Modern medicine is routinely viewed as the only way to deal with ailments and injuries. We often overlook alternative therapies. However, this is slowly changing with more people, increasingly adopting holistic treatments to manage pain and injuries.
Holistic treatments refers to forms of therapy that address the human body as a whole and not just as the disease affecting it. These forms of treatment work on the mind, body, and spirit, to encourage mental and physical well-being.
A great example of a holistic treatment that has been used for millenia to relieve pain and heal diseases is acupuncture.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy used by health practitioners for pain relief. Acupuncture has been in existence for over 2,500 years and is supported by scientific research as a complementary approach to treat various conditions.
According to experts, acupuncture is one of the non – opioid treatments that can reduce the need for pain medication when dealing with chronic pain. It is based on an ancient Chinese philosophy that works on the Qi (the body’s natural energy).
The Chinese believe that Qi flows to all parts in healthy human beings, encouraging excellent physical and mental health. But when the Qi is blocked or flowing incorrectly, it causes illness in the human body.
Therefore, by using acupuncture, Qi can be balanced or guided to flow correctly, thereby restoring one’s health.
Acupuncture for pain relief
Acupuncture is excellent for the treatment of migraines, sciatica, arthritis, and carpal tunnel. Research on mice has also proven its success in the treatment of inflammation.
When it comes to injuries, acupuncture reduces pain, and the time it takes to heal from problems such as golf and tennis elbow, rotator cuff disorders, sprains, and spinal injuries.
Athletes often use it to relieve pain after injury, restore range of movement, and improve their performance.
Acupuncture can also help treat issues such as allergies, insomnia, PMS, and even morning sickness, a condition that most women don’t seek treatment for, but try to manage on their own.
It is often used as a complementary treatment to western medicine, to maximise benefits and encourage healing. For example, you can use acupuncture to relieve the pain caused by cancer treatment or manage the side effects of conventional therapies. You may also use it to relieve chronic pain while taking medication from your doctor.
Acupuncture treatment for motor accident injuries
The mental and physical injuries after a car accident can be severe. Accidents often cause injuries to various parts of the body that result in chronic pain, such as neck pain caused by whiplash.
There are also hidden injuries after an accident that can result in chronic pain. Such hidden issues are often difficult to identify and treat using modern medicine. For example, pain from whiplash can manifest weeks after an accident.
Although such problems can be overlooked when using modern medicine, holistic treatments such as acupuncture can help identify and heal them. By finding the energy imbalance in the body and correcting it through acupuncture, therapists can reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and minimize pain in the body after an accident, resulting in faster injury recovery.
For those who have to undergo surgery, acupuncture can reduce the time it takes to heal physical injuries and overcome any emotional trauma from the accident, such as anxiety.
Acupuncture is also ideal for pain management, ensuring a quick recovery from accidents and reducing the need for painkillers and anti-inflammatories and their potential side effects.
Most insurance companies recognise acupuncture treatment as an effective treatment for accident-related injuries. They increasingly cover the expenses, making it an excellent treatment to use after a car crash.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by stimulating specific nerves and muscles of the body, known as pressure points or acupoints.
The body has numerous acupoints located along 14 energy-carrying channels known as meridians. These pressure points are found in areas of the body, such as between the eyebrows, below the back, at the shoulder bone, in the crease of the elbow, and behind the knees.
These acupoints are stimulated using very thin sterilized needles to release endorphins, improve blood circulation, boost the immune system, and relieve pain, all of which encourages healing.
What to expect from an acupuncture session
When people think of needles going into their skin, it evokes the horrors of painful childhood jabs. They imagine acupuncture is painful and are reluctant to try it. However, there is nothing to worry about as it is a minimally invasive procedure.
Acupuncture needles are quite thin and do not cause much pain. The most you can expect is a small prick. The depth reached by the needles depends on the injury or ailment being treated, the patient’s age, and size.
Before an acupuncture session, the therapist will find out about your condition, medical history, and symptoms. You should be open about all your challenges and symptoms to give the practitioner a proper overview of your health.
An acupuncture treatment session can take between 30 and 90 minutes. Ideally, changes are visible after six to ten sessions. The number of treatments you need depends on how severe your condition is and how your body responds.
When it comes to side effects, acupuncture sessions result in very few. Some may experience bruising. However, you can recover fully from them. Acupunture has not been known to produce lasting adverse effects unless one is treated by an inexperienced acupuncturist.
Do you want to try acupuncture?
Acupuncture can provide pain relief, improve mental clarity, reduce stress, increase energy and help you heal from various ailments. You should use it as part of your treatment regimen for any form of chronic pain or recovery from a severe illness.
There are also other forms of alternative therapy used together with acupuncture that can benefit you during recovery. For example, cupping is used to detox and increase blood flow around injured areas to encourage healing and relieve pain.
There is also acupressure which is a form of massage done by pressing on the acupoints of the body. These treatments are all available from a certified acupuncture therapist.
If you want to find a certified acupuncturist, look for one registered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). It also helps to get referrals from people who have had successful treatments.
Before you book a treatment, remember to inform your doctor and get permission, especially if you take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.
Author : Hannah Kennedy