Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that can be traced back to at least 2,500 years.
The general theory of acupuncture is that specific patterns of energy flow through the body and are essential for health. The Chinese call this energy Qi (chi), and it is the balance of Qi that improves health. Acupuncture is most commonly known as small, sterile needles inserted into specific locations in the skin. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT INVOLVE?
STEP 1: Needle Insertion
Acupuncture needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.
STEP 2: Needle Manipulation
Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after placement or apply heat or mild electrical pulses to the needles.
STEP 3: Needle Removal
In most cases, the needles remain in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.
Modern acupuncture also uses a variety of other treatment modalities, including acupressure, electro-acupuncture, herbs, laser, nutrition counseling, magnets, cupping, and moxibustion. Small amount of local anesthetics can be injected in the same points, achieving faster results.