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Answered! The most frequently asked questions about acupuncture.

Posted: 2013-12-16 12:21 Permanent Link

Answered! The most frequently asked questions about acupuncture.

If you’re like most people you’ve heard of acupuncture but you’re curious how sticking needles in someone can help them feel better? These are the answers to most frequently asked questions about acupuncture:

What is acupuncture? Acupuncture has been employed as a health care modality for over 3000 years. Small, single-use, disposable needles (similar in size to a cat’s whisker) are inserted at specific points on the body correlating with your symptoms. The needles are left in place for up to 30 minutes and then removed.

How does acupuncture work? In Chinese medicine, blockages of energy contribute to pain and disease. The needles help to move this energy or ‘qi’. Free-flowing energy results in better health and prevention of disease. In modern medicine terms, acupuncture has been found to stimulate secretion of endorphins and ‘feel good’ brain chemicals, improve circulation and inhibit pain transmission.

Does it hurt? You may be surprised by how relaxing acupuncture can be. The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. Where the needle has been inserted you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. After treatment you may feel energized, or may experience a deep sensation of relaxation and well-being, depending on the points needled.

What can acupuncture treat? Acupuncture is recognized to be effective in treating a wide variety of medical problems such as:

  • hormonal imbalance and fertility enhancement (some studies show women undergoing IVF were up to 50% more likely to become pregnant when they integrated acupuncture into their normal IVF treatments)
  • acute and chronic pain
  • stress-induced conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances

How many treatments will I need? Treatment plans are customized to the unique needs of each patient and special attention is given to ensure a comfortable and relaxed treatment environment. In addition to Acupuncture, your treatments may also incorporate herbal support and diet, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle recommendations. It’s important to remember TCM is not a quick fix as it may take time to rebalance your body’s nervous system, though positive changes can be expected within the first couple of treatments.

Is it covered by insurance? Some insurance plans include acupuncture coverage. Please check with yours to understand the terms of your coverage.

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