8 FAQs About Acupuncture Answered
During my day at work, I usually encounter at least one of (if not some of) these questions. I don’t usually think much of it when I answer but it did dawn on me that maybe it would be a good idea to post something up so anyone browsing through here could get an idea of what goes on during the process of getting acupuncture.
I’m sure that these may not necessarily answer all the questions that anyone may have of an acupuncture treatment (and what it entails) but I wanted to do a slow intro to this to “whet the appetite” and stoke some curiosity. The same Q & A can be found in my personal blog too if you want to hang out there for awhile (see: https://darylfang.
Of course, I do welcome more questions on the subject so the doors are always open for anyone who may still want to know more. Just drop me an email or a message!
For now, some appetizers to open up the discussion:
1. What is acupuncture?
to the Oxford Dictionary, acupuncture is defined as a “system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and treat various physical, mental and emotional conditions”
It generally involves inserting a fine stainless steel needle into specific acupoints that are found along the different meridians of the human body.
2. What sorts of needles are used?
We use fine, stainless steel needles that are single-use only and disposable. They are blister packed in pre-sterlized packages and come in a variety of different lengths and thicknesses.
3. Does acupuncture hurt?
Because the needles used in acupuncture are so thin, the patient generally feels only a very quick prick when it is initially tapped onto the surface of the skin. Once past the superficial layer, there is minimal sensation.
Some patients report feeling a sensation of pressure on the spot where the needle is inserted or, even a slight “dull” feeling – much like a minor ache or soreness. Some even report a feeling of tingling, warmth or when treating febrile conditions, general coolness after a few minutes of treatment.
4. What can I use acupuncture for?
Acupuncture can be used safely and effectively to alleviate and manage the symptoms of a variety of ailments including (but not only limited to):
– Arthritis and joint pain
– Diabetes and metabolic syndromes
– Headaches and migraines
– Managing women’s health: including menopause, assisting in natural birth, easing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, maintaining a woman’s health prior to, during and after pregnancy
– The common cold and flu
– Sports injuries
– Skin conditions
– Stress and anxiety
– Quitting smoking
– Curbing cravings
– Maintain general overall well-being
-Constipation and/or diarrhea
– Digestive ailments
– Chronic fatigue
– Thyroid disorders
5. How many sessions will I need?
Because conditions affect each person differently, it is recommended that a patient first has an initial assessment with the practitioner before an individually tailored treatment program is decided upon. Conditions can vary depending on factors such as age of the patient, how long he/she has had it for, whether the condition is chronic or if it is acute. A discussion with the practitioner will help ascertain the number of treatment sessions appropriate for the particular patient.
6. Can I use acupuncture along with other modalities of treatment?
Yes you can! Acupuncture is a great complement to other forms of treatment including massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic therapy, homeopathic treatments, naturopathic treatments and/or general western medicine treatments to name a few!
7. Is acupuncture safe?
In most cases where the practitioner has been properly trained by the appropriate educational institution (usually at tertiary level for up to five years for degree level certification) and licensed by the appropriate regulatory body, acupuncture is a safe and effective, natural treatment for all patients of all ages.
8. What do I need to prepare for an acupuncture session?
Generally it is recommended that a patient has eaten prior to receiving acupuncture. A small light snack (such as an apple, a handful of nuts or seeds etc) is appropriate as not eating anything before you have treatment can sometimes cause the patient to feel faint during the session.
Before receiving treatment, you will be asked whether you have had any food in the last 2-3 hours. If you haven’t, treatment may in some cases be declined.
Clothing should be loose-fitting and not too tight as you may be requested to roll up your pant legs or shirt sleeves to allow the practitioner to use acupoints along the arms or legs. Sometimes clothing may need to be removed to be able to access points on the upper thighs, back, stomach or chest. Although towels are provided for a session, it is recommended that a light jacket or scarf be brought along for additional warmth since the body temperature drops slightly as the patient relaxes during a treatment.
Be prepared to fall asleep in some cases. We are more than happy to wake you at the appropriate time should you require!