How Does Acupuncture Work?
From an Eastern perspective, needles are inserted at specific points along channel pathways on the body in order to stimulate Qi, the body’s vital energy. This results in increased vitality. From a Western perspective, inserting needles at specific points has been demonstrated through clinical controlled trials to trigger a complex cascade of reflex and biochemical reactions. This leads to responses from a number of systems within the body, including the endocrine, immune, vascular, nervous and musculoskeletal systems. The stimulation of these systems via acupuncture has been demonstrated to reduce stress, regulate hormones, improve mood, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote blood and lymph flow.
To read more about what the World Health Organization has to say about acupuncture, and to look at their entire list of conditions effectively treated by acupuncture, CLICK HERE.
To learn more about acupuncture and the scientific evidence demonstrating it’s efficacy, visit the Evidence Based Acupuncture website:
Does acupuncture hurt?
The needles your practitioner will use are very thin, and the average acupuncture needles is 6-10 times smaller than hypodermic needles which are used to draw blood. Depending on the location of needle insertion, a patient may experience different degrees of sensation, though pain is not commonly felt. After insertion, an acupuncture needle may be stimulated in order to enhance therapeutic benefits, and this may elicit sensations of distension, pressure or warmth. During and especially after the treatment, most patients feel calm and relaxed.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, when performed by a properly trained, Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc), acupuncture is a safe, natural, and pharmaceutical-free healing modality. In the United States, Licensed Acupuncturists are required to complete 3-4 years of graduate-level training at nationally accredited schools. In order to practice, they are then required to pass national board examinations and adhere to strict state guidelines for treating patients.
The needles used during each treatment are sterile, single-use, disposable stainless steel needles. The risk of complications is low, and any potential complications are easily avoided when treatments are conducted by a licensed and properly trained professional.
What should I expect during my first visit?
During your initial consultation and treatment, your practitioner will ask you questions in order to obtain a complete health history. Your practitioner will also feel your pulse and examine your tongue, which provide information that allows for a diagnosis to be made and a treatment plan to be formulated. You should allow 90 minutes for your initial treatment, and 60 minutes for follow up treatments. Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and ensure that you are hydrated and have eaten a small meal or snack at least one to two hours before your appointment.