What exactly is acupuncture?
There is an electrical vitality constantly circulating in our body, just like the blood flowing in our veins. According to Chinese Medicine, we become ill when this energy flow named “Qi” (life energy) deteriorates, increases or decreases. Acupuncture is a treatment having the aim of reordering the impaired Qi energy balance.
As is by now well known, this disorder is repaired as a result of the induction by needles, heat, or laser light of these “energy junction” known as acupuncture points.
How can pricking the body with a needle cure a disease?
As a result of the scientific studies carried out during the past 100 years, it has been shown that, by stimulating the acupuncture points, the blood flow in our body increases, cellular communication accelerates, certain hormones and enzymes are secreted more and none the less, production of certain chemicals known as pain agent decreases. However, when a non-acupuncture point is pricked with a needle, no effect other than nociception is observed in the brain. As a result of these and similar other researches conducted, the fact how acupuncture treat some diseases is scientifically understood and it is approved as an effective treatment for more than 60 diseases by WHO (World Health Organization).
What are the diseases on which acupuncture is effective?
The diseases on which acupuncture is most effective are those painful ones. In other words; it has a quite high success rate on the diseases such as migraine and other headaches, neuralgia, shingles, articular rheumatism, arthritis, spinal and cervical disk herniation, sciatica and soft tissue rheumatism. It has also been used successfully in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. In addition, when acupuncture is especially combined with ongoing medical treatment, satisfactory results can be obtained for internal problems such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, gastritis, chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. The most important thing at this point is patient’s history, thorough examination and inspection, and if available, patient’s compliance with ongoing medical treatments and controls. Starting an acupuncture treatment does not require stopping other ongoing medical treatments as of the first session.
How effective is acupuncture on weight loss and smoking cessation?
Especially Ear Acupuncture is used worldwide for helping weight loss and is approved by the World Health Organization. Because, it has been scientifically proven that, by stimulating certain points on the ear, gastric acid is decreased, metabolic activities are accelerated and stress hormones secreted during a diet does not occur. However, acupuncture never promises a weight loss program without dieting and taking exercise. In this respect, first of all, inaccuracies in the individual’s life style are identified and these inaccuracies are attempted to be corrected; attendantly, practicing acupuncture helps much more quickly achieving permanent results. On the other hand, it is not only effective on smoking cessation but also in any type of addiction treatment, and many European Addiction Therapy Center use it actively along with psychotherapy.
How long does an acupuncture therapy take on average?
The treatment program consists of a cure including 8 or 12 sessions on average each of which takes about half an hour. Although this corresponds to the total treatment period, in most cases, a visible relaxation can be achieved in the first few sessions of therapy. As for the frequency of treatment, it is appropriate to undergo acupuncture usually two or three sessions a week. However, these periods depend on the nature of the disease.
Is acupuncture therapy painful?
The modern acupuncture needles used today do not cause pain thanks to the fact that they are 0.2 mm in diameter and are very flexible. Since these needles are punctured through special tubes, the patient most often does not feel the needle prick. However, as a part of the therapy, when the needle reaches to the acupuncture point under a few millimeters of the skin, the patient feels that as a heat spread or a slight electrification. Acupuncture is a nonbloody treatment. In this respect, it is a comfortable treatment method.
In addition, acupuncture needles are sterile and disposable. They are disposed after treatment just like the syringes used for injection. Thus, the risk of disease transmission is eliminated.
Are there any side effects of acupuncture?
The main advantage of this method is that the treatment is given without injecting any substance or drug to the body. Accordingly, any possibility of side effects is quite slight. When the therapy is given by a conscious physician qualified in this field who received the necessary training, acupuncture is regarded as a fairly safe method.