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The Point of Acupuncture

Done properly, it can promote good health

(HealthDay) -- So you're not feeling great and someone has suggested acupuncture. And, you're wondering, how is it going to help to let someone stick pins and needles in me?

According to an article from ABC News, those tiny pins, strategically placed, can help you feel better in some cases.

Acupuncture has been around for several thousand years, but only recently has it become popular in the United States. The needles, and the way they are inserted, are designed to unblock the flow of energy within the body. When done properly, that promotes good health, the story says.

The first time you go to an acupuncturist, you can expect an evaluation of your overall health. It should take about two hours. The evaluation will include a look at your tongue and your pulse, two important sources of information. Then, treatment should begin shortly thereafter. The points where needles are inserted will depend on what is not working properly. The treatment might include 10 to 12 needles. Then you lie quietly for about 20 minutes. Sometimes, acupressure, or gentle touch therapy, is used as well. Usually, you need several treatments before results are evident.

To find a reputable acupuncturist, start by asking relatives or friends who've used one. Also, check with acupuncture training schools. Your regular doctor also might be able to recommend someone. Once you've found an acupuncturist, check his or her credentials. They should have trained at one of the accredited schools and passed the national board exam.

To find out more about acupuncture and other alternative medicines, you can read this report from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. To find out why the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that doctors provide guidance to their patients who are interested in alternative medicine, you can read this article from CNN.

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