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Risks and benefits of Acupuncture

May 23, 2008
There are several alternative treatments and therapies like acupuncture, homeopathy and mediation which do not belong directly to medical science, but are gaining a lot of popularity. Unfortunately, not much research and evaluation has been carried out on these types of alternative treatments, because the process is also not easy.

Of course there has been some research in the field of botanical medicine, and we know of some results. For example, the herbal product called ginkgo is a medicine for dementia caused by circulation problems. Prostatic hypertrophy can be cured by saw palmetto preparations and similarly capsicum or hot chili pepper can be a cure for arthritis pain.

The actual practice of acupuncture involves understanding the centers and meridians of the body, and where the points that control various organs and bodily systems are. It involves the use of pressure, often applied by inserting fine steel needles into the body, at those points and manipulating those needles to achieve certain effects.

So if you have a liver problem, the needle will be inserted into a definite point on the ear, because that is the corresponding point for the organ. The science of acupuncture is based on the belief that the ear is the organ that is connected directly to the bodily organs.

Risks and benefits of Acupuncture It is a treatment based on traditional Chinese medicine, also known as TCM. It has been difficult for traditional medicine to understand the importance of the "acupuncture points" and hence the treatment is still controversial. Yin and yang are the two inseparable and opposing forces of the body which are harmoniously balanced. Yin implies the cold and slow principle, whereas yang's principles are just the opposite, as they represent the heat, excitement and activity of the body.

All about Acupuncture risks and benefits Disease hits a person when the forces become imbalanced, which is the belief of the Chinese. In order to bring back normalcy and health into the body, the flow of energy in the body meridians have to be regularized. Hence the yin and the yang are rebalanced and the Chi is unblocked. Normally, acupuncture is used for pain relief in addition to normal medical treatment of any kind.

Acupuncture is not a painful process. When the needles are inserted at certain body points, there may be a slight irritation, especially on the face or on certain points of the body, which are more delicate than others.

It is interesting to compare the risks of acupuncture in relation to its benefits. If there is even a slight risk involved in the treatment and it is not proving to be beneficial at all, people will not opt for it. But if the therapy can be life saving, then people are ready to take bigger risks.

It is advisable to inform your GP if you are receiving acupuncture, and likewise you should inform your acupuncturist if you are on any medication. The extent and severity of these temporary aggravations will depend on the skill and experience of the acupuncturist, the sensitivity of the patient, and the type of problem.

Studies suggest that there are a number of conditions which acupuncture can help to treat, including post-operative pain , migraines , and nausea . More high-quality research is needed into the effectiveness of acupuncture on other conditions.
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