Alternative medicine is the name given to the processes of getting recovery without application of medication. Healthcare analysts have seen the need for treating patients without traditional medicines due the psychological side-effects associated with drugs. Taking medicines is a tough course to most people. Whereas some prefer to use pills, others go for injections as a part of healing process. In some instances, there are individuals who do not agree with any of these options. It begins with fear, which progresses and becomes a part of the person, and later it appears difficult for one to respond either the medication was taken willingly or forcedly. In this respect, physicians have designed alternative ways for treating patients without ordinary cure. They include aromatherapy, acupuncture, dance therapy, and pet therapy among others. All these methods are useful in the healing process. However, some of them are not holistic and would not serve the purpose under some conditions in which other methods can work correctly. As such, an acupuncture has proved to be an effective alternative medicine currently being widely used.
Acupuncture refers to a process through which practitioners kindle particular points in the body of an individual using needles that are inserted through the skin. The practice has a rich history in China where it appeared. To date, acupuncture is still a component of the Chinese health care that exists for approximately 2500 years already. The method works on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow around the body that are essential for health of a human being. Diseases cause the disruption of these energy flows. Acupuncture, thus, corrects these imbalances hence heals the person. The needles are injected into the skin of an ailing person not just anywhere, but in identifiable points. The procedure involves stimulation of several anatomy locations that are connected in some way using a number of techniques during this process. Acupuncture is known to treat several diseases. There are diabetes, kidney failures, and liver cirrhosis among them. However, most doctors who do not come from China believe that the therapy is still not effective in the treatment of such illnesses. Their argument is that acupuncture can be used to treat complications that are related to the diseases and not the diseases themselves. However, they support the notion that this technique can be used to prevent vomiting and nausea that cancer patients receiving chemotherapy usually have. Studies to prove whether acupuncture can be used in the treatment of anxiety and depression are also being conducted (Frass et al., 2012).
Three hypotheses are given to explain how the acupuncture works. The first is that it functions through the pathways of neuro-hormones. The mechanism operates on the premise that when a needle is put into the specific location of the skin and touches the nerve, it stimulates that particular nerve, which then sends signals to the brain. The brain, thus, releases neural hormones, which relieves patient from pain by increasing the pain threshold in the body (Vickers et al., 2012). The second hypothesis is that acupuncture works on reducing proteins in the body inhibiting inflammatory makers. When inflammation is reduced to desired level, the patient can feel lower ache than previously. The final suppose is that acupuncture stimulates the human brain to increase a nerve-growth factor enabling the nerve to regenerate. The hypothesis is particularly important in explaining how useful in the treatment of nerve damage the acupuncture is. An example is a chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition commonly related to numbness in patient’s hands and feet (Kelner, Wellman, Pecosolido, & Saks, 2014).
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Medication is a process that requires some trust and faith to enhance its effect. For one to get meaningful help from acupuncture, he should be living in an area where people believe in the same. Otherwise, the whole process can be a waste of time and money. The availability of the patient to undergo the treatment is also very critical for it to work. Consider scenario of two alcohol addicts. Both of them have a strong willing to stop the vice as it affects their economic. They also have to stop drinking since it is straining their relationships with family and friends. Registering both to an acupuncture therapy will be vital as it is a way of treating such addictions. One of the patients is in China whereas the other one is in Africa. Well known to many, acupuncture therapy is widely used in China, and most people believe in its healing power. However, the patient from Africa is disadvantaged as the practice is not so popular there. There are high chances that the person from China will be able to heal while the one from Africa will need more time for it or may undergo the process without any effective result at all. The reason for this is that their environment plays a significant role in the process of treatment. The belief of the people where an individual lives is also a factor in determining whether a particular medication is effective or futile (Frass et al., 2012).
Acupuncture is used in the treatment of addictions, especially alcohol, as mentioned above. Overcoming alcohol addiction is tough as there are many subsequent withdrawal symptoms. They include but not limited to loss of appetite, lack of concentration, and weak nerves. When withdrawal symptoms become severe, the patient may prefer going back to drinking. Acupuncture comes in handy to ensure that such people go through the process of healing effectively hence enabling them to stop indulging in what was causing their addiction. Instead of treating the whole body, this time, the needles are concentrated only on the ear area. It is the sure way of dealing with addiction. The needles go through the skin in three to five points of the patients’ ear (Oleson, 2013). These points are essential in the sense that they represent different organs of the body among which are kidney, liver, and lungs. Alcohol addiction causes the weakening of the liver hence it ceases to function appropriately. Other addiction, smoking, weakens the lungs. Once the treatment is administered, and the needle touches the nerve that connects to the targeted organ, the patient feels relieved and does not experience further pain.
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In the process of an addict healing the body, mind, and spirit have to be involved in a holistic process of the treatment. Before allowing the patient to begin his/ her acupuncture, the individual must undergo a psychological session first. During the session it is important to explain to the patient that this is an alternative medication, which has been proven to work for several people. The patient may experience some pain during the injection of the needles into the body. Consequently, it is prudent that the individual keeps in mind the fact that the long-term results are what matters. With this thought in mind, the patient feels free and has a will to begin the treatment process. The healing process encourages an alcohol addict patient, if sure to the words of the practitioner; he/she does not experience a lack of appetite, loss of concentration, and nervousness. When the intensity of these withdrawal symptoms reduces with the beginning of the therapy, it encourages patient the most. There is no way that an individual will feel the power of acupuncture if he/she still experiences symptoms after the therapy. Stable nerves condition is a result that makes the patient feel the impact of the treatment. Otherwise, if things do not change with multiple sessions of the acupuncture, the patient may lose interest in the therapy (Oleson, 2013).
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The role of the practitioner in the treatment process is to ensure that the patient gets the best healing and overcomes the disease in question. By best treatment, the practitioner must guarantee that the patient is injected only at the relevant locations hence preventing instances whereby an individual undergoes the therapy without actually curing the ailment that made him/her seek for the medication. Before conducting the therapy, the needles must be sterilized to prevent infections. The patient, on the other hand, has an obligation of ensuring that during the medication process he or she does not indulge in the addictive activity not unless the practitioner directs it. Some withdrawal symptoms cause death if not taken care of concerning allowing the patient to use the drug they are treating him or her for being addicted. Giving the right feeling before and after the therapy is another role of the patient as it helps the practitioner to know whether it is working or not. Passing of regular checks, just like taking of medicines during the acupuncture, are also necessities to the patient in the long process of providing him or her with the effective treatment (Kelner et al., 2014).
All medications have an ultimate goal. Acupuncture is no exception. Its principle aim is to correct the energy imbalances in the human body. The organism must possess a full power that can flow and promote a healthy living this way. However, when there is no enough energy in the body or it is not flowing as required, an individual starts to feel disturbing symptoms of illnesses. Another goal of acupuncture is to relieve pain, to reduce stress, to ease the mood regulation, and normalize digestion. Muscle tension relaxing and sleep improving are other results of acupuncture. The final objective of the therapy is to restore good health through stimulation. To analyze the outcomes of the acupuncture it is important to conduct a survey based on the experience of people, which underwent this type of medication. From their responses, it is possible to understand how many of them got the help from it and how many did not. For instance, there was a survey conducted in 2006 about the acupuncture treatment of addiction, which revealed that two-thirds of individuals who enrolled for therapy completed the sessions whereas the remaining third did not. Those who finished it attributed their patience to the working power of the medication. It is, however, not clear why the remaining lot did not hold on to completion. An assumption is that they would be overwhelmed by the withdrawal symptoms and decided to leave to save their lives (Vickers et al., 2012).
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Acupuncture has proved that it can treat different kinds of ailments on many occasions. It relies on needles to stimulate nerves in the body of an individual, which send signals to the brain in order to correct the energy imbalances in the organism. The therapy can cure diseases associated with, for instance, cancer and kidney failure among many others. Its use in the treatment of addiction is helpful too as it is one of the most dangerous diseases affecting humankind. The goals of acupuncture are geared towards correcting the imbalances of the energy presences as well as its flow in the body. All these are for the sole purpose of restoring individual’s good health. It is, therefore, the responsibility of all those people who believe in its power to send a strong message to the others so that more and more individuals embrace this type of medication. It is safe, and only few risks are associated with acupuncture as compared to other forms of treatment.