Acupuncture is a medical procedure where an acupuncturist uses very fine needles and inserts them at specific points on the body. The procedure taps into your body’s energy and life force and has been proven to be very effective with pain relief. Acupuncture is considered a form of alternative medicine and is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. It is 3,500 years older than Western medicine.
Your body secretes endorphins, which are natural pain and stress relievers. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the secretion of these endorphins. In addition to relieving pain, it will calm anxiety, improve blood circulation, and raise the level of immune antibodies and white blood cells. Several medical studies have been conducted around Acupuncture which has led the procedure to be included into modern pain management treatment options.
How The Procedure Works
Each acupuncturist has their own unique style that may blend parts of the Eastern and Western approaches. To determine the best approach, your acupuncturist may ask you various questions about your symptoms and behaviors. During the evaluation, the acupuncturists will also examine the patient’s tongue, looking at the size, shape, tension and color. The initial evaluation and treatment may take up to 60 minutes, however, follow up treatments will generally last 30 minutes.
During the procedure, tiny needles are strategically inserted at various points and depths. The needles are then manipulated if needed. Acupuncture is a relatively pain free procedure where the patient rests for 10-20 minutes after needle insertion. Most patients feel a reduction in pain after the first session, however, for maximum benefit and optimal results several sessions are necessary.
Acupuncture can be effective in the treatment of several chronic pain conditions including migraines or headaches, tennis elbow, sciatica, lower-back pain, dental pain, pain from chemotherapy, labor pain, menstrual cramps, certain respiratory disorders, and osteoarthritis.
The risks with acupuncture are low. You may be at risk for complications if you have a bleeding disorder, have a pacemaker, or our pregnant. Talk to your doctor about any of these factors during your appointment, prior to having acupuncture prescribed as a pain treatment.