Acupuncture – What Does it Treat?

August 10, 2017

how does acupuncture workAcupuncture is a 3,500-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organizations (WHO) as well as numerous universities have documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture enjoys a great reputation for treating pain of all sorts, ranging from back and neck pain, joint pain, headaches, neurological issues, menstrual pain, and more.  In addition, acupuncture is used to regulate the body’s functionality and thereby can help support other treatments for a multitude of health issues.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites-commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.

Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi or energy in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Treatment?

First, your acupuncturist will ask about your chief health issue.  That will be followed by a health history. Then, they will feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition. To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupoints are stimulated on various areas of your body. Most people feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between five and 30 minutes. During and after treatments, people report that they feel very relaxed.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The frequency and number of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually less visits are required; usually eight to ten visits in total. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed during your initial visit.

What Conditions are Normally Treated By Acupuncture?

Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats many conditions.  These range from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, drug withdrawal, neurological issues, low energy, menstrual problems, endocrine dysfunction, auto immune disorders, lung issues, and urological disorders.  If you are unsure if acupuncture would help your issue, contact us at the Wholeness Center to see how he we help.