What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work?

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

For those who suffer from pain, you may have considered many different forms of treatment to bring you relief from your symptoms so that you can live a pain-free life. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine used for various types of pain that you may be experiencing but where did it originate from and what happens to the body with the techniques are applied? Let’s uncover some of the truths about this ancient medicine.

The origins of acupuncture

The practice of acupuncture comes from the belief that there is an energy called ‘qi’ that flows through your body. When ‘qi’ is not allowed to flow freely, it can cause problems, such as pain or illness. After acupuncture, it is believed that this energy is allowed to flow freely once more, which can rid you of the pain that you are experiencing. 

What happens when you receive acupuncture?

Acupuncture is performed by inserting very small needles into your skin. This may be combined with light pressure and heat from your acupuncturist. Usually, the needles are then left in your skin for 15-20 minutes, and these may be moved during this time. The needles are long, and they could be placed just under your skin or deeper into your muscle, depending on your condition.

Once you have received your treatment, the needles are removed from your skin and safely disposed of. 

It is thought the needles encourage your body to release endorphin hormones after you have had the treatment and thus relieve the pain you are feeling. Endorphins are responsible for helping you to deal with your pain, and releasing these endorphins can bring you the relief you are looking for.

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How can acupuncture be used?

Acupuncture can relieve pain and illness, and it is commonly used to treat headaches and migraines. As well as this, acupuncture can also help to bring pain relief from:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Myofascial pain
  • And others

What can you gain from using acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a safe treatment when performed right. For this reason, make sure you choose your acupuncturist carefully. The side effects from this treatment are also minimal, and while you may feel a slight prick when the needles go into your skin, it is not usually a painful treatment. 

Choosing your acupuncture practitioner

If you are suffering from pain, and you want to benefit from acupuncture, it is imperative to choose a licensed acupuncturist. This ensures that you get the treatment you need from experienced practitioners. A licensed practitioner will also make sure that the needles used are sterile and non-toxic, and therefore safe for use in acupuncture. 

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Is there anyone who cannot have acupuncture?

While acupuncture is usually safe for most patients, you should not have acupuncture if you have a bleeding disorder or a metal allergy. You should also tell your acupuncturist your medical history, as well as if you are pregnant so that they can be sure that it is right for you. If you want to explore an option that avoids surgery, why not try acupuncture?