Thursday, June 1, 2023 | 03:11 WIB

Acupuncture for geriatrics


dr. Stefanus Agung Budianto, Sp.Ak
dr. Stefanus Agung Budianto, Sp.Ak. (IO/Esti)

Safe for Everyone 

Acupuncture is a medical technique whereby small, delicate needles are slightly inserted into certain points of the body, known in English as “meridians”. These tiny needles are 0.20 mm thick on average, much thinner than ordinary injection or IV needles. Mainly applied to alleviate pain, this therapy has various health benefits: it helps you sleep better, revives your appetite, loosens constipation, and may even help you lose weight, by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters in the body through the skin, facilitating the brain to function more effectively. 

“Acupuncture is divided into two types: medical and traditional. Medical acupuncture is frequently part of a clinic or hospital services provided by a specialist doctor, while traditional acupuncture is performed by a specialist trained exclusively in Chinese medicine. The primary difference is in perspective: medical acupuncture is performed by a therapist with a formal western medical background. It has levels of specialty that allows the practitioner to know more about treating geriatrics better. Another difference is in terms of the patient’s physiology: adults have better pain tolerance than elders,” dr. Agung said. 

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Acupuncture is safe for everyone, “…including geriatrics, because the primary principle is to alleviate the patient’s discomfort through the treatment. Everything must be selected carefully, in order to avoid fear or discomfort: the type and needle selected, the jabbing process, and other techniques selected to treat the patient. Acupuncture is extremely advanced nowadays: you can use a laser device or acupressure if the needles worry you. It is gentle and friendly to the body, as it is a non-invasive procedure that optimizes the body’s natural healing abilities. The important thing is to try it out first, because it is much more beneficial than detrimental. It has minimum negative effects if executed properly by competent therapists,” dr. Agung said. He particularly endorses acupuncture to treat stroke patients. “It will be best if you do this within six months of an event, in order to recover the patient’s quality of life better and sooner. The procedure takes about one hour, with the needles remaining stuck on the skin for half an hour. Frequency of treatment differs for each patient. On average, however, depending on the severity of a condition, twice a week is sufficient,” he said. (est)


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