Acupuncture requires the use of specially designed needles inserted into meridians along the body. In general, the idea of needles being left in your skin for any amount of time no matter how thin they are, seems pretty unpleasant. And yet, the needles that are used evoke a level of healing that makes it hard to discount the scientific evidence that has shown just how and why these tiny needles are so effective.
Why Needles are Used in Acupuncture
Acupuncture exemplifies the notion that a little goes a long way. It does this by relying on the placement of fine, mere millimeter width pieces of metal, into the skin. By placing these delicate needles into key points that correspond to any number of organs, a rush of endorphins cascades through the body, and creates an analgesic response. Studies also indicate that the placement of acupuncture needles activates the nervous system’s opioid receptors, allowing for additional pain relief.
Despite the science that validates and supports the use of acupuncture and its accoutrements, there still seems to be a few lingering questions. Why do needles produce this effect? And how does a tiny pin prick promote a flood of organic pain relievers? While these questions are difficult to answer in part, because different acupuncturists use different types of needles, we do know that the nerve stimulation they produce has been researched, verified, and proven therapeutic for countless numbers of people throughout the world, for millennia.
Anatomy of an Acupuncture Needle
Acupuncture needles are made in such a way as to be flexible and maximize access to any number of acupressure points. This access allows one’s chi the space it needs to flow freely throughout the body. If blockages in chi are left unchecked, pain and discomfort continues. That said, better access to these points with well crafted, individualized acupuncture needles, means better pain relief overall.
There are several types of acupuncture needles that are used, each designed with different parts. In turn, each type of needle and its parts has pros and cons that must be evaluated by practitioners, who can determine which type of needle works best for them and their clientele.
The handle is the top of the needle that acupuncturists use to insert it into the skin. Frequently used handles include pipe handles, plastic handles, and wire wound handles, with or without a loop.
The needle itself is called the shaft and is constructed of surgical stainless steel. Some needles contain other types of metals in order to prevent allergic reactions to the steel, add flexibility, or a create a smoother surface.
Whether beveled or otherwise angled, needle tips are designed to allow for different types of stimulation, levels of insertion, and maneuverability.
Lubricant and Tube
FDA approved lubricants are added to the tips of acupuncture needles for easy insertion. Tubes are used over the skin and help guide placement of needles, in order to prevent them from buckling upon insertion.
Concerns, Questions, and Quality
The quality and production of acupuncture needles are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration and should only be used by practitioners who are licensed and certified to use them. Patients are encouraged to discuss their questions, concerns, and health conditions with their prospective practitioner when seeking acupuncture in Miami.