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Acupuncture. Why Is It A Good Form Of Alternative Treatment
You will find that most modern acupuncturists now use disposable stainless steel needles of a diameter of about 0.18 to 0.51 mm and which have been sterilized using either ethylene oxide or an autoclave machine. The upper third of the needle is wound round with a thicker wire (normally bronze) or is covered in plastic, which helps to stiffen the needle and provide a handle which the acupuncturist can hold whilst inserting the needles. It all depends on what style of acupuncture is being practiced as to the size and type of needle used as well as the depth to which the needle is inserted.
Sometimes the warming of an acupuncture point by moxibustion (or the burning of mugwort) is a different form of treatment to acupuncture and is often, though not exclusively used as a supplemental treatment. The Chinese term of Zhen jig which is commonly used to refer to acupuncture come from the word “Zhen” meaning “needle” and “Jiu” meaning “moxibustion”.
Moxibustion is still used today in varying degrees in the many schools of oriental medicine and one well known technique still being used is the insertion of the needle at the desired acupuncture point and then dried mugwort is attached to the external end of the needle and ignited. What happens is that the mugwort will smolder for several minutes (all depending on how much has been put on the needle) and the heat produced will be conducted through the needle to the tissue around that needle in the patient’s body. Another method that some practitioners will use is that they hold a large glowing stick of moxa above the needles and occasionally the moxa will actually be burned on the skins surface, however a layer of ointment will be applied to the skin so as to protect it from getting burnt.
Today many people who suffer from vascular headaches (those that are accompanied by a throbbing sensation around the veins in the temple) will typically treat it with an analgesic such as aspirin or by other agents that help to dilate the affected blood vessels in the scalp. But acupuncture is now becoming a common treatment for such headaches by the use of stimulating the sensitive points that are located roughly in the center of the webs between a persons thumb and the palm of their hand (the he gu points). These points are noted in acupuncture theory as being the ones for targeting the face and head and are considered to be the most important points when having to treat disorders that affect a patients face and head. The patient is placed in a reclined position and the points on each hand are sterilized with alcohol and then the acupuncturist will insert the needles to a depth of about 3-5mm until the patient feels a twinge and is sometimes accompanied by a slight twitching in the area between the thumb and hand. In fact most patients will tell you that they feel a pleasurable tingling sensation in this area and also feel relaxed whilst the needles are inserted. The needles are left inserted in the patient for 15-20 minutes as the patient rests and then they will be removed.
However, some patients frequently report that one or more certain kinds of sensation are being felt that are associated with this treatment and these sensations are stronger than those that would normally be felt by a patient not suffering from vascular types of headaches. Such as:
An extreme sensitivity to pain at the points in the webs of the thumbs.
A bad headache, including a feeling of nausea which usually last for as long as the stimulation is being administered to the particular points in the webs of the thumbs.
An immediate relief of the headache.
Plus one added benefit of using this form of treatment is not having to take drugs which can have side effects that could actually cause more problems rather than cure them.
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