I’d been unhappy with my current acupuncturist for some time but didn’t know how to break off the relationship. The Chinese herb formulation worked wonders, but her acupuncture technique was not great. She moved away, so that made things easy.

I asked for recommendations from friends and found a new acupuncturist. What a difference as she’s excellent at acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

Why do I go to an acupuncturist? It’s the only thing that controls my allergies and sinus problems. The Chinese herbs work better than over-the-counter medications and have no weird side effects.

Scientific studies have validated the healing power of acupuncture. Acupuncturists continue to combine western medicine with traditional acupuncture, expanding its use. Electroacupuncture streams a low-level electrical current through the inserted needles.

My former acupuncturist used electroacupuncture, but I didn’t get much boost. Make sure your acupuncturist knows how to use it correctly. My electrical tolerance turns out to be lower than most; check out my experience.

Laser acupuncture uses focused light instead of needles. It’s popular in pediatrics, as most children are averse to needles. Studies indicate its as effective as traditional acupuncture.

History of Acupuncture

Most agree acupuncture originated in China about 3000 years ago. The practice spread to Korea and Japan by the 6th century. From the beginning, massage, diet, herbs, and moxibustion (heat therapy) complemented acupuncture treatments.

Based on the belief that acupuncture can manipulate energy coursing through the human body, treatments create balance and health. The energy or qi ( pronounced chee) runs through the body on twelve meridians or channels. The meridians don’t follow blood flow or nerve pathways.

Around the 14th century, Chinese acupuncture standardized and codified needle insertion points. It remained a widespread practice up until the early 1800s. Its use declined gradually into the early 19th century until outlawed in 1922.

The Communist government resurrected traditional forms of medicine, including acupuncture, in the late 1940s. In the 1950s, China expanded acupuncture research that continues today. The studies combine age-old treatments with Western medicine to enhance efficacy.

Acupuncture arrived in the US in the 1970s, made famous by a journalist treated in China after emergency surgery. Interest grew out of that story. The use of acupuncture in Western medicine continues to grow as studies confirm its benefits.

But does it work?

It does for me and others. A good majority of clinical studies show success in using acupuncture to treat chronic pain. Treatments most often relieve back pain, neck pain, and headache.

Recent studies show acupuncture helps allergy sufferers at least as much as anti-histamines. Anti-histamines make me feel ill, and acupuncture doesn’t. Few studies have examined the effect on chronic sinusitis.

How does it work? That’s a good question science hasn’t been able to answer. The best guess is the points stimulate the central nervous system to release chemicals. These biochemicals invigorate your body’s natural healing abilities, promoting wellness.

Is it for you?

It may or may not be. It’s made a massive difference in my physical comfort, especially during allergy seasons. It’s worth a try if you suffer from chronic pain.

Are you afraid of needles? I’m not too fond of shots, but acupuncture needles don’t bother me. Practitioners insert needles into my face to stimulate my sinuses.

Does it hurt? It stings a little, but any discomfort goes away quickly. The treatments are also relaxing.

It’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor before trying acupuncture. It’s safe as long as you use a licensed practitioner. Your insurance may cover the treatments, too.


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