Top 5 Things You Should Know About Acupuncture

1. Acupuncture Feels Amazing

Acupuncture is very enjoyable. It releases endorphins, that feel-good neurotransmitter associated with the runner’s high. It decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, resulting in relaxation for the whole body. It increases serotonin, the mood-lifter. During an acupuncture treatment most people either fall asleep or drift off into a deeply relaxed mind state similar to meditation. Patients leave their appointment “walking on a cloud” with a goofy relaxed smile on their face. Aside from addressing whatever complaint brought you through the door, expect to also enjoy improved quality of sleep, clarity of mind, smoother digestion, higher energy, and better ability to handle stress.

2. Acupuncture Doesn’t Hurt

Acupuncture needles are literally 1/6 the size of your average syringe-type needle, making it more accurate to compare to a bristle than any needle. Sometimes you feel nothing during an acupuncture needle insertion. Often you will feel “something” but it is such a minor feeling that you won’t be able to attach a descriptive word to the sensation. Rarely, a needle insertion will feel a bit more sensitive, resulting in a slight pinch or zing, but still does not come close to what you feel with a hypodermic syringe. You almost never hear the word “ow” in the treatment room of a skilled acupuncturist. Once the needle is in place you might feel a faint ache that is sort of pleasant…or nothing at all.

3. Acupuncture Treats More Than Pain

Acupuncture is great for pain. Any kind of pain: acute, chronic, headaches, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, autoimmune pain, post-operative pain, neck/back pain, or pain in any joint. It is also highly effective for much more! Insomnia, menopause, digestion problems, allergies, depression, anxiety, fertility, menstrual complaints, headaches, stress, chemotherapy side effects, head colds….the list goes on. Many patients are frustrated by the lack of effective, side-effect-free, options in western medicine for chronic complaints. Those subclinical, and non-life-threatening conditions that make lives miserable tend to respond extremely well to acupuncture.

4. Acupuncture Is Cumulative

Every once in a great while a patient has complete resolution of their complaint with just one treatment. More commonly, you will feel improvements that lasts longer and longer with each successive treatment. It is a process of training your body to stay in a place of being wellness when it has been in the habit of being unwell. Once your body can maintain the healthy state on its own, without sliding back into the old habit, your course of treatment will be finished. The enjoyable nature of the acupuncture experience often leads patients to return occasionally for a “tune-up” whenever life gets stressful to prevent illness, injury, or melt-down.

5. Acupuncture Isn’t A Belief System

Acupuncture is a field of healthcare. The way acupuncture is practiced today is a mix of ancient techniques paired with modern medicine to balance all the interconnected systems of the body. You don’t have to “believe in it” in order for it to work. People of every religion practice as acupuncturists and find no conflict with their beliefs, much like western medicine doctors. For a glimpse of the technical science research involving acupuncture going on around the world, go to the PubMed (US government online warehouse for published medical studies) website and type “acupuncture” into the search field.