Surely you’ve heard about acupuncture but in case you’ve never had it explained, here’s a quick synopsis. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine – we mean thousands of years old – that has been successfully and safely used to treat hundreds of different ailments from chronic pain and inflammation to anxiety and depression. It works along energy channels in the body and has real scientific backing to it. The acupuncturist places hair-thin, sterile needles along these energy channels to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture has little to no side effects and has helped millions feel better both mentally and physically. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, give us a call and schedule an appointment with our acupuncturist to get all of your questions answered. Otherwise, read on to learn about some interesting acupuncture facts.
Is acupuncture safe and what are the benefits?
Acupuncture is a very safe practice that has been widely accepted across the world in medical facilities.
Most people who receive acupuncture do not feel the needles or feel a slight pressure where the needle is inserted. Few report any pain and when they do, it is only momentary. Acupuncture needles are single-use, prepackaged and completely sterile.
Acupuncture has been criticized by some conventional medical fields as bunk medicine. That is, until recent years when many scientists decided to put it to the test. Acupuncture has been the subject of numerous clinic studies with very positive results. A thorough review of these studies was conducted by the Acupuncture Evidence Project.
“Our study found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, with stronger evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness for some conditions than others. Acupuncture is considered safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner and has been found to be cost-effective for some conditions. The quality and quantity of research into acupuncture’s effectiveness is increasing.”
This view is also accepted by the World Health Organization and US National Institute of Health. The WHO released a report which stated they endorse the use of acupuncture for over 200 symptoms and diseases including:
- low back pain
- allergic rhinitis
- side effects of chemotherapy
- induction of labor
- and much more
Aside from being a recognized form of treatment across the world, it is also a serious profession that requires years of training, as well as, a Masters or Doctorate degree. Acupuncturists receive at least 3-4 years of training and complete hundreds of hours of clinical internships in order to receive their license. Acupuncturists are licensed by the medical board. They are also required to follow up with continued education in order to maintain that license. It is a respected and time-honored medical practice focused on healing without the distraction of prescription sponsors.
With that being said, acupuncture isn’t for everyone. The best method of treatment for whatever issue you are having may lie in dietary or lifestyle changes. Acupuncture can relieve symptoms but may not be the panacea that you’re searching for.
It’s important to enter into an acupuncture treatment with the understanding that holistic medicine is meant to treat the entire body and mind. That work continues when you leave the acupuncture table and head back into your day-to-day. The acupuncturist’s job is to trigger your body’s natural ability to heal. You will need to provide a good environment for that healing with a healthy diet, exercise, and ways to reduce stress.
Is acupuncture covered by my insurance?
It is best to call your insurance provider directly to ask them if they will cover your acupuncture treatment. Some may cover acupuncture, while others may not. Acupuncture is not covered by Medicare.
Client experience: What to expect at an acupuncture appointment
Why I chose acupuncture:
My first acupuncture appointment was intimidating. I wasn’t sure if I was going to benefit from the treatment or if I could even handle the needles themselves. Sticking a needle into my already sore shoulder seemed very counterintuitive but I had tried massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic for years. This was really my last option. Chronic shoulder and neck pain had become so persistent over the last 10 years that I had accepted it as my new normal.
My consultation with my acupuncturist was brief. He asked me some seemingly unrelated questions about my digestive health, sleep patterns, diet, and circulation. He then checked my pulse and my tongue. I’m sure it was all related to the intricate nature of Chinese medicine but I couldn’t tell you how they all tied together.
I laid face down on a massage style table and he placed a series of long, thin needles into my shoulder. I knew it was happening and could feel a pressure as he was placing them but they were not painful. It was very uncomfortable for the first 10 minutes. I wanted to shift, like someone was poking me in the back. After those first few minutes though, I felt waves of relief cover my shoulder area. It was like I finally had circulation in a long-dead spot of my back.
When he came to remove the needles, I almost asked to stay longer. When I sat up, I could feel that the rope-like muscle that ran along my neck and shoulder which had been plaguing me for over a decade was just jelly. I squished at the spot in disbelief for days. I’ve had massage therapists dedicate an entire hour to trying to break apart that knot, now I couldn’t even find what muscle it had belonged to. It’s as though he had pulled it out when he removed the needles. I still can’t believe that one session of acupuncture fixed a problem that I had become so accustomed to that I was certain it would never leave. But that was months ago and I still have full mobility of my once stiff shoulder and neck.
I know that acupuncture may not be the answer to everyone’s health issues but I absolutely believe that it is worth a try.
Ready for Acupuncture?
Still have questions? Of course you do! Acupuncture may be a brand new experience for you but it could be the best thing you ever do for your health. We love answering acupuncture questions and can’t wait to help you unlock the key to lasting health. Give us a call at (406) 926-1881 or stop in today.