Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago. In the past two decades, its popularity has grown significantly in the United States. The procedure involves the insertion of extremely thin needles at various depths at strategic points on your body.
During acupuncture treatment, the practitioner uses sterilized, individually wrapped stainless steel needles that are used only once and thrown away. You may feel a brief, sharp sensation when the needle reaches the correct spot. After placement, the needles are sometimes moved gently or stimulated with electricity or heat.
A typical acupuncture visit
Acupuncture therapy usually involves a series of weekly or biweekly treatments in an outpatient setting, and can be administered by a medical doctor, or a certified acupuncturist. A visit typically includes:
- An exam and an assessment of your current condition.
- The treatment itself (lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes)
- A discussion afterward of self-care tips.
Although scientists don't fully understand how or why acupuncture works, some studies indicate that it may provide a number of medical benefits - including helping to reduce pain.
For patients who are afraid of needles or have sensitive skin, laser acupuncture is also offered. Laser acupuncture uses a focused beam of light to stimulate the "acupoints." Like traditional acupuncture, laser acupuncture can be used for pain relief, tinnitus, post-operative nausea and vomiting, stroke-related paralysis, depression, and weight control, as well as headaches, asthma and allergies, and bedwetting in children.
In a 2006 Mayo Clinic study, acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. In addition, research shows acupuncture can help manage postoperative dental pain and alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture also appears to offer relief for chronic menstrual cramps and tennis elbow. Additional studies indicate that acupuncture may offer symptomatic relief for a variety of diseases and conditions, ranging from back and neck pain, to osteoarthritis, to depression.
More about Acupuncture from Mayoclinic.com.
How acupuncture helped one patient with her hot flashes
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture therapy or would like to make an appointment, please call 608-392-5005.