Whether you are seeking to treat an injury or simply improve your wellbeing, acupuncture may be a great treatment option for you. The benefits of acupuncture range from treating acute injuries, chronic or persistent pain, improving mood, and much more. Acupuncture side effects are known to be low risk and uncommon. Because of this, it is becoming more and more recognized as an incredible treatment option for varying health needs. Facial acupuncture benefits are inclusive of anti-aging effects and brightening of the skin.
Acupuncture benefits for anxiety have also been reported as acupuncture releases chemicals in the body to improve and stabilize mood, much like the effects of exercise for our mind and body. The overall health benefits of acupuncture are inclusive of reduced pain, improved mood, decreased levels of fatigue, and much more. Keep reading to find out all the acupuncture can do for you in your journey to wellness.
Acupuncture has been practiced for well over 2,000 documented years. It is one of the longest continuously practiced medicines in the world next to Ayurvedic medicine of India. So how has acupuncture persisted through the millennia? In short, it works and achieves a magnitude of healing results. Acupuncture is practiced in many different ways from calming, relaxing and gentle, to active and engaging while focusing on instant performance and functional improvements. Acupuncture interacts with and engages multiple systems within the body and thus has a vast array of therapeutic actions and applications.
While acupuncture is often sought out for pain management purposes, its benefits extend much past pain relief. Acupuncture has many other therapeutic benefits as well. Beyond pain management, the benefits of acupuncture include calming stress and anxiety, relieving depression and insomnia, improving digestion, and boosting immunity and energy. If that wasn’t enough, it may also aid in gaining more restful sleep, reduction of inflammation, rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal and sports injuries, performance enhancement, restoring function to injured muscles, tendons, and ligaments, alleviating headaches and migraines, reducing allergies, fertility support, and much more.
The effects of acupuncture are similar to those of other physical medicine treatments. In an acute injury, the immediate effects of acupuncture may wear off within 36-72 hours. That is why your acupuncturist may often recommend 2-3 visits per week for the first few weeks of your injury in order to increase the effectiveness of pain relief in the short term while the injury is new. Once the body starts responding more easily to the acupuncture treatments, the effects tend to last longer and your treatments will be spaced out to once per week followed by further lengthening between treatments of every other week. There may come a point in which your pain levels have been managed and you are gaining greater mobility, strength, and function. At that point, it is then recommended to come in for routine monthly maintenance in order to ensure optimal health and function of your body and mind. This is similar to getting regular tune-ups and oil changes in your car.
After an acupuncture session, it can be expected to feel very calm and relaxed. Acupuncture is known to produce a feeling of bliss and euphoria. People have shared experiences of leaving acupuncture with a calm demeanor and smile on their faces. This is due to a large release in neuropeptides and neurotransmitters of endorphins, serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, and oxytocin. In other words, happy hormones or feel-good chemicals. These are the same types of hormones released when you do things like exercise, dance to good music, or laugh with friends. Your body and muscles may feel more relaxed, ease, and less tense, while your mind feels calm, focused, and optimistic.
Some say that acupuncture can detox your body. Others will say it’s possible but not proven. Ultimately, acupuncture was designed to bring your body back into balance. One of the ways it does this is by stimulating antioxidants within your body. The theory of acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine which asserts there are energetic pathways throughout a person’s body. When these pathways are blocked our organs are out of balance causing our body to retain toxins, i.e. metabolic waste products. Acupuncture is thought to help clear these pathways, bringing our body back into balance. This, in essence, allows the body to detoxify.
Doctors and medical providers are increasingly referring their patients to acupuncture due to its therapeutic benefits and very low risk of negative side effects. Referrals and recommendations for acupuncture are most commonly given for conditions related to pain, stress, anxiety, mild to moderate depression, insomnia, digestive disturbance, low energy and fatigue, and sports-related injuries just to name a few.
Acupuncture is not meant to be a highly invasive, stressful procedure. Unlike some procedures, you don’t need to fast or do anything too far outside of your normal routines. It is recommended that you avoid ingesting any toxic, strong depressants, or active stimulant substances before your appointment like alcohol, coffee, cannabis, or other illicit substances. These substances put your body out of balance and could hinder the benefits of the treatment. It’s not a good idea to go to your appointment hungry either. You should have a light meal at least 1-2 hours before your treatment. Acupuncture is supposed to have a relaxing effect so avoid having to rush there or having to run to another appointment. These types of stressors may diminish some of the full calming benefits of acupuncture. Your acupuncturist may want to know your medical history such as any injuries or surgeries you have had. They may also want to know if you have taken any medications or are currently taking medication. They will be better able to treat you if they have a total picture of your health.
Like with most treatments, there are some things to avoid so that you get the maximum benefit from your acupuncture treatment. Keep your stress levels down by not rushing anywhere after your appointment and avoiding strenuous activity. In order to achieve optimal benefits from your treatment, you may want to wait at least 2-3 hours before doing any strenuous physical activities or exercise other than light walking or hiking. Avoiding junk foods or other substances that may make you feel sluggish is advised as to not add toxins back to your body that you were just trying to eliminate. This may be inclusive of avoiding coffee or alcohol after your treatment/ Coffee is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. Either of them can potentially negate the positive effects of acupuncture by putting your body out of balance. You can apply heat to areas where you have pain but do not apply cold packs or ice. Applying ice or cold packs can cause your body to stagnate and aggravate the pain.
How quickly acupuncture results are felt is totally dependent on the patient and their reasoning for seeking treatment. While some may feel results from the moment the needle is inserted or removed, some may feel the benefits after the treatment is completed.
Most therapies, acupuncture included, may take multiple treatments before the patient sees any noticeable improvements. This is especially true if the reason you are seeking acupuncture therapy is due to an acute traumatic injury or a chronic condition that has impacted you for more than three months. On average, you should start having noticeable results within 4-6 treatments. It is important to have patience and be persistent with the process.
There are generally few or no side effects to acupuncture treatment. This is one of the primary reasons why it is so regularly referred to patients as a treatment option by medical professionals. There are some people who may be at greater risk for complications: those who are pregnant, people who have bleeding disorders or a pacemaker, and people who take blood thinners.
Side effects of acupuncture are fairly uncommon and mild in nature. Some people may have bruising, bleeding, or soreness from where the needles are inserted. This typically passes fairly quickly and doesn’t result in needing medical attention.
If you are considering acupuncture treatment it is a good idea to discuss your concerns about side effects with your practitioner. They can tell you what to expect and how long it will take to recover from any side effects. They will also tell you what you need to be aware of in terms of side effects so you don’t ignore something that might need to be looked at. The best side effect of acupuncture is that very relaxing and calming feeling upon leaving a session. Leaving you feeling euphoric, blissful, and mindful.
In very rare cases, it is possible that the patient may experience some nerve damage. Very rarely, an acupuncture needle may get close enough to a nerve and hit it. Nerve damage is rare but can be severe. The most common symptoms are pain along with or without slight numbness and tingling. These symptoms usually resolve though within a few weeks. Having a skilled practitioner will ensure you get the best outcome from your acupuncture treatment. If you are in the Portland area and would like acupuncture treatment, Portland Wellness Care is just the place to get the best treatment to achieve optimal results.
Normally, if you feel better than you did before you had acupuncture it is probably working. Sometimes people feel better right away and sometimes it takes a while. It can be hard to determine too because people often see an acupuncturist for things that are hard to measure. If you break a bone, for example, a doctor can set it and tell you when it is healed by doing an X-ray. If you have ongoing pain from the broken bone, that is harder to address. Having acupuncture for pain from a broken bone may reduce the intensity of the pain, make it less frequent or eliminate it altogether. Some general things you may notice after you have had some acupuncture treatments are:
These are signs that the treatments are working to improve your overall well-being. Part of knowing whether acupuncture is helping is to know what you want to have treated or improved. For example, some people have migraines they want to be treated. If they decrease in frequency and intensity after having acupuncture this is a sign it is working too. It may take a few sessions or it may work right away. Everyone responds to treatment differently and people heal differently.
Acupuncture can be targeted to treat depression as well as many other health issues. Some research has been done that shows some people with mild to moderate depression who have had acupuncture improved quite a bit. This was also found to be the case when pregnant women with depression were treated and for people who had strokes. For people who are suffering from depression, it could be well worth it to discuss acupuncture therapy with their doctor. Acupuncture is also a great treatment for anxiety.
Yes, acupuncture has been utilized for thousands of years to address pain and dysfunction within the body. Actually, the scientific study of acupuncture’s mechanisms of action has taught the medical community a lot regarding our understanding of how pain is received and regulated. Acupuncture has many different disciplines and practice styles. The type of acupuncture practiced mainly at Portland Wellness Care is referred to as Medical Acupuncture. This style of acupuncture utilizes evidence-based protocols along with electrical stimulation to the acupuncture points in order to produce the release of neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, and endorphins at the spinal level and in the main pain regulation center of the brain in the periaqueductal gray area to relieve pain systemically. To find out more about how Medical Acupuncture helps with pain, ask your acupuncturist at Portland Wellness Care.
Acupuncture is widely accepted by both medical and patient communities within the Portland area, making it an excellent place to explore the treatment benefits for you. At Portland Wellness Care, our providers are available for a free consultation to see if acupuncture is beneficial or recommended for your health condition. Our providers are trained in the latest evidence-based practices and together have a wealth of knowledge to help you get the results you are looking for.
Portland Wellness Care offers many health care services to help you feel your best. Our comprehensive care model works to provide the most suitable care for your needs. Whether you are treating an injury or optimizing wellness, our team can help you find the best care options. Our providers work to help you reach your health goals through a variety of different treatment types. Patient choice is important, and our team can help you find the care that suits your needs and treatment preferences. Portland Wellness Care offers appointments from Monday to Saturday for your convenience. Most private insurance plans are accepted as well as worker’s compensation injury treatment, and motor vehicle accident treatment plans. If you are in the Portland area and want to try acupuncture to feel better, please come see us at Portland Wellness Care.
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