Creative Health Gifts for the Holidays: Acupuncture

During this season of generosity, we are all looking for creative gifts for the important people in our lives. DVD collections, the newest gadget and cozy sweaters are always welcome.  Here at WellnessFX we always look to provide the gift of good health. This year try expanding your loved ones’ healthcare horizons and introducing them to an alternative medical option that could augment their more modern regimens: acupuncture.

Even in this technology-driven, scientific age, there are many forms of traditional treatments like acupuncture, nutrition and massage that can provide relief for our more modern maladies. Through both anecdotal and experimental evidence, it has become increasingly clear that these ancient options can provide substantial health benefits.

Acupuncture has received accolades for contributing to relieve ailments as diverse as fibromyalgia, cancer, osteoporosis and chronic pain. The medical uses of acupuncture go back 5,000 years as a key element of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but it didn’t emerge in the mainstream American medical vocabulary until the 1970s. Since then, researchers have tried to measure and quantify the results of acupuncture and determine its value as part of an integrated medical approach.

TCM asserts that the energy in our bodies is balanced through the forces of yin and yang that can be destabilized by disease. This, in turn, disrupts the flow of qi, or vital energy, that courses through meridians and surges throughout the body. Acupuncture administered along the intersections of these meridians frees these channels and restores your qi. According to some sources, there are up to 2,000 acupuncture points throughout the body that can be affected through the practice.

Over the last few decades, strides have been made in the healthcare community towards recognizing the important role that acupuncture can play for patients. In 1996, the National Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles as a medical device, and nowadays many insurance providers will help cover acupuncture as an accepted treatment.

For those that have not experienced acupuncture, the process can vary based on the individual, but consists of hair-thin needles strategically inserted over your body. Some people find the process invigorating, while others find themselves more relaxed. The relationship with your acupuncturist is important, and you must make sure that they are aware of any other treatments or medications that you are taking. While the practitioner may go into the session with a plan for how to tackle your particular medical complaints, acupuncture has been compared to an “art form” because of the delicacy in reading each individual reaction and adapting the treatment.

Multiple studies have confirmed that acupuncture holds real value in pain and nausea management with the benefit of causing limited side effects. As with any treatments, make sure that you consult your doctor before undergoing acupuncture. Also, be sure to find a licensed practitioner with the proper knowledge and training to administer this delicate treatment.

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