t understand or believe in acupuncture.
Until today, there are still lots of studies being conducted to determine how acupuncture is able to deliver its multiple effects. In the last three decades, there have been lots of evidences presented to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture. Nevertheless, there is no existing complete and concrete theory on how this alternative medicine really works.
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