Acupuncture is an ancient medical practice, originating in China more than 2,000 years ago. The goal of Acupuncture treatment is to correct energy circulation in order to establish a healthier state of body function. Following treatment, you will often notice that your general health, sleep, digestion and energy levels will begin to improve.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture uses metal needles to stimulate points in the body, often with the addition of manual manipulation, heat or electrical stimulation. Some practitioners use lasers instead of needles to stimulate the acupuncture points.
While acupuncture does appear to help in the treatment of some conditions, the theory of acupuncture is not able to be explained by current medical science. It’s considered a complementary therapy.
Is acupuncture effective?
Studies have shown that acupuncture may help with:
- the prevention of migraine
- the treatment of knee osteoarthritis
Acupuncture is sometimes used to treat other muscle, bone and pain problems, but there is no scientific evidence that it works.
Is acupuncture safe?
When performed by a suitably trained practitioner, acupuncture is generally considered to be safe for most people, but any procedure that involves puncturing the skin with needles or manipulating the human body carries some risk.
Potential side effects of acupuncture can include:
- bleeding or bruising at puncture sites
- infection at puncture sites
- contact dermatitis
- nerve damage
- transmission of blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS
- puncture of organs
Acupuncturists use sterile, disposable needles to prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases and reduce the likelihood of infection at the puncture site.
What should you expect during acupuncture treatment?
A typical acupuncture session begins with a discussion of your problem and a physical examination.
The acupuncturist may then stimulate certain points on the body, either by inserting the fine metal needles or using a laser.
The needles used in acupuncture are typically much finer than the needles used to take blood, and the process is usually painless. Once the needles are inserted, they will be left in place while you lie still, and hopefully relaxed. As many as 20 needles may be used in one session.
The needles may be turned or wobbled as part of the treatment. The needles will be removed at the end of the session.