To those that are not familiar with acupuncture it may seem like it’s simply a matter of sticking needles into various parts of your body. While this can be true it includes the strategic stimulation of acupuncture points throughout the body and extensive knowledge of how the whole acupuncture system works. There are varying styles practiced that involve different techniques being used. Sometimes the needles are manipulated depending on the particular practitioners treatment style and what you are being treated for. This manipulation can include the needles being twirled in place, warmed before insertion or have heat applied to them during insertion. In some cases they may even pass an electric current through the needle. The current is very low and does not cause a noticeable or painful reaction, it usually feels like a light tingle. This practice was experimented with in America and Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s but interest in it has faded since.
The use of low voltage current does not need to be done with needles, sometimes a wire is applied to the skin of the points. There are also many other techniques that employ the use of devices other than needles. The idea behind these is the same as standard needle practice. Acupuncture points knowledge, organization of the body, and the importance of proper energy flow for a healthy body are almost identical. Some other techniques include stimulating acupuncture points with the use of heat, friction, magnets, suction and even the modern use of laser beams. There may be an increase of the application of some of these devices but results are not as well established as with traditional based acupuncture. Lastly, there are practitioners who do not use any devices at all. Gaining as much popularity as traditional acupuncture this is called acupressure. Here practitioners simply press a finder on to the acupuncture point to be stimulated. This can be incorporated into other manipulation including some forms of massage. This particular technique is easy to learn even if you don’t have the background knowledge. There are cards available with diagrams of the pressure points on hands and feet. However, it is best to rely on somebody that has thorough knowledge and understanding of the entire system of acupuncture.
Depending on what you are being treated for and the severity, there could be many different types of acupuncture treatment recommended by practitioners. Besides varying techniques the depth of needle, length of each session and the amount of treatments will differ. Usually, treatments once a week are recommended to start with. Symptoms will diminish over several weeks and treatments can be scheduled further apart or ended. Some people will continue treatments to maintain overall health and wellness. Discussing your condition and the available options before beginning treatments is essential when deciding if you have found the right practitioner for your needs.