Acupuncture is a holistic health technique that stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine practices in which trained practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin.
Today acupuncture is one of the most popular practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the West. TCM is a very beneficial health approach that first originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago and has been evolving ever since. To treat a wide variety of diseases, pain and stress-related symptoms, practitioners of TCM use holistic techniques that include acupuncture, herbal medicines, tai chi, qi gong, massage therapy, and various “mind and body practices.”
The first question most people ask is, “Does acupuncture hurt?”
Surprisingly, although needles are used in acupuncture, treatments are relatively pain-free. In fact, one of the most popular uses of acupuncture is to reduce chronic pain throughout the body in a natural way, without the need for medications that can cause unwanted side effects.
What Is Acupuncture Able to Treat?
Currently, acupuncture is used to treat conditions like:
- muscle spasms and pain
- chronic back problems and pain
- headaches, including reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines
- neck pain
- knee pain
- digestive problems
- mood, depression
- psychological conditions
What Will I Experience?
An acupuncture session works something like this:
- First, the acupuncturist will speak with the patient about their pain and health-related goals.
- Then they will usually look at the patient’s tongue and press on their vital organs to see if there is anything noticeable contributing to an imbalance.
- The acupuncturist will then use sterile, disposable small needles and will place them along specific “meridians” on the body.
- The acupuncturist will check for “pulses” on the body by gently placing their fingers or hand on the patient’s body to feel how the patient’s energy is flowing. Redness can also occur around a needle site, and this is thought to be a sign that as energy is not balanced in that area.
- The needles will usually stay in for a short period of time while the patent’s energy is reworking and balancing itself.
- After the needles are removed, the patient can go about their day and are usually advised to drink plenty of water in an effort to help the detoxifying process.