Your Acupuncture Questions Answered
Updated: Jan 27
Acupuncture is an old practice of holistic medicine, but it is still a very new procedure to many people who are just trying it for the first time. As acupuncture grows in popularity, you may be thinking about trying it to help treat your specific health conditions. It is important to do research and be informed before your acupuncture appointment to ensure that it is the right treatment for you.
If you have been thinking about trying acupuncture, it is likely that you have a long list of questions about the procedure. Does it hurt? What are the benefits? How should I prepare for my appointment? This post will answer some of the most popular questions about acupuncture to help you learn more about the procedure.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a centuries-old Chinese method of treating a variety of conditions by triggering specific points of the body by piercing the skin with thin, sterile needles to balance the body’s energy.
Traditional Chinese medicine claims that health is the result of a balance of the energy force known as Qi (“chi”). Illness is therefore caused by an imbalance of Qi. Acupuncture restores the body’s balance of Qi by inserting needles into different points of the body to stimulate energy flow.
Qi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the body. These meridians are accessible through over 350 acupuncture points on the body. During acupuncture, sterile needles as thin as hair are inserted into these points in different combinations according to your specific health conditions and needs.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
This is possibly the most commonly asked question about acupuncture. Many people may fear the possibility of pain when having several needles inserted into different points of their body. Every person has a different pain threshold, but very rarely is pain reported during acupuncture treatments.
Many patients report minimal discomfort at the point of insertion, similar to a mosquito bite. Others report a sense of warmth and stimulation, but pain is not a significant feeling.
What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?
Countless lists have been compiled of numerous different health conditions that acupuncture has reportedly helped, including:
Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders: Sinusitis, sore throat, hay fever, earache, nerve deafness, ringing in the ears, dizziness, poor eyesight
Circulatory Disorders: High blood pressure, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, anemia
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colon, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, ulcers, gastritis, abdominal bloating, hemorrhoids
Gynecological and Genitourinary Disorders: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS); irregular, heavy or painful menstruation; endometriosis; menopause; fibroids; chronic bladder infection; complications in pregnancy; morning sickness; kidney stones; impotence; infertility (men and women); sexual dysfunction
Immune Disorders: Candida, chronic fatigue, HIV and AIDS, Epstein Barr virus, allergies, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), hepatitis
Addictions: Smoking, drugs, alcohol, food
Emotional and Psychological Disorders: Anxiety, insomnia, depression, stress
Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders: Arthritis, neuralgia, sciatica, back pain, bursitis, tendonitis, stiff neck, Bell's palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, headaches and migraines, stroke, cerebral palsy, polio, sprains, muscle spasms, shingles
Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, colds, and flu
Miscellaneous: Chemotherapy/radiation side effects, diabetes, dermatological disorders, weight control
This list is just a glimpse at the different conditions that acupuncture can treat. If you are unsure whether acupuncture is right for your specific condition, do your research or contact me today and I will help determine if acupuncture is right for you.
Also read: Can Acupuncture Treat TMJ?
What are the Benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a safe and minimally invasive treatment, with relatively few side effects. It can control many types of pain and may be beneficial for patients for whom certain pain medications aren’t suitable. Acupuncture is an effective practice on its own, or it can be combined with conventional procedures to treat certain conditions.
Are There Any Risks to Acupuncture?
All therapies have their own risks and acupuncture is no different. The most common risks include pain and bleeding at insertion sites, skin rashes, allergic reactions, bruising, nausea, dizziness, fainting, or infections.
The risk of adverse effects is greatly reduced when acupuncture is administered by a properly trained and licensed practitioner who uses sterile, disposable needles.
As a Licensed Acupuncturist in Edmonton, Alberta, I have extensive training in the area of acupuncture. My clients have seen the effective benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, stress and anxiety, neck pain, arthritis, and other conditions.
Acupuncture may not be right for everyone, including people with certain health conditions, specifically concerning bleeding disorders, or if you take blood thinners.
Can I Get Acupuncture as a Healthy Person?
Yes! Acupuncture is not solely meant for treating specific health conditions or pain. Anyone can benefit from the treatment of acupuncture.
As a healthy person, acupuncture can help boost your immune system and balance your body’s energy to better fight off daily pressures, such as stress, weather changes, and illness.
What Should I Expect During My Appointment?
People who have gotten acupuncture treatments commonly report feeling warm and relaxed, some have even fallen asleep during their appointments. Sensations are likely to vary between patients. Some report feeling like they are floating during their treatment, while others claim a feeling of heaviness.
You should use the bathroom prior to your appointment, as the procedure can last upwards of half an hour and it is ideal for you to relax and enjoy the treatment.
Following the treatment, it is not uncommon to experience some dizziness. Just remember to take your time getting up and be cautious of your surroundings. Many patients arrange a ride home for themselves. You should also rest for the remainder of the day. Avoid too much physical stress, as well as environments that are too hot or cold.
Book Your Acupuncture Appointment Today
Acupuncture is a popular holistic approach to treating countless health conditions. My patients commonly leave our appointments feeling reinvigorated and pain-free. I will work directly with you to target your specific concerns and help you feel like yourself again.
Did this post help answer your questions about acupuncture? Contact me today and book your first acupuncture treatment! If you are interested in booking a consultation, send me a DM on Instagram or book an appointment online. Prefer to speak over the phone? No problem - call (780) 224-7111 and we can chat about whether acupuncture is the right treatment for you!