Acupuncture is one of the most controversial forms of alternative medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is an ancient method of healing with needles inserted in various areas of the body to relieve symptoms. Acupuncture is often used as a complementary treatment for certain conditions, including fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and even asthma. However, many people are unsure of how it works, and there are questions about the safety of this type of treatment.
There are two types of acupuncture: manual and electronic. Manual is done with the use of a hand-held device that allows for a “precision approach” to the needle placement. Electronic has only one needle, which is placed into a specific spot.
Does acupuncture cause side effects? Can acupuncture help me? Is acupuncture safe?
The short answer to this question is “yes” but there are many factors that can affect your reaction to acupuncture. With any new form of treatment, you should consult with your doctor to determine if acupuncture is right for you.
Acupuncture is not without side effects. Most of the side effects that you will experience during treatment are mild and tend to disappear within a few treatments.
The most common side effect experienced by patients is a mild burning sensation on the skin in the treated area, and it may even be accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness. In some cases, swelling and redness can occur as well.
A second possible side effect is allergic reactions, such as hives, swelling of the lips, or difficulty breathing. Usually, these reactions can be avoided by using small amounts of the drug as prescribed.
Acupuncture does not have a known risk of causing cancer, but many individuals experience stomach pain. This can cause nausea and vomiting and require medical attention. If you have a history of heart disease, your doctor may advise you to avoid acupuncture and contact your cardiologist for proper care.
Your health insurance may cover some or all of the cost of acupuncture. If you do have insurance, make sure that you discuss all treatment options with your provider before beginning any treatment.
What are some other common questions that people ask? Most patients ask about side effects, what the acupuncture procedure entails, how long treatment is expected to take, and if they should be concerned about side effects. Many of these same questions can be asked of any new treatment that you are considering.
Side effects are common but also normal when treating a variety of different conditions. Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective in treating chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. You are probably thinking that there is no way that this treatment can help you with Fibromyalgia, but you should discuss your concerns with your physician to see if acupuncture is right for you.