Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that disease is created by imbalances in the body’s energies. Needles are used to move the energy, which runs in channels throughout the body. As such, the imbalances that create one symptom, may also be causing seemingly unrelated symptoms. For example, a classic Chinese “picture” of irritable bowel, is also the same picture seen in anxiety and issues with blood. Many patients experience improvements in multiple areas of health.
What can I expect?
Sterile, single-use needles, nearly as fine as hair, are gently placed under the level of the skin for at least 15 minutes. Most needles will not be felt at all as they are inserted. You may feel the slightest pinch as the needle goes in, although you’ll likely feel more from a mosquito bite. Needles can be placed almost anywhere on the body, depending on your case. After needles are in, you may not feel them at all, or you may feel a warmth or electricity in that area. It should not be uncomfortable. After treatments, many patients feel more relaxed and/or more energetic, with a restful sleep that evening. Most cases see improvements in their symptoms within 3 – 5 treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Some needles may give the slightest pinch as they are being inserted, but most are inserted without the patient feeling a thing.
Wear comfortable clothing that will be easy to work around. Be sure to eat before your treatments and avoid excessive activity immediately before and after treatments. Inform your acupuncturist of any allergies (especially to herbs, smoke, and metals), pacemaker use, or bleeding conditions.
The largest issues with acupuncture arise with unclean technique. Acupuncture, done by a registered acupuncturist or naturopathic doctor, must be performed using sterile, single-use needles. Side effects may include bruising, aggravation of breathing difficulties or allergies, dizziness. Rare side effects could include punctured organs, injury to internal organs, nerves, brain stem. With a thorough understanding of the patient case and good technique, these rare side effects are extremely unlikely.
Acupuncture may provide the desired results in as little as one treatment, however most typically, 3 – 5 treatments, spaced 1 – 2 weeks apart sees the most results. After results have been attained, patients stop in periodically for “tune‑ups” as needed.