With the notion of natural remedies becoming more prominent throughout the world of modern medicine, you may be quite familiar with the term “acupuncture” but what does it really entail? Acupuncture is a holistic and natural approach to treating pain on a physical and emotional level. The ultra-thin needles, often the size of a single strand of hair, act as a form of energetic medicine that helps to move energy and blood to the vital areas of the body where the balance and regulation is needed. Acupuncture’s primary focus is to remove the source of the complaint itself, not just dealing with the ensuing symptoms. You may already be an expert on the textbook definition of acupuncture, but here are five facts that you may not have known:

Acupuncture reduces stress and improves sleep; who doesn’t need more Z’s?

Stress is a common factor for sleep disturbance. In a world of extensive work hours and daily commitments, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with stress. Acupuncture helps to reduce such habitual stresses, aiding in the quality and quantity of our sleep.

Have a nagging addiction? Acupuncture can help.

Whether it’s that piece of cake calling our name from the refrigerator or the smell of barbeque ribs wafting from the neighbor’s backyard, we all have cravings from time to time. However, addiction is much more serious and difficult to manage than a simple craving brought on by sight or smell. Whether your personal addiction is to food, drugs, tobacco or alcohol, acupuncture can be used on specific points of the ear to help curb those incessant cravings.

A treatment for often debilitating emotional disorders.

A startling 1 in 10 people are on antidepressants for emotional disorders like depression or anxiety. Not only are antidepressants costly, but they can have a variety of side effects on the body. The specific side effects are unbeknownst to that individual until post consumption. Acupuncture can be used to treat such debilitating emotional disorders, balancing and uplifting the body’s energy and spirits. Even better: there’s no side effects with acupuncture.

Acupuncture is used in pain management.

Whether it is back pain, disk injuries, arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, neck pain or headaches, precise needle placements in acupuncture can help to naturally alleviate and manage your pain. This can also result in reduced inflammation and improved range of motion.

A primary tool for preventative care.

Acupuncture provides excellent preventative care. This is illustrated in the low rates of heart disease in countries such as Asia where acupuncture is very prominent.

We added a sixth fact, just for fun. In 2014, all Washington state insurance companies are required by law to offer acupuncture benefits. In other words, if you have health insurance in the state of Washington, acupuncture visits will come at a reduced cost, if not fully covered, beginning next year.

It is evident that acupuncture is a significant form of pain management for both physical and emotional wellbeing. With a holistic, natural approach to medicine, acupuncture considers your entire person as a whole and not just the complaint at hand.

Originally posted on King5.com