Know the Different Types of Acupuncture

Acupuncture continues to grow across the world as a popular treatment for pain and symptoms of a number of diseases and conditions. Most of the time when you hear that someone has received acupuncture, you have one thing in mind. However, the term “acupuncture” has sort of become a catch-all for many different types of treatments that are available to patients. Since acupuncture is an ancient treatment, there have been updates and iterations over the years. Now, many different forms of acupuncture are out there, with their own strengths at treating different conditions. It’s always good to be informed, so we’ve put together a list for you of the most common types of treatments that often fall under the “acupuncture” umbrella.

Body Acupuncture – This is what likely comes to mind when you hear the word acupuncture. Tiny needles inserted into certain points and meridians along the body that regulate the flow of energy and promote healing.

Ear Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the ear contains acupuncture points that can heal every area of the body. So, many acupuncturists will focus their acupuncture in the ear, using the same needles as in the body, whether on its own or in conjunction with body acupuncture points.

Electroacupuncture – Particularly useful for treating pain, electroacupuncture uses small clips on top of regular acupuncture needles to send an electric current in between two acupuncture needle points. The extra stimulation can improve the flow of energy between the points, helping heal pain.

Acupressure – Utilizing the knowledge of acupuncture points and meridians, acupressure pinpoints these same areas to heal pain, but uses massage and pressure instead of inserting a needle. Many acupuncturists will teach patients the proper areas, since patients can perform it themselves at home.

Moxibustion – When small amounts of herbs are placed on top body acupuncture needles and then lit, giving the area an extra boost of warmth.

Cupping – Usually done in tandem with acupuncture, cupping uses rubber or glass cups that are suctioned onto specific areas of the body. This can help when traditional body acupuncture needs a little bit of a boost when energy along a certain point has become stagnant. Cupping can leave marks on the body where the cup has suctioned on, but they are temporary.

Acupuncture To Help With Postoperative Recovery

 

It’s no secret that our country is currently facing an opioid epidemic, and among the most common ways opioid addictions begin is after being legally prescribed pain relief for painful conditions, as well as post-operative recovery.

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While surgeries are undoubtedly painful and require rest and treatment to fully recover, more and more patients are turning to alternative therapies as opposed to filling pain killer prescriptions, or to at least lessen the amount of time they require them for.

 

Is it working?

 

HealthCMi reports the findings from a clinical trial performed by researchers out of the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study followed the recovery of patients who received surgical treatment of intestinal cancer. These patients received both epidural morphine analgesia as well as acupuncture of the scalp  and showed improvement in both the visual analog scale scores as well as the Bruggman comfort scale scores.

 

The article states that gastrointestinal functioning was also improved in those who received scalp acupuncture, for both bowel recovery time as well as anal exhaust time, which were both significantly decreased by many hours.

 

In layman’s terms, this study found, “that scalp acupuncture combined with epidural morphine analgesia into an integrated treatment protocol is more effective than epidural morphine analgesia as a standalone therapy. The researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture is safe and effective for the relief of postoperative intestinal cancer pain.”

 

This doesn’t really come as a surprise to us, though, as it has long been known and studied that acupuncture can both improve pain as well as gastrointestinal issues. My promoting steady movement of Chi, unblocking energy and restoring balance to the body, acupuncture can help to restore many imbalances – and the body is often incredibly imbalanced after invasive surgery.

 

While it’s of course important to speak with your surgeon regarding post-operative pain protocols and acceptable therapies, it’s always a great idea to consider all options and be a well-informed patient.

 

You have a say in your recovery, and often times there are ways to avoid overexposure to opiods.

 

Having Trouble Going? Acupuncture Can Help

We all know the saying, “When you gotta go, you gotta go”.

But for many among us, having to go can be an unpleasant and painful process. Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder, affecting nearly 15% of the population. However, IBS is also one of the most underreported disorders in the country, as many people don’t even recognize the symptoms of IBS, or think that they are a problem than can be treated. IBS can cause recurring abdominal pain and discomfort, along with irregular frequency of bowel movements and consistency of stool.

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There are a number of medical treatments that can help aid the symptoms, but thankfully one alternative method has been proven to be most effective against one of the most common forms of IBS.

A recent study performed in China at Yiwu Central Hospital has shown acupuncture to be an effective treatment of IBS-D, the form of the disorder associated with diarrhea. Along with receiving herbal medicines, the test group was administered acupuncture at 7 key points, with the needles remaining in place for 30 minutes. The points were chosen because they’re known to benefit the liver and spleen—in particular, soothing the liver and strengthening the spleen. This helps firm the intestines, which prevents diarrhea from occurring.

The treatment was found to be effective and improve the symptoms in over 90% of the patients; in addition, it was found to completely cure the symptoms in nearly 35% of patients! If you or anyone you know is suffering from the symptoms of IBS, acupuncture could be the solution. Balancing the energy in the body helps in all facets of life, even the ones we don’t talk much about.