Acupuncture Q & A
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese medical technique that involves stimulating specific points on your body by inserting thin needles.
According to Chinese Medicine, the needles help the flow of energy, known as Qi, travel along particular paths, or meridians, of your body. Western medicine believes that Acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects are due to its influence on neurotransmitters, hormones, or the immune system.
In addition to inserting needles, your Acupuncturist may use Cupping Therapy & Massage, Moxa or other treatments to facilitate pain relief.
How does Acupuncture help relieve pain?
Many studies have shown that Acupuncture is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain caused by traumatic injuries or repetitive stress. Acupuncture can even relieve persistent pain that other treatments, such as medication, have failed to alleviate.
Acupuncture works by activating the body's own self-healing mechanism.
The main goal of Acupuncture is self-healing.
Acupuncture also accelerates recovery time by encouraging your body to heal itself faster.
What conditions can Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can help treat a broad spectrum of acute and chronic conditions, including:
Back pain (upper, middle, and lower)
Arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Shoulder pain (rotator cuff tear, frozen shoulder, bursitis)
Foot pain (plantar fasciitis, ankle pain)
Knee pain (ACL, MCL, runner’s knee)
Hip pain (Piriformis syndrome, bursitis)
Tennis and golfer’s elbow
Headaches and migraines
What should I expect from an Acupuncture treatment?
You should arrive at your Acupuncture appointment in comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the problem areas of your body.
Your practitioner greets you and asks questions about how you’re feeling to determine which points on your body need treatment. A soothing music may be played to create a relaxing atmosphere during your Acupuncture treatment, as well.
The needling itself is virtually painless and doesn’t typically cause bleeding.
You may notice an immediate decrease in, or even elimination of, your pain during an Acupuncture treatment. Most people require several sessions, usually spaced about a week of few days apart, for optimal recovery.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments, both within conventional and complementary medicine. There are very few side effects from Acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified Acupuncturist who follows a safe code of practice.
How deep do the needles go?
The depth of insertion depends on several factors: the location of the points selected, the patient’s size, age and condition, as well as, the Acupuncturist’s style or school. Needles are normally inserted 1/4 to 1 inch into the skin.
Does it hurt?
In Chinese, Acupuncture is bu tong – translated into English – painless. Some people may categorize the sensation as a form of pain, yet if any sensation or discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild. Patients might feel some mild cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensations around the area where the needles have been inserted or traveling up or down the affected energy pathway (or Meridian). This is based on the correct application of the needles by a licensed Acupuncturist, who will minimize the discomfort and locate the correct area for insertion of the needles.
Yes. Certain styles like Japanese Acupuncture use needles that do not break the skin or are inserted extremely lightly. Acupuncture needles are very much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. You may not even feel them penetrate the skin and once in place they are hardly noticeable.
Are needles clean?
Only sterilized, individually packaged, single use, disposable needles are utilized. Needles are not saved and are not reused at a later date. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting diseases through the reuse of a potentially contaminated needle.
How many Treatments will I need?
Treatments vary according to the duration, severity, and nature of an ailment or complaint. An acute condition may only need one treatment. Chronic problems may be resolved in five to fifteen treatments. Some degenerative conditions may require additional treatments over a longer period of time and regular maintence.