Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why can acupuncture be the right form of alternative treatment?

Should you need to visit an acupuncturist you will find that many now use disposable stainless steel needles which are between 0.18 to 0.51 mm in diameter and will have been sterilized using either ethylene oxide or an autoclave machine. Normally you will also find that the upper 1/3 of the needle is either covered with plastic or a thick wire (usually bronze), which helps to make the needle stiffer and also gives the acupuncturist a handle which they can hold on to whilst they insert and manipulate the needles. But the size of needles that will be used also depends on the type of acupuncture that is practiced and also as to how deep the needles will be inserted also.

At other times there may be a warming carried out of the acupuncture points by moxibustion (when mugwort is burned) and as a different form of acupuncture and may often but not always be used as a supplemental treatment to the acupuncture.

In fact you will find that moxibustion is still used today in various degrees at many schools that teach oriental medicine, and certainly one such technique that is still in use today is that where the needles are inserted at the desired point and dried mugwort will be attached to the external end of the needle and then lit. You will find that the mugwort then smoulders for some time (may be a few minutes, it all depends on how mugwort has been attached to the needle), and then the heat produced from it will be conducted through the needle to the body tissue surrounding it and into the patient’s body.

One other such method used by some acupuncturists involves the holding of a large glowing stick of moxa above the needles and in some cases it may actually be burned after being placed on the patient’s skin. Yet before this is done a layer of ointment will be applied to the area of skin where the moxa is to be placed ensure that it is protected from being burnt.

Many people in today’s society who suffer from vascular headaches (these are usually the types of headaches which are accompanied by a throbbing sensation around the veins of the person’s temples). Many will normally typically treat such headaches using an analgesic such as aspirin or other agents that help to dilate the blood vessels in the scalp. Yet more and more people are turning to acupuncture for treating such headaches and this is done by stimulating the sensitive points that can be located roughly in the center of the webs between a patient’s thumb and the palm of their hand. These points are certainly considered in acupuncture theory as being the points for targeting problems relating to the face and head. Normally an acupuncturist will be placed in a reclined position and the points on each hand are then sterilized with alcohol, then the acupuncturist will insert the needles to a depth of between 3-5mm, usually until the patient feels a twinge and is sometimes accompanied by a slight twitching movement in the area between the thumb and hand. In fact if you were to ask a patient what they were feeling at the time they would say it feels like a pleasurable tingling sensation around the area where the needle has been inserted and they also find that they are feeling quite relaxed. Normally the acupuncturist will leave the needles inserted in the points of the patient for between 15-20 minutes whilst they are resting and then they will be removed.

About Author:
Allison Thompson a work from home mum now residing in Spain and who has spent a vast amount of researching the different ways in which acupuncture can help in place of or as a complimentary treatment with conventional western medicines when treating various forms of illness and ailments and also for use to relieve pain. If you would like to learn more about the natural alternative then please visit