What is acupuncture and how can it help me?

Acupuncture is a worldwide form of medical treatment that stimulates meridians throughout the body to promote natural healing and improve functioning overall. Acupuncture can help with a variety of conditions, as most conditions are due to imbalances in the body including deficiencies or toxicities. The most common conditions treated by acupuncture are stress, headaches, allergies, arthritis, pain anywhere in the body, digestive disorders, menstrual disorders, infertility, anxiety, depression, addiction and neurological conditions.

There has been extensive practice and research that has evidence to show that acupuncture is effective in helping patients with many of the conditions listed by the World Health Organization as well as many others. It does more than simply relieve the symptoms. The aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole patient and restore balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual. Many people also use acupuncture as a preventative treatment, which is the most important benefit of this medicine.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are sterile and made for single use only. They are very thin, close to the size of a single human hair. Most people feel a small prick and or almost nothing when inserted. Depending on the part of the body, it can be more or less sensitive to sensation. The needles should not feel painful after inserted or you can tell your acupuncturist and they will rotate, change direction, or take the needle out. Acupuncturists have different techniques in order for you to have an enjoyable and painless experience. The majority of patients fall asleep during treatment and leave in a very relaxed state. Treatments are available without the use of needles as well.

How many treatments will I need?

In most cases, a series of treatments are necessary to resolve a condition. Each patient has different individual goals and may have different requirements. Typically, patients start to see improvements anywhere from 3 to 5 visits depending on the preexisting conditions of the patient. Treatments can be anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour in length, as the initial consultation will be longer. Treatments are generally given one to two times per week until symptoms improve and then treatment may be spread to once every two weeks, then to monthly and then two to three times throughout the year for maintenance. Acupuncture is important in overall health improvement and as a prevention of disease.

What should I expect?

On your first visit you should wear very comfortable loose fitting clothing. You should also be sure that you have eaten before the treatment. Your acupuncturist will insert needles into your muscles. No blood is drawn and no medications are being injected. The needles are the size of a human hair. They will stay in for about 20 minutes and all you should do is relax. It is okay to fall asleep, in fact, most of our patients do! After your first treatment you may feel very energized, very tired, or maybe sore. If any of these things happen, it is normal as everyone is different. If you have any questions, feel free to call us after your treatments.