Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of healing in existence. The origin of acupuncture treatment is found in the ancient text “The Nei Jing” by Huang Di, which dates back to around 300 B.C. Originally, acupuncture needles were made from bone and stone, and later, they used bronze, gold, and silver. Acupuncture is believed to have started in China before becoming popular in the United States in the 1970s. Today, acupuncture is commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine.
- History of Acupuncture: This article discusses the vast history of acupuncture, which dates back more than 8,000 years.
- A Brief History of Acupuncture: Oxford Journals outlines a brief history of acupuncture and how this ancient practice has developed over time.
- The History of Acupuncture in China: Excerpted from “Acupuncture – Its Place in Western Medical Science,” this page provides the history of acupuncture in China.
- Acupuncture – Its Place in the History of Chinese Medicine (PDF): This article pertaining to acupuncture and the history of Chinese medicine is based on a meeting held by the British Medical Acupuncture Society.
- Traditional Chinese Acupuncture: Here, you’ll learn about traditional Chinese acupuncture and the development of western acupuncture.
- Acupuncture History: The British Acupuncture Council gives readers a look at the history of traditional acupuncture and how it has become a part of modern health care.
The Process of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is performed using thin, flexible needles generally made of steel metal alloy. The needles are inserted into the skin and left in place for 15 to 30 minutes. During this time, the patient may feel heat, numbness, a dull ache, or a tingling sensation in the area of the needles. During the procedure, the needles may be rotated or stimulated by heat or electricity. Slight bleeding may occur when the needles are withdrawn.
- How Acupuncture Is Performed: Learn how acupuncture is performed, starting with an assessment and examination and ending with needle insertions.
- What You Can Expect: The Mayo Clinic outlines what you can expect from a typical session of acupuncture.
- Treatments and Procedures – Acupuncture: This acupuncture guide provides information on how acupuncture works, what happens during treatment, types of acupuncture, and what conditions can be treated using acupuncture.
- What Happens During Acupuncture?: This video shows what happens during an acupuncture session.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture offers a host of benefits, with the most well-known being pain relief. Not only does acupuncture cause the body to release natural painkillers, but it can also change the patient’s perception of pain. In addition to pain relief, acupuncture has also been known to help relieve anxiety and stress, help women with infertility problems, and improve one’s overall health and wellness. Many people use acupuncture as a preventative health measure to stave off medical conditions and enjoy life better.
- Acupuncture for Pain: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) provides a detailed guide about acupuncture and its use for pain relief.
- The Use of Acupuncture in Drug Addiction Treatment: This article discusses whether or not acupuncture really works to treat drug addiction.
- Infertility and Acupuncture: The American Pregnancy Association discusses how acupuncture can aid in infertility cases.
- Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia: This page provides information on acupuncture and how it’s used in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
- Acupuncture May Stop Cocaine Cravings: Learn how acupuncture can aid treatment for addiction.
- The Basic Facts – Acupuncture and MS (PDF): This brochure provides basic facts about acupuncture and its benefits in treating multiple sclerosis.
- Breast Cancer and Acupuncture: Learn about the various conditions and ailments that acupuncture can help reduce or eliminate.
Other Acupuncture Information
- Questions and Answers About Acupuncture: The National Cancer Institute provides a question and answers page relating to acupuncture.
- Alternative Medicine – Acupuncture: Learn exactly what acupuncture is, what it feels like, and how it affects the body.
- Acupuncture Questions Explained: Explanation of traditional Chinese medicine and western science, as well as the effectiveness of acupuncture.
- Acupuncture: The North American Spine Society outlines how acupuncture is used for pain relief, the risks of acupuncture, and how much it costs.
- Healing Practices – Acupuncture: Learn how qi flows through the body and how an acupuncturist manipulates qi to obtain the desired result.
- What Is Acupuncture?: John Hopkins Medicine provides thorough information on acupuncture, what it feels like, and how it can benefit the body.
- How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Improve Sleep, Digestion and Emotional Well-Being: Article discussing acupuncture, how many sessions are needed, and what conditions are commonly treated using the ancient practice.
- What You Should Know About Acupuncturists and Their Services: Compares licensed acupuncturists with certified acupuncturists, and what you should know about acupuncture services.
- Acupuncture is Worth a Try for Chronic Pain: This Harvard Health Publication explains why acupuncture is worth trying to reduce chronic pain.
- Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine: This article discusses how acupuncture and traditional medicine can help you achieve optimal health.
- What Is Acupuncture and How Does It Work?: Learn more about acupuncture and how it works with this article from the Academy of Five Element Acupuncture.
- Acupuncture, Anxiety and Depression: Information on how acupuncture can help battle against anxiety and depression.
- Wellness Therapies – Acupuncture: This webpage talks about what acupuncture is used for and what one should expect on a visit to an acupuncturist.
- Can Acupuncture Help you Lose Weight?: Learn how acupuncture could potentially help you lose weight and what research backs up this claim.
- Acupuncture May Ease Chronic Back Pain: WebMD provides a Health News article that discusses a study stating that acupuncture may ease chronic back pain.
- Frequently Asked Questions: List of frequently asked questions about acupuncture from the California State Oriental Medical Association.
- What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?: Acupuncture Today provides a news article that discusses what conditions acupuncture is effective in treating.
By Michelle Conway