A form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is enjoying increasing acceptance as an effective tool for wellness, but it can still seem a bit exotic.
To help prospective patients who are unfamiliar with the practice feel more comfortable, here are the answers to five frequently asked questions about acupuncture.
1. Does acupuncture hurt?
The fact that acupuncture uses needles puts concerns about pain at the top of many a potential patient’s list of questions.
However, the needles used are different from the ones used for various injections.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, and most patients report little or no pain.
2. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is widely considered to be safe when performed by a trained professional.
The needles used are sterile, disposable and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The most common risks associated with acupuncture include bruising, bleeding, muscle spasms and fainting.
3. What issues can acupuncture help with?
The list of issues that acupuncture may offer some relief for is rather lengthy. Highlights include:
- Back and neck pain
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Dental pain
- Sprains and strains
- Menstrual cramps and labor pain
- Postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
4. How many appointments will I need?
Acupuncture is generally administered in a series of sessions.
While the number of treatments required depends on the problem, acute issues typically respond more quickly than conditions that are chronic or complex.
Some people find weekly or monthly acupuncture sessions beneficial.
5. How should a patient prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
During an acupuncture session, the acupuncturist may require access to points on the torso and limbs that are normally concealed by clothing, so it helps to wear loose, comfortable clothing. If possible, patients should try to avoid:
- Participating in vigorous activity in the hour preceding treatment
- Eating a heavy meal in the hour prior to treatment
- Fasting for more than six hours before treatment
- Using alcohol or tobacco immediately before treatment
- Consuming food or drinks that color the tongue immediately before treatment
Make an appointment today to learn about the wide array of health benefits acupuncture offers.