Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine wherein thin needles are pierced into the body for the purpose of treatment. It is a form of alternative medicine. Since the traditional Chinese medicine practice and theory are in no way based on scientific knowledge and thereby acupuncture being a part of the same is a pseudoscience. Depending on the country, the theories based on various different techniques and philosophies relating to acupuncture, there is a vast range of acupuncture theories. Acupuncture is basically used for treating pains but it also helps in other ailments and is usually used in amalgamation with other forms of treatment.
On the basis of many systematic reviews and a large number of trials, this technique of acupuncture is considered to be inconsistent. Some reviews stated that this is not an effective for whole lots of range of conditions. A little effectiveness was found according to a systematic review. Some reviews are in the favour of the fact that acupuncture can help in relieving the pain but most of them do not support this statement and consider it to be untrue. Acupuncture is a short term treatment and is thereby is in no way beneficial in long run.
Acupuncture is a technique that deals with the treatment by the way of insertion of needles in the skin. Approximately five to twenty needles are inserted for maximum number of cases. The needles are then left in place for ten to twenty minutes. This may also be accompanied by external pressure, heat or laser light. Acupuncture needles are made up of stainless steel which prevents them from breaking and rusting and makes them flexible. The needles are usually advised to be disposed of after each use in order to avoid contamination and related problems.
In case if the needles are reusable then they should be sterilised properly after using for each time and before using it another time. The acupuncture needles are usually around 13 to 130 millimetres long in length having a diameter ranging from about 0.16 mm to 0.46 mm. The longer needles are used in the areas having thicker tissues whereby the shorter needles are used near the eyes and face. Thinner needles are comparatively flexible and thereby are inserted with the help of tubes. The thicker needles are used for treatment on more robust patients.
The tip of the needles is required to be made in a way that they are neither too sharp nor too blunt. This is so because blunt needles cause more pain to the patients whereby the extremely sharp ones are at a constant risk of breaking.