You've heard of acupuncture, and it's likely you may know someone who's tried it. But if you're still on the fence regarding whether you'd like to try this traditional Chinese treatment for yourself, it's helpful to learn more about the technique and its applications.

Acupuncture uses slender, hair-thin needles that an acupuncturist inserts gently into the skin at various points along your body's natural pathways.

Once inserted, the acupuncturist gently manipulates the needles, which stimulates the central nervous system. As a result, your body releases chemicals into your brain, your spinal cord, and various muscles to promote healing and pain relief.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, inserting needles at various points along the body's meridians, or pathways, helps to restore balance. This restoration can help alleviate pain, boost healing, and reverse chronic disease. As far as Western medicine is concerned, there is evidence that acupuncture is helpful in treating many types of pain, including:

  • Nausea caused by chemotherapy
  • Post-operative dental pain
  • Severe menstrual cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lower back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Acupuncture may also be helpful in easing symptoms of asthma and in helping to speed recovery time after a stroke. Your acupuncturist can give you more information regarding the specific applications and expected outcomes of this ancient method of treatment.

Once you better understand how needling can help cure whatever ails you, we have 7 great reasons you may want to give it a try.

1. Acupuncture Is Often a Non-Invasive Alternative to Surgery

Surgery usually requires the use of anesthesia, which poses some risk to the patient. Additionally, surgery is invasive and requires follow-up care in a hospital setting. The costs associated with having surgery are significant, and patients can usually expect to lose time away from work as they recuperate.

Acupuncture, on the other hand, is performed in-office and requires no recuperation period. The needles used in acupuncture may cause mild discomfort, but are rarely painful. You can drive home after having an acupuncture session, and the results are usually positive.


2. Pain Relief May Be Immediate After Acupuncture

Unlike other forms of treatment such as physical therapy, surgery, or a medication regimen, acupuncture often provides immediate relief from painful symptoms. When needles are inserted into the body at certain points, this stimulates blood flow and prompts the body to release natural painkillers.

3. Acupuncture Is a Medical Treatment That Has Existed for 3,000 Years

For 3,000 years, physicians have used acupuncture to treat discomfort and disease. It's difficult to imagine the practice would have survived for so long unless it showed beneficial results.

Acupuncture is a viable treatment method for everything from digestive issues to hypertension. It is also recognized by the National Institutes of Health as gaining ground through scientific research and development.

4. Acupuncture Is a Readily Available Treatment in America

It's estimated that more than 10 million acupuncture treatments occur in the United States every year. Even large medical facilities now employ licensed acupuncturists on staff to provide treatments to patients interested in acupuncture.


5. Acupuncture Is Beneficial for More than Just Treating Pain

Most people envision pain management when someone mentions acupuncture. But the cessation of pain is only one application. Surprisingly, your acupuncturist can help with many other conditions, too. These include:

  • Helping you better manage your stress
  • Relief of morning sickness symptoms
  • Relieving allergies and runny nose
  • Inducing labor
  • Improving digestion

There's even some research that points to acupuncture as helpful in treating addiction to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you're struggling with a stubborn medical condition or disorder that seems to be treatment-resistant, your acupuncturist may be able to help.

6. Many Private Insurers Now Cover Acupuncture

As acupuncture gains ground as a scientifically proven therapy, more and more insurance carriers are providing coverage. If you're insured by any of the following companies, they may help share the costs of acupuncture treatments:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • United Healthcare
  • Healthnet
  • Banner Health

Call to speak with your insurance representative today to find out whether your next trip to the acupuncturist will be covered.

7. Medicare Now Covers Limited Sessions of Acupuncture for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Chronic lower back pain that has no known cause may be treated using acupuncture, and your Medicare coverage will pay the cost. There are limits on how many sessions are covered, and improvement must result for treatment to continue. The Veteran's Administration has also added acupuncture to its list of covered services.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that has been ongoing for a minimum of 12 weeks, and it cannot result from prior surgery or pregnancy. Also, for Medicare to cover the costs of acupuncture, treatment must be conducted by a Medicare-approved provider.

Get ready to explore the world of traditional Chinese medicine as it pertains to acupuncture and begin treatment.

We look forward to hearing from you

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