Thousands of years!
The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier, instead of needles, sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment. The first document that unequivocally described an organized system of diagnosis and treatment which is recognized as acupuncture is The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, dating from about 100 BCE.
In the modern days, acupuncture is used with a variety of diseases and conditions, including: Low back pain, Neck pain, Osteoarthritis, Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting, Dental pain, Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines, Labor pain, and Menstrual cramps.
Two major ways: Endogenous opiate release and down modulation of sympathetic up regulation. That means, it makes the body release its own natural occurring pain killers, like endorphins, and naturally occurring feel-good chemicals, like oxytocin. And it also helps to relax the nervous system. Plus acupuncture also helps to bring down inflammation and increase circulation by attracting blood to the puncture point.
For chronic pains, we recommend treatment once a week for the first 12 weeks. Then depends on the progress, we advise to continue weekly or biweekly as a pain management. For acute pain, twice a week for three weeks recommended.
The risks of acupuncture are low if you have a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner using sterile needles. Common side effects include soreness and minor bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted. Single-use, disposable needles are now the practice standard, so the risk of infection is minimal.
In general, we recommend 30 minutes complete rest after the acupuncture session because some patients might experience light-headedness, tiredness, and dizziness. Also, we advised against heavy lifting or intense workout after because it can cancel the benefits from the therapy.