How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the nervous and endocrine systems. Acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, thus affecting the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions. This includes immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature. By this stimulation of chemicals and neurotransmitters, acupuncture can alleviate pain, balance emotions, relax muscles, and improve immunity. The NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture states that promising results show efficacy of acupuncture for postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain, addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofacial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma.
Traditionally through 2,000 years of observation the Chinese found that stimulating acupuncture points stabilized patients’ health. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the body as a whole, functioning by energy and blood. By treatment with acupuncture points, pain and other dysfunctions are balanced and eliminated.
Is acupuncture safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. Few complications have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year. The Safety Record of acupuncture with minor adverse events such as local bruising being reported is about 0.1%, or 1 in 1000 treatments.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take several treatments. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Your acupuncture physician will be able to better assess the amount of treatment needed after your initial consultation.
What should I expect during my first visit?
During the first treatment the practitioner will sit down with you and ask questions to fully understand your health conditions and concerns. A lengthy amount of time will be dedicated to completely understanding your body’s workings. We invite you to discuss any health issues and ask many questions during your initial exam. Become part of your treatment and take control of your health.