If you have a chronic pain condition that has not been helped by traditional medical treatments, then you may want to think about trying some of the alternative options that are available to you. Acupuncture is one available option, but you may not know a lot about acupuncture beyond the fact that it is a relatively old technique. If you want to make the most out of your acupuncture experience, then keep reading to learn about past techniques, present ones, and some good tips for your appointment.
Needles of Past and Present
Past Needle Characteristics
Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine that has been used for at least 2,000 years. The first acupuncture instruments were used to puncture the skin, and stone knives or tools formed out of bone were utilized for this purpose. As acupuncture developed, the bulky stone and bone implements were discarded for needles. These first acupuncture needles were made out of stone or pottery. These needles featured a variety of different tips ranging from sharp to blunt, and aggressive approaches were sometimes used to penetrate the skin with the needles.
Present Needle Characteristics
The needles that are used now are much different than the traditional varieties. Most acupuncture needles are made from stainless steel shafts and small handles or ends formed from copper. Stainless steel helps to prevent allergic reactions and it also provides the small needles with strength. These needles are typically one-half inch to five inches long. Also, the needles are extremely thin. Almost all acupuncture needles are less than one millimeter thick. In fact, the majority of needles are less than one-third of a millimeter wide. In some cases, this means that the needles are thinner than a human hair.
Not only are the needles thin, but they are sharp. These sharp needles are shallowly inserted into the skin, and this means that they are not likely to hurt. You may feel some pressure when the needle is inserted, but this is normal.
Making the Most of Your Appointment
Studies have been completed that indicate that acupuncture can relieve discomfort from chronic conditions by as much as 50%. This is great news for you if you want to relieve pain. However, you likely will need to start off with weekly treatments to see results in a relatively short period of time. Be prepared to pay between $65 and $125 per session. Your medical insurance probably will not cover this cost. This means that you will need to make sure that the individual you see is certified and trained to make the most out of the money you spend. There are a number of different professional institutions throughout the United States that provide acupuncture training, so a certificate from one of these schools is a good sign of a professional.
You also should make sure that you drink plenty of water before your acupuncture appointments to get the most out of the pain relief benefits. Good hydration ensures the health of the skin and easy insertion of the acupuncture needles. Drink one full glass of water several hours before your appointment and another full glass an hour before. Also, stay away from caffeine before you see the acupuncturist. This may make you jittery and nervous, and needles may be harder to place in the skin.
If you have arthritis or another pain condition that causes you discomfort on a daily basis, then you may want to consider an alternative type of treatment to reduce your pain. By understanding a little bit about past and present acupuncture techniques as well as how to make the most out of your appointment, you should be well on your way to feeling the relief that you need.
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29 September 2015
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!