What Is Acupuncture Effective For and Is It Worth Trying?

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Needles? Ouch! That was the first thing that I thought when several years ago my mother introduced me to the idea of visiting an acupuncturist. ‘Mom, are you crazy? What is acupuncture effective for, anyway? Do you have an idea or are you just trying to send me to a new age torturer because I recently broke your favorite porcelain plate set?’

As you can imagine, I was very skeptical towards the idea of someone sticking needles in my precious body. By that time, I suffered from a severe brachial plexus injury that was causing me terrible pain every time when I tried to move my neck.

acuppoints
The acupoints are situated on energy chanels on the body called meridians.

Sure enough, I have already followed the beaten track. I have been to some of the best doctors in the city with minimal results. All they did was say to me that such neurological traumas needed time, full rest, and pills. The problem was that the annoying condition of mine persisted for months and I desperately needed to resume my fitness and hiking activities. It was mid-summer and the last thing a young man wanted is to stay at home and limit his motions.

That is how I ended up in the shady cabinet of a Chinese doctor named Nin. The place lacked sunlight and it looked nothing like a traditional doctor’s room. In other words, the last thing I would associate this place with was health. However, I suppose you know that sometimes a mother can be very insistent, especially when it comes to the wellbeing of her child.

My mom kept assuring me that this man was a renowned Chinese physician who spent several months per year healing patients in our country. Not only that but he has helped many of her friends who had various and often hardly treatable diseases similar to mine. So I reluctantly agreed to see him, even after I learned about the ridiculous price that a session costed. Just to be clear, by ridiculous I mean high. Skyscraper high.

Long story short – Dr. Nin and his magical (and thank God painless) needles healed the pain in my neck. It took me ten sessions and a small fortune but this was nothing compared to the huge relief that I have finally experienced. A relief that I’ve been waiting for so long.

The short doctor turned out to be a very wise and humble man but most importantly – an impeccable professional with very deep knowledge in doing what he did and still does.

As someone who didn’t have the slightest clue about acupuncture, I kept shooting plenty of questions at Dr. Nin while I was patiently laying on the couch in his cabinet with a good amount of needles protruding from my back.

I was mainly interested in the benefits of acupuncture and how exactly did it work. Before sharing with you the revelations of Dr. Nin about the miraculous positives of the acupuncture for various illnesses, I’d like to put a quick side note that may be interesting for you.

The EFT tapping which is a form of meditation heavily relies on the acupressure, which is a form of acupuncture except that it doesn’t require needles, it is free, and everyone can effortlessly do it. It helped me to defeat anxiety so you might want to read it if you want to understand how acupuncture works according to the Chinese traditional medicine.

Now, without a further ado, let me tell you what Dr. Nin explained to me about the acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture Effective For?

As you may know, even though the modern science cannot explain the so-called holistic medicine, its proven benefits are undeniable. That is why in the recent years there is a huge increase not only of the interest but also of the demand for the various forms of alternative medicine. Heck, even some American Insurance companies cover acupuncture! Not to mention that the National Institute of Health officially supports the use of this age-old healing method.

acupuncture trends
Graph from Google Trends showing the popularity of the term ‘acupuncture’ online.

As visible from the image above, the acupuncture continues to be a highly searched and extremely popular term. More and more people around the world are willing to open their minds to the theory that our health depends on the well-balanced energy force called ‘Qi’, which flows through channels of the body called meridians.

When the energy balance is distorted in the human organism that results in various diseases. To heal those diseases the acupuncture practitioners insert needles in very specific places of the body called acupoints. They believe that this method stimulates the self-healing process of the organism, thus restoring the correct flow of the ‘Qi’ life force.

Today, the acupuncture is known to help mainly in relieving pain but as Dr. Nin explained to me this is far from being its sole purpose and benefit.

Stress Relief

Similarly to the floatation therapy, which alleviates stress by calming the mind, it is known for many years that the acupuncture can significantly reduce the stress hormones via needles. Until recently, it wasn’t clear what causes that effect. The results were obvious but the practical mechanism was uncertain.

In a zealous study led by high-authority scientists, it was discovered that inserting a needle and stimulating the Zusanli point of the body which is found below the knee has decreasing effects on the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

Pain Relief

I give you my honest word that acupuncture works in cases of severe chronic pain. As mentioned above, ten sessions of acupuncture with Dr. Nin made the nasty pain in my neck go away for good.

It is well documented that applying pressure and stimulating specific sites on the body produces the hormone endorphin, which in its turn naturally reduces the pain levels. Not only that but inserting needles for 10-20 minutes on certain acupoints helps in reducing:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Pain caused by osteoarthritis

Flu and Common Cold

While there are many people who claim that the acupuncture cured their flu I would suggest that you try with some usual and a lot cheaper domestic methods like soaking your feet in Epsom Salt, for instance. Why? Simply because paying an acupuncture session for treating a common cold is not always affordable.

painkillers
The pills are not only ineffective but often expensive.

However, I know a lot of people who don’t want to use medications except if it is a question of life and death and because of this reason they go to an acupuncturist if the other well-known methods don’t help. I completely understand that given the fact that often the prescribed and highly advertised medications are equally good and bad for our health.

Menstrual Irregularities

I was very surprised to learn from Dr. Nin that a huge number of his patients were women with various menstrual issues. To this point, I was already persuaded that stimulating the right acupuncture points on the human body could achieve results often impossible for the modern medicine.

Later, my mother enlightened me about many cases in which friends of hers suffered from menstrual problems that Dr. Nin was able to fix via electroacupuncture and other doctors failed even to diagnose.

Different Addictions

When I first heard from Dr. Nin that acupuncture could successfully treat various forms of addictions I was dumbstruck. Initially, I thought that the traditional Chinese medicine is applicable only in cases involving physical discomfort and pain.

a smoker
Acupuncture has proven effects on lowering nicotine cravings.

It turned out that this was a common misconception. The acupuncture can help in fighting many emotional disorders but also addictions. For example, many of the patients of Dr. Nin were men and women who desperately wanted to quit smoking. He told me that if the patients were patient enough to devote the needed time and discipline for the sessions, the end result was always rewarding.

Dr. Nin explained to me that the acupressure points in the ears are those to trigger in order to eliminate nicotine cravings.

Some of the other emotional and psychological disorders treated by inserting needles in specific acupoints on the body are:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Anger issues
  • Panic attacks

Conclusion

The list of the illnesses and conditions treated by acupuncture is far from being complete. In fact, the scientific studies continue to discover new physical and psychological conditions for which the acupuncture turns out to be beneficial. Often, this form of Chinese Traditional Medicine serves as an additional therapy, which can be combined, with the methods used by the modern medicine for achieving maximum results.

As Dr. Nin told me, the acupuncture could be the most effective solution when the disease is a result of an energy block in the body. Applying pressure on the appropriate acupoints with needles allows the organism to restore its energy flow, thus stimulating the self-healing process.

It is true that this method is expensive and it is a profitable business for many acupuncturists. Nevertheless, what is also true is that it is a natural treatment, which doesn’t involve dangerous medications and its growing popularity is largely based on its proven effectiveness.

So is it worth trying? I think that you know my answer to this question.


Have you ever tried acupuncture? Was it helpful? Leave a comment below!

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8 thoughts on “What Is Acupuncture Effective For and Is It Worth Trying?”

  1. Hi Asen,

    Many thanks for this explanation and, particularly, for the assurance that the acupuncture needles are not painful!

    I had plantar fasciitis for some years and the pain was extraordinary – crippling, in fact.

    I, too, avoid prescription drugs wherever possible and my doctor suggested to me that I try acupuncture, which would have involved sticking the needles into the soles of my feet.

    Just the thought of that horrified me – it almost healed my plantar fasciitis by itself..!!

    In fact what happened was that the doctor put me onto a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory, as a first step, and that did fix the problem – thankfully because the acupuncture would have been the next step if it hadn’t..!!

    I joke somewhat (but not about my phobia of sticking needles into the soles of my feet..!!), because I know many people who swear by acupuncture and it is a popular form of treatment here in Hong Kong.

    Thanks again for the explanation,

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  2. Hey Asen!

    It was good to know this lot of information about Acupuncture and everything around it. Honestly, not a lot I had heard before on the matter but I seem to have missed something very useful. And yes, I have heard something on the needless and probably that should be the reason I’ve been put off.

    Good to hear that there are new ways that we can reach the improvements of that ” Qi life force” all of us are looking for.

    My question is: Is any of the methods more effective than the other by any chance?

    -Heku

    • Hey Heku,

      Glad to have you here and thanks for your comment.All the methods that we wrote about on the website are legit. That is why it is difficult to answer your question. The EFT tapping has its foundation on the acupressure wchih has its foundation on the acupuncture. So I guess that the best would be for you to try a method and see what works for yourself.You can’t go wrong with either of them.

  3. Hi, You a good looking website here it’s full of useful info and it’s very well laid out and also easy to navigate.
    Dave @ WA.

  4. This post answers so many questions that I’ve had on Acupuncture! I know someone who as tried it for anxiety with success, but I still have not got around to doing it myself. I’m interested in trying it for back pain, so will get out there and do it!

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