Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular. However, there is still a stigma when it comes to knowing what it is, what it can treat, and if it more than witchcraft. Along with the curiosity of acupuncture, comes the assumptions or myths due to the use of needles, which isn't a comforting thought when you think of a treatment that is suppose to heal or even relax you.
During my time as a practitioner, I have been asked some pretty interesting and curious questions that patients and people are wondrous about. Some of these questions get asked almost on a daily basis so I thought to bring them up here to let you all know the truth about them.
This has to be the number one question I get asked the most! I can definitely understand why. I mean we are using needles, you know, sharp metal objects that get placed in the skin! Yeah, that right there seems a bit scary. However, it is actually the opposite. Most times nothing is felt when the needles are placed. But once in a while a slight pinch might be felt upon insertion but in truth, if you can handle a paper cut, which tends to sting A LOT, you can handle this one second pinch. I always tell my patients that if they do feel something uncomfortable to let me know right away so I can make an adjustment because that is all it takes...a slight adjustment to return to relaxation.
2) Only Treats Pain
Pain happens to be among the many common reasons for people seeking out acupuncture treatment. However, acupuncture is able to treat a wide range of aliments and conditions. An interesting aspect about acupuncture is that it can treat not only on the physical level but on the emotional and mental as well! Acupuncture works great in treating depression, anxiety, high stress levels, high blood pressure, insomnia, digestive disorders, reproductive disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergies, tooth pain, headaches/migraines, fertility issues, assist during pregnancy, etc. The list is a bit long, which is great for this form of traditional medicine that has been around for thousands of years.
3) Pain Relief on the First Visit
When entering a medical office, it is usually due to a medical condition or concern. The first thing a patient wants when seeing their doctor/practitioner is some relief. It is thought that acupuncture will "get rid of" whatever unfavorable ailment or condition the person is experiencing at the time. However, when working with this ancient therapy, patience is asked on the first visit because the results may take more than one session to be noticeable. That doesn't mean things aren't happening on a cellular level though. There is plenty that goes on after an acupuncture visit, especially the first session. Although that may be the case, acupuncture is a gradual form of medicine, which means it takes time for the body to catch up to what is happening. So it can take a few visits to really feel good.
4) Just Anyone Can Perform Acupuncture
In most states, certainly California, the practitioner must be licensed from the state and in some cases nationally. It is important to make sure the practitioner you want to work with is licensed. This is an intricate form of medicine that requires years of training, a Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree, and to pass a state/national board exam in order to perform it.
5) Medicine on the Needles
There is always the curiosity of the needles themselves. Patients often ask how long are the needles, how deep do they go, and what are they made of? But what people have the biggest curiosity is if the needles have some kind of medicine coating that eases pain or to help heal. The answer to that is Nope! No medicine is on the metal, just the needle itself; stainless steel. The healing comes from your own body, your own immune system, nervous system, and a whole biological army to assist. Think of acupuncture as the middle person connecting a lot of body systems back into their natural rhythms and cycles.
So take this article with you if you are planning to try acupuncture for the first time. No need to be intimidated but definitely be curious! Its an ancient art form that really has help thousands of people for several issues, even for general wellness! Go get poked! 😊