Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice that dates back thousands of years. People all over the world use acupuncture to treat illnesses and support wellness. More and more people in the United States are turning to alternative therapies like acupuncture to relieve pain and improve health.
At Legacy Pain and Regenerative Medicine, our chiropractic physician and family nurse practitioner, Dr. Trace Alexander, is certified in acupuncture and uses the ancient therapy to treat many health conditions, including pain and anxiety.
If you feel a bit squeamish about the thought of someone sticking tiny needles all over your body, you’re not alone. Here, we want to explain what you can expect during and after acupuncture in hopes that it will ease your anxiety and apprehension.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a healing technique that involves inserting very fine needles into specific points in the skin. In traditional Chinese medicine, placement of the acupuncture needles aims to rebalance the body’s life force (qi) or flow of energy. In Western medicine, acupuncture needles stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.
Though researchers are still investigating how acupuncture works, it’s theorized that the needles stimulate the release of chemicals — like endorphins and neurotransmitters — that control pain and nerve impulses.
What to expect during acupuncture
Dr. Alexander is a certified acupuncturist, and he customizes your treatment plan based on your diagnosis and symptoms. Before creating your plan, he reviews your symptoms and health history and performs a physical exam. Then he talks with you about his findings and explains how acupuncture can help.
The needles Dr. Alexander uses for acupuncture are very thin (as thin as a strand of hair), sterile, and disposable. Most people don’t feel anything during insertion of the needle, but you may feel an initial pinch or a mild ache when the needle hits the desired depth.
You may have anywhere from 5-20 acupuncture needles inserted during a session. Placement of the needles may not be at the source of your pain or ailment, but at specific acupoints known to play a role in your condition. The needles stay in place for 10-20 minutes while you relax on the acupuncture table.
There’s no discomfort during removal of the acupuncture needles.
What to expect after acupuncture
How you feel after acupuncture varies. Many people experience a sense of calm following their acupuncture treatment, others feel energized after acupuncture.
Acupuncture takes time to work, and you need a series of sessions to get the full benefits. If you decide to try acupuncture, we recommend you commit to at least six sessions. If it helps, we continue, and if it doesn’t, we try something else.
We also combine acupuncture with other therapies that benefit your health like chiropractic care, pain management, and nutrition.
Don’t let the needles stop you from trying acupuncture. It’s a safe therapy that supports healing and health.
We can assess your health and talk to you about your treatment options. Call one of our offices in Plano or Addison, Texas, or book an appointment online today.