The Pros And Cons Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a medical practice from China; it has been used there for thousands of years with great success. A basic description would be that acupuncture involves inserting needles of various sizes, from thin to a bit thicker, into the body at specific points. The idea behind this is a little deeper; acupuncture is based on the theory that energy (also called “chi”) flows through the body around pathways called meridians. Sickness occurs when something blocks some of those meridians and the role of acupuncture is to unblock them and help restore the balance of that energy. These meridians are carefully mapped and acupuncturists know how they connect and where to insert the needles. From my own experience with it I can tell you that acupuncture rarely works if you don’t believe in the presence and importance of this energy. This brings me to one of the most important cons of this procedure: the subjective nature of it. This doesn’t work like regular medicine; if you don’t believe in it it probably won’t do anything for you.
Acupuncture is mainly used to alleviate physical pain as well as mental distress. As any, let’s say, unconventional method of treatment, acupuncture has pros and cons and both sides bring valid arguments to this debate. The most obvious pro is that it is a noninvasive treatment (if you don’t consider the insertion of a small and thin needle invasive) that will help with pain and soreness; it is also a much healthier and risk free approach then a drug regimen. It cancels the side effects of taking medicine for a long time and attains the same results. Consider also that while medicines simply try to eliminate the symptoms or hide them, acupuncture goes for the root of the problem. Acupuncture can also be considered like personal tailor made healthcare; there are so many meridians through the body and each patient’s pain is different so the acupuncture specialist needs to provide a different treatment plan and map for each patient. If you will use this practice to cure whatever ailment you might have, you will get a treatment especially made for you and your body.
Another pro of acupuncture is the lack of negative side effects. Sure, if you have a problem with needles or if your bleed easily you might feel a slight discomfort during and after treatment but acupuncture mostly improves your physical and mental state as it reduces pain and helps with your sleep quality, digestion and overall mood. Basically acupuncture works and it is the better alternative to try before deciding on a surgery or long term drug regimen if your condition is chronic and not an emergency.
On the cons side the most obvious problems someone might get worried about are related to infections; this involves, after all, inserting needles into your skin and that can cause all sorts of problems. It’s very important to insure the sanitation of the procedure and the disinfection of the needles. This brings me to the next very obvious con or risk of the procedure: the training of the acupuncturists. This isn’t something you can only learn from books so really good specialists are hard to find. In the wrong hands the needles could cause more harm than good. Always research the acupuncturist you want to use. Besides making the symptoms worse, if the needles are inserted incorrectly they can cause actual physical harm.
Another con is that the acupuncture treatment can get quite costly and lengthy. It takes patience for this to work and you need to know that beforehand. There is also the possible risk that acupuncture won’t work on you: like I said before, it’s personalized healthcare but if your skin is too thick to let the needles in easily or if you suffer from any form of hemophilia and bleed easily this procedure is not for you. Finally, acupuncture can cause disruptions of the daily routine and cause discomfort because of that.
Ultimately if you suffer from chronic pain you should probably give acupuncture a try; research and find a good specialist, pay attention to the sanitation process of the needles and believe that it will work. All this plus a little bit of patience (expect to feel some results after 8-10 session) can cancel out a lot of the cons.