What is Acupuncture? What Does it Treat?
Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that uses the body’s energy or Qi (chee) to treat conditions such as pain, dizziness, nausea, chronic conditions, post-stroke paralysis, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. Acupuncture uses very fine, sterile, single-use needles placed in specific locations around the body to manipulate that energy. There are acupuncture points all over the body, including the face and scalp. Where you will have needles placed will depend on your signs and symptoms. Other modalities used in treatment can include electrostimulation, gua sha, cupping, and “7 Star” needling.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
The acupuncture treatments themselves typically do not hurt. Occasionally you will feel a pinching sensation as the needles are inserted. With the needles in place, you may feel pressure, tingling, or aching. This is the Qi in the body and is a desired response. It is not expected to be uncomfortable or painful. If you do experience any pain or discomfort, advise your practitioner immediately, as your needles may need to be adjusted.
Are There Any Side Effects to Acupuncture?
After an acupuncture treatment you will be advised to rest and drink extra water. Most people feel very relaxed and energized after an acupuncture treatment. On occasion you may experience a small bruise where a needle was inserted. If you experience any pain, large bruises, swelling, difficulty breathing, or dizziness after an acupuncture treatment, advise your practitioner or doctor immediately.
Are There Any Reasons Why I Should Not Be Treated with Acupuncture?
While there are no contraindications to receiving acupuncture or other TCM treatment modalities, there may be certain conditions or circumstances that may prevent you from receiving a treatment today. Some conditions may mean that certain acupuncture points or treatments are cautioned or contraindicated, and your treatment plan will be adjusted accordingly.
If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please notify your acupuncture intern immediately. Most acupuncture points are safe to use during pregnancy, but there are a few points that are avoided as a precaution.