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Acupuncture The general theory of acupuncture is that proper physiological function and health depend on the circulation of nutrients, substances and energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) through a network of “channels” or “meridians.” This network connects every organ and part of the body, providing balance, regulation and coordination of physiological processes. Pain and ill-health result when the flow of Qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by many things, including disease, pathogens, trauma/injuries and medication (side-effects), as well as lifestyle factors such as overwork, poor diet, emotions, lack of rest and stress. Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific body locations (acupuncture points) to improve the flow of Qi. Insertion of single-use, disposable, sterile needles, heat or finger-pressure achieves this stimulation. Acupuncture therapy has been shown to be beneficial for treating pain and nausea, as well as a host of other conditions. For many children, teens and young adults, acupuncture can be a potent pain reliever and assist in helping their body regain a more natural balance.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that consists of placing thin, sterile needles at specific points on the body (acupuncture points) for treatment of pain and illnesses. It also includes non needle methods, such as pressing on points (acupressure), heating (moxa), creating suction over points (cupping) and using magnets or a low intensity laser to stimulate the flow of bioenergy called Qi (pronounced “chee”).The general theory of acupuncture is that the proper function and health of the body depend upon the circulation of Qi through a network of “channels” in our body called “meridians.” Acupuncture is not a substitute for conventional medical diagnosis and treatment.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

Because the meridians connect to all parts of the body, acupuncture is an effective therapy for a wide variety of common problems. It is most commonly used to relieve pain and to manage chronic conditions. It is used to treat digestive, respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, menstrual and psycho-emotional disorders. The National Institute of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) supports the use of acupuncture for relieving common symptoms including: back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, joint pain (arthritis), general pain, nausea, neck pain, menstrual cramps and more.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The sensation caused by an acupuncture treatment varies. Most people feel very comfortable and report no pain at all, but some people feel mild discomfort as the needles are inserted. The needles are tiny, solid, flexible, and just a little thicker than a human hair. Acupuncture does not feel like an ordinary injection or having blood drawn. Even young children and toddlers easily tolerate the sensation. The treatment is adjusted to make sure each person is comfortable.

What should I expect during treatment?

You may feel tingling, warmth, heaviness or a dull ache where the acupuncture is done. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation.” All of these sensations are good and a sign that the treatment is working. The needles are left at the acupuncture points for approximately 15-30 minutes while you rest comfortably. After treatment, you may feel energized or deeply relaxed. How many treatments will I need? The number of treatments will vary depending on your medical condition. Some people experience immediate relief. Others may take weeks or months to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. You should plan on at least a month of treatments to see significant changes. An acupuncturist may suggest weekly treatments initially, followed by monthly/seasonal “tune-ups.”

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, acupuncture is extremely safe when performed by an experienced, licensed acupuncturist who uses disposable needles. Minor side effects such as minor bleeding and/or bruising and feelings of relaxation or tiredness can occur. More serious side effects such as infection are extremely rare with the use of sterile needles.