How does Acupuncture work?
One of the key philosophies of traditional Chinese medicine is the existence of thousands of pathways, called meridians, throughout your body that allow the free flow of Qi energy. By applying pressure to specific points, we relieve disruptions and blockages to improve the body’s health and relieve pain.
We perform acupuncture using specialized hair-thin needles. We insert the needles under the skin at specific points on the body and activate them with hand movements or gentle electrical stimulation.
Is Acupuncture a good choice for Chronic Pain Management?
Acupuncture treatment stimulates the nervous system, releasing chemicals that stimulate healing and promote a general feeling of well-being and healthiness. For people suffering from chronic pain, acupuncture is a non-invasive, safe, and effective way to treat and manage their pain.
Acupuncture will not interfere with other treatments and prescription medications. If you have a chronic illness that requires regular medications, acupuncture is a safe way to treat chronic pain without conflicting with those medications.
Other conditions Acupuncture treats?
Acupuncture not only effectively treats chronic pain but also successfully treats several illnesses and conditions, including:
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- Pain following dental surgery
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Myofascial pain (persistent pain or sensitivity in specific muscles)
Acupuncture treatments have also helped rehabilitate patients following an ischemic stroke. Patients experienced an improvement in post-stroke issues and complications, including shoulder pain, speech problems, dysphasia, paralysis, and depression.
Digestive problems, including gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids, may also benefit from acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture also treats ear, eye, and throat issues, respiratory problems, and musculoskeletal pain and discomfort.
Is Acupuncture safe?
When practiced by a qualified acupuncturist, it is very safe. Most people report a feeling of pressure or a slight ache when inserting the needles. Improper placement of the needles may cause more noticeable pain and discomfort, so it is essential to see a qualified acupuncturist, like those at South Shore Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is not suitable for everyone. Be sure to discuss your condition and the possibility of acupuncture benefitting you with your doctor before seeking treatment. If you are pregnant or have a pacemaker or chronic skin issues, talk to your physician before trying acupuncture.
What are the needles like?
Acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use only, FDA approved medical devices. Each needle is used once and discarded immediately after treatment to ensure complete safety of the patient. Acupuncture needles are 2 strands thin (as thick as a hair,) solid yet flexible unlike typical syringes which can be hollow or rigid.
Where do the needles go?
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that uses needles to stimulate nerve points. The location and number of needles depend on the condition being treated, but are usually always in extremities from elbows down to hands, knees down to feet or abdomen back or ears.
Does acupuncture hurt?
For most people, acupuncture is not painful. When a needle is inserted into the skin you will feel a slight prick followed by sensations of tingling, heaviness or warmth which are all normal and relate to your body responding to the treatment. These feelings usually dissipate quickly and many patients report feeling deeply relaxed during therapy sessions with some even falling asleep from being so at ease
Are there any side effects?
Unlike most drugs or medications, acupuncture has almost no side effects. Many patients feel more relaxed and less stressed after an acupuncture treatment because they are able to relax their mind as well as body. Sometimes a patient may have slight bruising around the area where the needle was placed but this only lasts for a short time before subsiding completely so it does not deter from effectiveness of the treatment in any way shape or form.
How often do I have to come?
Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually twice a week for the first two-three weeks. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.
How long does treatment last?
The first treatment session is a full survey of the patient's health history, and will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Subsequent follow-up sessions are generally an hour long.
How should I prepare for treatment?
Wear comfortable and loose clothing that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees. Make sure to eat a light meal or snack 1-2 hours prior to your visit, and refrain from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before treatment. We also recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise shortly before and after treatment. Remember to tell your practitioner all of your medications and any physical or mental conditions. If possible, bring a list of all medications to your treatment session.
Can I receive acupuncture if I'm pregnant?
Acupuncture is a great way to relieve discomfort and stress during pregnancy. But you may not want your practitioner sticking needles in sensitive areas like the stomach, so it's important for them to know that you're expecting before they start treatment!
Acupuncture can provide relief from many of the discomforts associated with being pregnant - back pain, insomnia, constipation. The skilled use of specialized needles by an expert Acupuncturist will help restore balance throughout your system and alleviate those symptoms which are both common as well as uncomfortable or inconvenient.