Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the insertion of thin needles under the skin at specific points around the body. The needles stimulate blood flow as well as nerve, muscle, and connective tissues, providing relief from a variety of conditions and symptoms. While acupuncture didn’t become well known in the United States until the 1970s, it’s been practiced in China and East Asia for thousands of years.
The Origins of Acupuncture
No one knows who invented acupuncture; its ancient origin is shrouded in myth and legend. According to Chinese tradition, acupuncture was developed by three emperors. The first, Emperor Fu Xi, is credited with discovering the life force energy known as qi(chee) and how it flows through the body. Fu Xi is also credited with creating the original nine needles used for acupuncture points. (These early needles were made from stone and bone.)
Emperor Shennong is known for developing many of the techniques used in acupuncture as well as Chinese herbal medicine, and Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, refined the techniques and compiled the Huangdi Neijing, a group of medical texts that became the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine.
Over time, acupuncture began to spread beyond China. It made its way to Korea, Japan, and East Asia and traveled West along the Silk Road trade route. However, it took until the 1700s for acupuncture to start attracting serious attention in Europe.
In the 21st century, acupuncture is becoming popular in the West as an alternative or complement to standard modern medical treatments, which often recommends the use of potentially harmful drugs to manage pain symptoms. Many studies suggest that acupuncture may stimulate the release of endorphins, and neurotransmitters, and modulate various physiological processes. According to the United Nations World Health Organization, acupuncture treatments are safe as long as the procedure is performed by a licensed and well-trained practitioner.
Traditionally, acupuncture treated illnesses by directing the flow of life energy through the human body. Today, acupuncture is mainly used to treat pain and other conditions by stimulating blood flow, nerves, muscles, and connective tissue to promote self-healing. Some of the conditions acupuncture can address include:
- Back pain
- Chronic pain
- Digestive issues
- High blood pressure
- Menstrual cramps and PMS
- Morning sickness
What To Expect From a Modern Acupuncture Treatment
A modern acupuncture treatment generally starts with the practitioner discussing a patient’s symptoms, behaviors, and lifestyle to determine which treatment plan will be most effective.
Before they begin, the practitioner will perform a few simple tests to diagnose your ailment and ensure you’re healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Acupuncture treatments usually take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete, The exact amount of time depends on the patient’s specific needs. Acupuncturists don’t insert the needles directly into an organ. Rather, the needles are placed at specific points around an organ to increase blood and oxygen flow.
Most treatment plans for a single condition involve one or two treatments a week for a total of six to eight treatments. Side effects are rare and usually consist of minor bruising, bleeding, and pain at the site of entry.
Safe, Effective Acupuncture Treatments in Orange County, CA
People all over Orange County, CA are embracing the benefits provided by acupuncture treatments. If you’ve been looking for an alternative to drug therapy to relieve chronic pain, fatigue, and anxiety, as well as other medical issues, give Orange County, CA acupuncture clinic QualityAcu a call. Dr. Gregory G. Maruki provides safe, effective acupuncture treatments to patients in Orange County, CA. Contact QualityAcu at 714-532-2827 to make an appointment or learn more about how acupuncture can deliver the results you seek.