Many people are under the impression that there’s no possible way sticking needles in your body could decrease pain. Yet, acupuncture has existed for more than 2,500 years as a therapeutic approach, and recent scientific studies have shown that it’s an effective treatment for chronic pain, as well as other conditions.
Common issues acupuncture may help
There are numerous ailments that acupuncture may be able to help, and many of them are conditions that conventional medicine doesn’t always effectively address. For example, chronic pain is difficult to treat using conventional methods, and pharmaceutical approaches have proven to carry grave risks. Acupuncture has a long history or providing relief for chronic pain, especially in the neck, back, knees, and head.
Other conditions that are often successfully treated with acupuncture include:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep disorders
- Menstruation disorders
- Headaches, including migraine
- Morning sickness
- Muscle pain
- Nausea due to chemotherapy
- Digestive issues
- Multiple sclerosis symptoms
How it works
If you imagine that acupuncture feels like getting a shot, you’re off base. The needles that are used in acupuncture are generally very thin—about the thickness of a single human hair. This
means you’ll experience far less discomfort when the needles are inserted than you would getting a shot, plus the discomfort is fleeting.
There are a few different theories about how acupuncture works. The original theory, developed in China thousands of years ago, involves qi, which is your body’s energy. The ancient practitioners of acupuncture believed that qi flowed along paths in your body called meridians.
When your qi is blocked, there’s a problem. The ancients manipulated your meridians to change the flow of your qi, balancing your energy, and correcting your problem.
Today, scientists have found a few different ways that acupuncture works. One is that it stimulates your nerves, and releases trigger points, or very tight bands of muscle, bringing about relaxation.
Another is that the tiny needles create miniscule injuries and those injuries stimulate your body’s natural healing response, pushing your immune system into action.
Research into acupuncture is ongoing, but evidence continues to accumulate showing that it is an effective treatment for many conditions.
What you should expect
If you’ve never had acupuncture before, you may feel nervous. It’s difficult to say how it will make you feel, because people respond to it differently. You may feel energized or a bit tired.
Your session will likely last between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the reason for your treatment. Where the needles are inserted will also depend on the reason for your treatment.
You may feel better right away, but it may take several sessions. The majority of people who get acupuncture say they feel content and relaxed following a session.
If you’re ready to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit you, as well as our philosophy here at Family Acupuncture and Wellness, book your appointment today either online or by phone. We’d love to discuss your specific situation and needs and develop a treatment plan designed just for you.