Have you noticed that acupuncture has been appearing in the media more and more over the past couple of years? Articles have graced the black and white pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and color spreads appeared in Time and Newsweek magazines. Television talk shows abound with info on how acupuncture is good for back pain, knee pain, and the nausea of chemotherapy.
Acupuncture – which is one part of Chinese Medicine, has been used around the world for the past 2000 years. Originating in China, the use of very fine stainless steel needles inserted into specific points over the entire body has become a treatment choice for millions of people.
“Does it hurt?” is the biggest question for many. In actuality, 26 acupuncture needles can fit into a hypodermic needle. Acupuncture needles are solid and therefore can be bendable and thin. Many people hardly notice the insertion of these health-giving tools. Sometimes you can feel a very slight sensation but overall patients report that treatments are very comfortable.
“What is acupuncture good for?” is another question I often hear. The World Health Organization lists more than 50 ailments that can be effectively treated with acupuncture therapy. Acupuncturists work on many pain related ailments – headache, knee pain, low back pain, neck pain – but also treat internal ailments such as gastritis, nausea, allergic rhinitis, cough, and insomnia. The fact is that acupuncture is presently being integrated into medical care in hospitals, pain clinics, doctor’s offices and rehabilitation units around the globe. It adds a treatment choice to relieve symptoms and restore health.
Hebrew SeniorLife has added acupuncture into its medical offerings because it believes that senior residents at NewBridge on the Charles should have as many treatment choices as possible. The bottom line is that acupuncture is safe and effective and has close to no negative side effects. One of its best positive side effects is that it often gives people a sense of deep relaxation.
In coming months I plan to explain more about current acupuncture research, theories on how acupuncture works, how to use acupuncture and Chinese medicine in each season and for general wellness, and more specific conditions that acupuncture helps with.