Acupuncture uses thin filiform needles which are inserted through the skin into strategic points on your body. It is most comonly used to treat pain, but can be used for so much more! In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) each point is chosen base on the local location, the meridian pathway, or the organ channel. In TCM it is sain that by using specific points on the body, the energy or life force can flow throughout your body to help your body find balance. Western practitioners describe the way acupuncture works in a more anatomical way. The western view is that when the needle is inserted there is a stimulation to the nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, and this stimulation can boost your bodies natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
Does it hurt?
This is one of the most common questions that as an acupuncture practitioner I get asked. And the answer is not a simple yes or no. No, it probably doesn't hurt in the way you think inserting a needle into your skin would feel. Do to the needles very thin size it does not feel like it does when you get a shot or give blood. But ofter there is a sensation that you get after a needle is inserted. This is a sensation in TCM we call "da qi," it can range from a burning, aching, dull, heavy, or cool sensation. But some patients may experience slight pain other than the "da qi" sensation. Certain points on the body may be more sensitive than other, but there should never be unbearable pain during an acupuncture treatment.
What can it treat?
Some general issues acupuncture can treat are: allergies, asthma, sinusitis, headaches, TMJ, back pain, sciatica, musculoskeletal problems, insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, depression, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, addictions, indigestion, constipation and more. It is also great for many women's and men's health issues. But, acupuncture is not just for when you have a problem, acupuncture is great for preventitive health, such as stress management, wellness or just a seasonal attunement.