$60/Session (over 45min)
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called chi (say "chee"), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance. Acupuncture is done by putting very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.
How is acupuncture treatment done?
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. Most courses consist of up to 12 sessions. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient's condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 30 minutes. The patient will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on his/her side, depending on where the needless are inserted.
What does it feel like?
You may feel slight pressure when a needle goes in. Most people find that it doesn't hurt. The area may tingle, feel numb, itch, or be a little sore. Providers believe that this is a sign that the energy flow, or chi, has been accessed. After the needle is placed, your therapist may roll the needle slightly back and forth. Or he or she may use heat or electrical current on the needle.
What acupuncture can treat?
The most common ailments presented to an acupuncturist tend to be pain related conditions. For example; arthritis, back, neck, knee and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.
If standard treatments don't relieve your chronic low-back pain, acupuncture may do the job, and two respected medical groups suggest that people in this situation give it a try. One large study found that both actual and "sham" acupuncture worked better than conventional treatments for back pain that had lasted more than three months. The jury's still out on acupuncture for short-term (acute) pain in the low back.
Acupuncture may help relieve migraines or tension headaches. Two large studies found that people receiving acupuncture had fewer days with tension headaches than those receiving conventional care.
Acupuncture can be a helpful addition to conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, says the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. And some of the most promising, early research has shown acupuncture eased arthritis pain in the knee. However, more research is needed to prove without a doubt that it's effective for osteoarthritis.
Studies that test how well acupuncture works against the pain of fibromyalgia have had mixed results. Some showed that it provided temporary pain relief, but others did not. A small study by the Mayo Clinic suggested that acupuncture may reduce two other problems of fibromyalgia: fatigue and anxiety. But overall, there's not enough evidence yet to prove that acupuncture works for fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture provides relief from the pain of tooth extraction or dental surgery, but so does sham acupuncture, some studies show. Still, dental pain is considered by many to be one of the conditions that responds to acupuncture.
Who shouldn't use acupunture?
People with bleeding disorders or who take blood thinners may have increased risk of bleeding. Electric stimulating of the needles can cause problems for people with pacemakers or other electrical devices. Pregnant women should talk with their health care provider before having acupuncture. It's important not to skip conventional medical care or rely on acupuncture alone to treat diseases or severe pain.