When you imagine acupuncture, most people associate it with pain relief. Although it is very effective at managing pain, it has many more benefits beyond pain relief. Acupuncture is used to relieve discomfort associated with a wide variety of disease and conditions, including:
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Dental pain
- Labor pain
- Back pain
- And much more
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture helps encourage the body to heal naturally. Practitioners of acupuncture insert sterile stainless steel needles into specific points located on or near the skin’s surface. The locations where the needles are inserted indicate where the electrical sensitivity in the body can be treated with acupuncture. These points have been mapped out and used for the treatment of certain health ailments for centuries. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Today, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
The needles can be left inserted into pain points for anywhere between five (5) minutes all the way up to one (1) hour, depending on the type of acupuncture being practiced and the health problem being treated.
How Does It Work?
Acupuncturists insert hair-thin needles into the skin at specific points around the body. It is virtually painless when done by someone who is experienced. The needles are thought to correct energy imbalances within the body, called qi (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncture is used to ease pain by affecting neurotransmitters, hormone levels, or the immune system.
For pain you have suddenly noticed, acupuncture should not always be your first choice. It is important to have an experienced physician diagnose what is causing the pain as a way to rule out any serious medical conditions that should be treated right away. If it’s appropriate, seek out acupuncture afterward.
How often is acupuncture needed? Every individual will be different, but on average most patients have weekly treatments until they start to notice a decrease in pain. Once you begin to notice a benefit, gradually lengthen the time until the next visit.
How much does it cost? Depending on your insurance, coverage for acupuncture may be included. If your insurance does not cover acupuncture, treatments can range anywhere from $50 to $100.
How long does the treatment last? The needles are left in place anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Needle-less acupuncture can be done in less time, sometimes in just 5 to 10 minutes. Most people find the treatments relaxing, and some even take a nap during treatment.
What Are The Risks?
As with anything, there are some risks associated. Acupuncture can be dangerous if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners. In some cases, it can cause bleeding, bruising, and soreness in the areas that the needles were inserted.
When you’re searching for an acupuncturist to go visit, make sure you do your research to find out if they are reputable and experienced. If unsterilized needles are used, dangerous infections can occur.
The United States Food and Drug Administration regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices. Manufacturing and labeling must adhere to strict standards. The needles must be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for one use only by a licensed practitioner.
Experienced Acupuncturists at Fletcher Chiropractic.
Acupuncture is an effective, natural way to treat discomfort associated with several different conditions. At Fletcher Chiropractic, our experienced staff and physicians will help you decide if Acupuncture is right for you. If you’re noticing new pain in your body, we’re here to help diagnose it and find the best treatment option for you.
Call us to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Curtis or Kadi Fletcher.