Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing technique that involves immersing fine needles into specific body areas. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is therefore a holistic healing method. It treatment was developed in China about 3000 years ago.
Today, it is often used in addition to medical treatment. However, acupuncture should be applied only in consultation with the doctor and should not be used as the only treatment for diseases.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Latin origin word and it was formed by combining the words “acus” meaning needle and “punctio” meaning sinking. It is an application based on the principle of sticking very thin needles to certain points on the skin and stimulating these points.
It has been used successfully for thousands of years in the treatment of various ailments. An integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, helps the body increase its self-healing power by balancing the energy flow.
How does acupuncture work?
It is still not fully understood how exactly the needles pressed on the skin have an effect on the body while performing acupuncture. However, recent studies have shown that it increases the release of substances that provide a positive mood and are effective against pain. These substances, which are popularly called “happiness hormones”, include serotonin and endorphins.
Some experimental studies show that acupuncture is effective against pain caused by back and joint problems. A placebo-controlled study conducted in America has shown that acupuncture has a better effect on chronic pain than placebo. In the light of this information, the following mechanisms of action are assumed to play a role in treatment:
- Through the nervous system, for example endorphins (endogenous pain relieving agents)
- Through hormones
- Through the activation of blood vessels
- By strengthening immunity
- By relaxing the muscles
How is acupuncture treatment done?
In acupuncture treatment, needles are immersed in selected points depending on the planned disease. Sterile and disposable extremely fine needles are used in the treatment. The patient usually feels very mild pain only at the first entry of the needles.
After a while, a slight feeling of warmth may develop in the treated areas. The needles remain on the skin for about 20 to 30 minutes. Special stimulation techniques are used to achieve certain effects. For this, the needles can additionally be heated, stimulated by the subconscious excitation current, or moved up and down.
There are other treatment procedures that are performed using acupuncture points. The acupressor method is based on the principle of distributing the energy density collected in the region by massaging the the points with fingers and relieving the organs thought to be related to the relevant points in this way.
Acupuncture points are located in the skin from 2 mm to 4 cm deep, depending on the different regions of the skin. In laser acupuncture, stimulation is achieved by reaching the relevant points by means of a laser light pulse, called a laser needle, which is not actually a real needle. Laser acupuncture is a mild and painless method that is popular with needles and children.
Which patients is used for acupuncture treatment?
Many diseases can be treated with acupuncture. The World Health Organization has defined a total of 40 diseases in which it can be used. it is often used especially for the following ailments and diseases:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Digestive system diseases
- Psychiatric disorders
- Rheumatic complaints
- Chronic respiratory diseases (bronchitis, asthma)
- Gynecology and Obstetrics
- Stop smoking
Acupuncture can help shorten the birth process in the last few weeks of pregnancy. However, if it is considered to be used for this purpose, the treatment should definitely be applied in consultation with the doctor.
Pain treatment with acupuncture
Some studies in recent years have shown that acupuncture can help treat certain types of pain, relieve nausea and vomiting, and facilitate delivery.
For example, in a nationwide study in Germany, acupuncture has been shown to significantly reduce pain, headache and back pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. In the same study, it was found that tension headache helped to reduce the number of days with pain by 50%.
Acupuncture has been the focus of many researches, especially on the ability to manage pain for head, neck, back, knee and osteoarthritis pain.
There is evidence that acupuncture can help treat certain common diseases, such as hay fever, tennis elbow, menstrual cramps, allergic asthma, or functional stomach and intestinal problems.
What are the side effects of acupuncture?
Acupuncture is practiced only by certified doctors in our country. Serious side effects are unlikely to occur if done by a competent physician in this area. Generally, simple side effects such as mild pain and bleeding and mild palpitations are seen at the needle-stuck points.
Rarely, pain in the nerves on the skin may last up to 4 weeks as a result of injury. However, if it is applied by people who are not competent in unhygienic conditions, dangerous infections and other serious complications will be seen.
Slimming with acupuncture
Acupuncture therapy for weight loss is thought to be effective by various mechanisms. Acupuncture is thought to help weaken the body’s energy flow, helping to weaken with the following mechanisms;
- Accelerate metabolism
- Reducing appetite
- To suppress the hunger center in the brain
- Reduce stress
Compared to traditional Chinese medicine, weight gain is caused by an imbalance in the body. According to ancient teachings, this imbalance is caused by a liver, spleen, kidney, thyroid gland, or a hormonal dysfunction. Therefore, for weight loss, acupuncture treatments often target these areas of the body.
It is not possible to lose weight with acupuncture alone without diet and exercise. For this reason, it is used with sports and diet. The most important acupuncture points for losing weight are located in the ear. There are spots in the ear that stimulate all organs in the human body. In addition, acupuncture points in the ear are quite effective because the distance between the ear and the brain is short.
Acupuncture points in the ear are stimulated according to the areas of fat accumulation in the body. Possible accompanying symptoms, such as knee joint osteoarthritis, back pain or gastrointestinal problems, are considered and included in the concept of treatment. The aim is always to achieve a permanent result. Depending on the findings, the needles remain in the ear for up to 10 days. Effects of needles immersed in acupuncture points in the ear;
- Faster satiety is felt.
- There is a decrease in the feeling of hunger.
- Overeating is eliminated
- Metabolism and fat burning are accelerated.
- Toxins are excreted from the body.
- Patients feel calmer, more balanced and also more active.
The main reason for people gaining weight is errors in their eating habits. It is not easy to change eating habits. Complaints such as weakness, stomach problems, headache, dizziness, stress and irritability that occur during dieting and eventually lead to quitting the diet are controlled by acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture provides great convenience to the patient in complying with the diet. It helps to be happy without eating by lowering the level of noradrenaline in the brain and increasing the levels of happiness hormone called serotonin and endorphin. Since it speeds up the metabolism, more calories are burned than usual, so that weight is lost faster.
Acupuncture is also thought to regulate digestion, reduce stomach acid, and balance insulin and other hormones. It should be borne in mind that if acupuncture treatment is applied with a good exercise plan and a healthy diet program on issues such as weight loss, regional slimming, faster and permanent results can be obtained. With a program implemented in this way, you can give approximately 10 – 15% of your weight in 2 months.