Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture
How does acupuncture work?
Currently, there are a number of theories as to how exactly acupuncture works. It was once thought that inserting needles into specific parts of the body affected nerves and could inhibit their signal transmission. This was thought to explain why acupuncture could treat pain so well. But when doctors mapped the acupuncture points over the known nerve network they found that there was some correlation, but not nearly enough to explain most of its effects. Another theory stated that acupuncture stimulates the release of opioids and endorphins in the central nervous system. Although this could explain certain analgesic effects, it could not explain many others. The most current theory speculates that acupuncture points are actually strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates and resets the polarity of different parts of the body. This latest theory is by far the most comprehensive and most promising explanation for why acupuncture works in Western medical terminology.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture in general is not painful. The needles are extremely thin (about the width of 2 human hairs), solid, disposable and flexible. Sensations that you will normally experience are a dull ache or tingling which is associated with the movement of energy stimulated by the insertion of the needles. This is a desired affect and should not feel painful.
How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
The amount of treatments you will need depends upon a number of different factors. The longer you have had the condition, the more treatments you will generally need. If you have an acute condition, you may only require one or two sessions. Chronic conditions, that you have had for many years, may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes.At your first visit, we will take a detailed health history and decide on an appropriate treatment plan based on your symptoms and diagnosis.