Home » Health » Alternative Medicine

Person or Pin Cushion?

Aug 17, 2007
How often can a person turn on the television and see the latest, greatest, miracle? This can be an exercise lounger to work the abdominal region without ever getting out of bed or waking up. It can be a sleek oven mitt that can withstand temperatures up to that of the sun itself. Perhaps it is a tiny pill that can forever change the way a person thinks, thus making them a happy, fully-functioning adult, or it can be a fad medical trend that has everyone rushing out to try before actually studying the effects on the body.

Acupuncture is the study of Qi (pronounced chee) and how it flows through the body. It is supposedly this energy or life force that is in everything around us. A person cannot see it; they cannot touch it; they cannot taste it. How can we even be certain that Qi exists?

When this energy becomes blocked in the body, it is because of poor diet, injury, or some other sort of trauma, and an acupuncturist can release the energy's flow. The acupuncturist does an initial interview just like a regular doctor, and then proceeds to poke around with lots and lots of long, thin, solid needles before working them around so that the Qi becomes unblocked. After acupuncture, there should be no more pain. Does it sound too good to be true?

Yes. Acupuncture is not a miracle cure and, in fact, has not been able to be accurately tested in trial studies. It does not work for everyone, and if a person is that unlucky one that it does not work for, the Qi stays blocked. Anyone know a plumber?

The practice of acupuncture is governmentally regulated for safety and sterility. Those who work in the professional field of acupuncture must be licensed and do follow criteria to control the safety of their field. However, acupuncture isn't meant to replace regular visits to your doctor. It's a good rule of thumb to be cautious with alternative treatments and herbal remedies, as the criteria for meeting standards of governmental approval is somewhat looser than that of the medical field.

The practice of acupuncture has a solid, two-thousand year track record showing that the technique is very beneficial to people's health. However, it isn't a miracle cure and in some studies, the placebo has shown to be just as effective as acupuncture sessions, which demonstrates that sometimes, it is only a question of mind-over-matter when we're looking to feel better.

Still, acupuncture is worth a try if you suffer and can't find relief, but don't place full faith in the practice. Make sure that the office you visit is clean and seems both safe and sterile, and you should also feel comfortable with the acupuncturist. Use common sense and a dose of willingness to chose a good, reputable acupuncturist and see if the technique doesn't provide you pain relief soon.
About the Author
John Edmond owns and writes regularly for The Acupuncture Alternative where you can read many more articles on acupuncture as a genuine supplement to traditional medication. Acupuncture is a alternative therapy that can help you make the most your life.
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