I’m on my way to CT, which has mostly involved sitting in the Tucson airport for 3 hours so far. So here I am with a new blog post, airport delays are good for something after all! Although people ask me all sorts of questions when it comes to this ancient technique that can be very difficult to understand, there are some key questions that I’m asked almost on a daily basis. Check out the list below for the answers to the 3 most commonly asked questions about acupuncture.
1. Does acupuncture hurt?
There isn’t really a simple answer to this question. In general, most people do not find acupuncture to be painful. There can be a slight pinch as the needle is inserted, particularly in areas without a lot of flesh (like the wrists and ankles). There are also a variety of treatment styles, some practitioners acquire strong stimulation on the needles, other practitioners aim to have very little sensation. I’m somewhere in the middle. I like for people to feel what we call a “De Qi” sensation, which can feel achy, warm, tingling, heavy or even itchy. This sensation indicates that the point is being activated. Some people don’t feel anything at all and this is perfectly fine as well!
2. How does acupuncture work?
There is definitely no simple answer to this question either! There are a variety of theories behind how and why acupuncture works. In general, acupuncture points are selected based on the pattern presentation.
Certain points are added to remove obstructions to rid the body of stagnation of qi, blood or dampness (essentially accumulated fluid). Other points are added to draw qi, yin or yang towards them where there is deficiency. Ultimately, we are using the meridians and the acupuncture points along their trajectories to enable the body to come back in to balance.
3. What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture treats so many things! Acupuncture’s claim to fame is pain relief, and for good reason, it is amazing at alleviating all sorts of pain. It can also be used to treat digestive symptoms, sleep disorders, menstrual irregularities and pain, addictions, stress, depression and anxiety! The symptoms people experience are the body’s way of communicating that something is out of balance. In Chinese medicine we listen to what the body is saying, and treat what we see. We don’t chase symptoms around thereby creating other disharmonies in the body. Instead, we treat the root cause of all of the symptom(s) simultaneously. You might be coming in for migraines and find that acupuncture not only alleviates the migraines, but helps you to sleep more soundly as well while also regulating your menstrual cycle. If you’re not sure if acupuncture is appropriate for your health concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out!
Check out the Acupuncture FAQs page for more answers to commonly asked questions!