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HOW SAFE IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture works by restoring the body and all its organs to a normal state. The concept of homeostasis is an important part of the philosophy of treatment with acupuncture. Homeo means "same" and stasis means "state". Acupuncture as you have read earlier in the book is based on the principle of restoring the energy flows to normal. With acupuncture, it is easy to restore the energy balance but hard to unbalance it.

This homeostatic effect of acupuncture makes it a very safe form of treatment. It's safety lies in the fact that it works by restoring your body's internal environment to normal. The only side effect you are likely to experience with acupuncture is that after treatment you are likely to feel very calm and relaxed. Indeed many patients fall into a deep sleep while having acupuncture treatment.

The same acupuncture points are used for treating opposing conditions. We use the same acupuncture points to treat diarrhoea and constipation as both these illnesses are due to a derangement in the function of the intestines. Similarly the same acupuncture points are used to treat both high and low blood pressure. The insertion of a needle into an appropriate acupuncture point will raise the blood pressure if it is low, and reduce it to normal if it is high. Even excessive stimulation at these acupuncture points is unlikely to upset the blood pressure.

There are of course certain acupuncture points, which can be used to create an imbalance but over 90% of acupuncture points end to propel the body's systems towards the normal state. The homeostasis, which occurs with acupuncture, leads to a more stable blood pressure, which is close to the normal, for that individual.

With the increasing incidence of AIDS and Hepatitis B many potential patients are apprehensive of acquiring these diseases from taking acupuncture. Most acupuncturists today either use disposable needles or keep separate sets of needles for each patient, which are used only on that patient. With these precautions there are no chances of acquiring AIDS through acupuncture and as yet there are no documented cases of AIDS being acquired from acupuncture needles. It is wise however to choose a reputed acupuncturist who is scrupulous about hygiene and these precautions.

Acupuncture and other similar systems of medicine act by helping the body to heal itself. The concept of homeostasis emphasises that our body is always trying to heal itself. Acupuncture stabilises blood pressure reduces diabetes and helps other hormonal imbalances revert to normal. We have to help our body to heal itself which acupuncture does very effectively.