11
Mar 2015

Is Acupuncture Safe to Perform?

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Acupuncture has long been a part of traditional Chinese medicine and, in more recent years, has been incorporated into mainstream physiotherapy practices.

Acupuncture Treatment

This procedure involves the insertion of thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body in order to relieve pain and reduce tension. These needles are typically made of stainless steel to prevent rust and provide excellent flexibility. They are available in a variety of lengths for the different parts of the body, and are usually disposed of after use to prevent contamination.

Despite its many years of use, there is still much debate over how effective and safe this procedure really is. Numerous extensive studies have been performed and the results have mostly been positive, suggesting that acupuncture can help treat several conditions including:

  • Low back pain
  • Osteoarthritis or knee pain
  • Neck pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Nausea
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Post-operative pain
  • Allergies

Acupuncture has also been shown to prevent migraines and reduce the frequency and severity of tension headaches. In fact, many business people or people in positions of high stress find that acupuncture and massage are two of the best ways of managing the effects of stress on their body.

When performed properly, the side effects of acupuncture are mild and include extremely slight pain, mild bruising, and mild bleeding. Patients who are afraid of or uncomfortable with needles may experience feelings of dizziness or light headedness, but this is due to the instruments themselves and not the procedure.

The complications of mistreatment can be much more serious and can involve infections, punctured organs, collapsed lungs, and injury to the central nervous system. This is why some people are hesitant to trust acupuncture as an effective and safe method of treatment. However, these complications are easy to avoid however by carefully checking out your acupuncturist before undergoing treatment.

Find out the requirements for those practicing acupuncture in your area and ask to see your acupuncturist’s license. It’s only in the case of serious malpractice that acupuncture becomes at all dangerous, so there is no reason not to trust a certified and licensed professional.

However, not all persons are good candidates for this form of treatment. Patients who may not be suitable for acupuncture include those who:

  • Suffer from serious spinal diseases such as infections or cancer
  • Use Warfarin
  • Have coagulopathy disorders
  • Have skin infections or trauma
  • Have been diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders

If you are unsure if you are a suitable candidate for acupuncture, speak to your doctor or physical therapist to find out if acupuncture would work for you.


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