For centuries, eastern and western medicine operated independently from each other. While the eastern world stuck to traditional, natural forms of healing and prevention, the western world feverishly conducted research regarding new medications and complex procedures. Over time, the two distinct schools of thought of have begun to converge. Each is now taking select treatments, procedures, and information from the other and the global field of medicine is rapidly progressing like never before.
Western Medicine Adopting New Treatments
Most notable is the fact that western culture has finally invested in acupuncture as a legitimate, useful medical treatment. No longer does the FDA classify acupuncture needles under the category of “experimental medical devices,” and everyone from factory workers to A-list celebrities are enjoying the benefits of treatment.
The first question many people have is, “What is acupuncture?” People know it involves placing small needles into the skin, but most everything else is merely hearsay. While there are many definitions and theories regarding acupuncture, it’s essentially a treatment that involves altering the body’s energy flow and correcting imbalances at points close to the skin. Inserting sterile needles into the skin and applying heat, pressure, or electrical stimulation disrupts that flow of energy.
What Acupuncture Treats
Traditional acupuncturists will claim they can treat nearly anything with repeated treatments. However, it is typically used for conditions like joint pain, inflammation, poor circulation, headaches, and nausea or vomiting. Additional studies suggest that acupuncture can improve poor sleep habits, boost the immune system, and even ease the frequency and severity of menopause symptoms. From looking at data and research studies, it’s apparent that everybody reacts differently to treatment and what works for one patient may not work for another.
Acupuncture Risks and Benefits
The good news for those interested in acupuncture, though, is that there are very few risks and many potential benefits. As a result, it’s one of the safest known treatment methods currently available in the field of medicine.
The potential risks of acupuncture are few and far between. It can be dangerous for patients with bleeding disorders or those on blood thinners, and minor bleeding or bruising can occur at the site of insertion. While very rare, needles could break off and cause internal damage.
The benefits, on the other hand, are incredible. When performed correctly and safely by experienced doctors, acupuncture can control and alleviate pain, and even allow certain patients to avoid using medication for chronic conditions.
Acupuncture as a Component of a Larger Health Plan
While eastern medicine treatments like acupuncture are becoming integrated with western practices, they mostly serve as components of larger health plans. Acupuncture, on it’s own, does have the power to heal; however, it’s best utilized when implemented alongside other naturopathic medicine services and treatments.
Healing the Natural Way
As the worlds of eastern and western medicine continue to converge, it’s becoming clear that the goal for all doctors is to find healing in the most natural way possible. Acupuncture is just one of the many tools medical professionals are using to promote this natural healing, but it is certainly one of safest and most effective.