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Acupuncture itself is treating any of a variety of conditions through the method of putting needles through the skin, so foot acupuncture is when this practice is solely applied to the feet. The needles used can be put anywhere on the foot, including the ankle, heel, sole and toes, and their placement isusually associated with other corresponding parts of the body. Foot acupuncture is considered to be a small part of the larger practice of acupuncture, which has been practiced for thousands of years as a form of traditional Chinese medicine.
Common conditions that this treatment can be used for are a general relief of pain, quitting smoking, sinus problems, weight loss and stress reduction. In addition, this type of acupuncture has been believed to cure several diseases, improve bodily resistance and restore the physiological functions of the body to a normal and balanced state. One who seeks treatment in the form of foot acupuncture can usually find a licensed acupuncturist at a facility such as a spa, but there are people qualified to do the procedure in many other professional environments.
The process of foot acupuncture requires the use of clean, sharp, sterilized needles. Points in the foot that are to be penetrated by the needles are often warmed and treated by a process known as moxibustion, which is a heating of different herbs, mainly mugwort. The needles can then be left in the pressure points at different depths, usually for fifteen to twenty minutes, give or take several minutes depending on what ailment is being treated.
The position and posture of the patient who is receiving foot acupuncture is also very important and depends on the reason for his or her treatment. Given the nature of acupuncture, it is also crucial that the recipient is comfortable throughout the procedure. Different puncture points of the foot will require that the patient lies on his or her side, back or front in order to minimize motion while maximizing comfort during the foot acupuncture process.