Acupuncture is a form of treatment that utilizes small sterile needles that are placed at specific points on the body called meridian points. Its origins are from China 3000-5000 years ago. World wide, more individuals are treated each year with acupuncture than any other type of procedure. When performed correctly, it is painless, sterile, and virtually free of side effects.
How does it work?
While there is no definite answer on how acupuncture works, studies have shown that acupuncture points are more richly supplied with nerve endings and conduct electricity better than the surrounding skin areas. The application of needles into specific areas stimulates the body's production of natural hormonal painkilling chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, and triggers the release of certain neural hormones including serotonin.
Every patient is different, and although acupuncture works the majority of the time there are no certainties in health care. Generally each treatment takes from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the problem, and requires various placement of needles on specific points. Depending on your individual situation you might notice improvement starting after the first treatment, or it may take several more treatments before you see a change. Most commonly it takes only from two to three treatments to see significant decreases in pain levels, but for more chronic problems, can require up to six before a difference in noticed.
The acupuncture treatment uses extremely thin, individually packaged, sterile, one time use needles. The depth the needle goes depends on the nature of the problem, the location of the points selected, and the patient’s size. Usually needles are only inserted a few millimeters into the area. During the initial insertion of the needle most people feel little or no sensation. If they feel something, it is usually a quick, minor pinch.