Acupuncture originated in China more than 5,000 years ago and continues to be a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The acupuncture points provide gateways to influence, redirect, increase, or decrease the body’s vital substances, qi (energy) & blood, to help correct many of the body’s imbalances.
You are probably thinking "ouch" but actually, the needles used for acupuncture are very thin and delicate. You will not even feel most of them go in if you have a good practitioner. And once the needles are in, you still won't feel them except for feeliing maybe extra pressure in that area for a moment. On one of my visits for acupuncture, I started to get up, thinking all the needles were out. The ones I could see were gone but there was still one in my forehead, which I didn't realize was still there. It is a very relaxing experience and not at all painful.
I saw a presentation on senior care in China recently and it was noted that most of their nursing homes offer acupuncture treatments for everything from stroke to memory loss to depression. It is routinely provided as part of the senior's daily activities- grab breakfast and then show up for an acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is beginning to be covered by more health insurance plans in the U.S. and offered in integrative medicine programs at hospitals and clinics. In addition, more acupuncture research studies are being done to provide us westerners with the proof we seem to need before giving something new a try. And much of this research is studying the benefits of acupuncture for age-related illnesses. If it benefits the elderly in other countries, it can benefit the elderly in our country.
One national study showed half of 78 stroke patients receiving standard rehabilitative care, who also received acupuncture treatment recovered faster and to a greater extent, spending 88 days in a hospital or nursing home compared to 161 days for those without acupuncture treatment. And guess what? This saves dollars for insurance companies which is another reason acupuncture research is taking place and the reason there is a movement to incorporate it into health insurance plans.
I have found acupuncture to work amazingly well and to be the most cost-effective treatment for ailments. I fell on my elbow a couple years ago and several months later still had a bump on my elbow along with shooting pain, at times, when my elbow hit something just wrong. One acupuncture treatment later and the bump disappeared, along with the pain. All for just $35 at my local college of oriental medicine.
As a caregiver, you may want to find out what acupuncture offerings are available in your area and if there are discounted pricing for seniors - the clinic near me does offer senior discounts.
seniorcare, caregiving, acupuncture