Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

It seems like acupuncturists are appearing everywhere these days. This holistic and complementary approach has been utilized by Eastern cultures for thousands of years. Within the philosophy of acupuncture, the energy within the body can be released with the use of thin needles, and in turn, this may provide relief from certain ailments. Knowing this, you might have booked an appointment with a local certified acupuncturist but have some questions.

Here are those frequently asked questions about acupuncture answered:

  • What is acupuncture?

As noted above, acupuncture is a holistic healing philosophy and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that has been used for at least 3,000 years. The idea behind acupuncture is this notion of “qi” or energy within the body that passes through points, or “meridians,” within the body. When these nodes become blocked, symptoms of illnesses are experienced. In order to release this energy, a trained acupuncturist will insert thin needles into the skin to increase circulation to the meridians and unblock the energy flow.

  • How does acupuncture work?

Extremely fine needles are inserted into the skin, usually in line with the Chinese meridians. By stimulating these points, the surrounding fascial connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels dilate slightly to increase blood flow. This helps with relaxing muscles and other tissues that might have been injured or are too sore for other types of therapeutic manipulation. Natural painkillers, like endorphins, are also released.

  • Are the needles big?

No. The needles are very small, and you can hardly feel them entering the skin. In fact, 10 acupuncture needles can fit onto the tip of a single hypodermic needle.

  • How many acupuncture sessions are usually needed?

The answer to that questions lies with you. Every individual is different, as are their needs. Because of this, most people will generally do 2-3 acupuncture sessions a month until whatever discomfort they have disappears. Others will continue with their acupuncture treatment long after they are feeling better simply because they enjoy the experience. That said, if the condition you came to receive relief from doesn’t disappear, it is probably something that acupuncture cannot help with. Should that happen, it’s recommended you see a physician.

  • What kinds of conditions can acupuncture help with?

Acupuncture has been noted to provide relief from issues with sinusitis, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, PMS, asthma, colds, migraines, ear aches, and more. Athletes also like acupuncture for relief from muscle soreness and DOMS.

  • Do acupuncturists need special training?

Yes! And you should never go to one who doesn’t have accreditation from one of the three Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) designations that have been regulated in North America. These designations certify that the individual has practiced acupuncture and TCM for at least three full years. Furthermore, they need training in Biomedical sciences and need to pass a board exam. Acupuncturists must renew their licenses frequently.

Although this is just a glimpse at acupuncture, we hope that some of your questions about a typical acupuncture session have been answered. If you have any further questions, please contact us to learn more!