Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting very thin needles through the skin at strategic points of the body. It works to alleviate pain and inflammation, as well as treat a variety of conditions including back pain, headaches, and other chronic conditions. Despite the many health benefits that acupuncture provides, many people are hesitant to give it a try due to the thought of using needles as a form of treatment. As there are several myths regarding acupuncture, this month’s blog will debunk the most common ones for you.
1) Acupuncture is Painful
One of the most common misconceptions regarding acupuncture is that it is a painful treatment. As acupuncture requires the use of needles, it’s natural to think that it may cause pain or discomfort, however, the treatment is far from painful. The needles used are very thin and fine – just slightly thicker than a strand of hair. While you may or may not feel a slight pinch with the initial needle set-up, a deep relaxation usually occurs within minutes. Any discomfort will fade as your Acupuncturist adjusts the needles, in which patients are often surprised that they rest or even fall asleep while the needles are in. Remember, the goal of acupuncture is to make the treatment as comfortable as possible, so any discomfort will be very much limited by the technique of your certified Acupuncturist.
2) Acupuncture is Outdated
Although acupuncture has been around for a very long time, it is a treatment that several medical institutions recommend. Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health identify acupuncture as a valid and effective form of treatment for a variety of conditions. In fact, many doctors refer their patients for acupuncture and insurance companies now cover it for a wide range of purposes. Acupuncture is used by people of all age groups, in which many people seek out acupuncture as it is a low-risk approach to pain management.
3) Acupuncture Only Works for Pain Relief
It is true that acupuncture is a very effective treatment for pain relief, however, it is not only limited to pain management. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of health conditions, including:
- Knee and Back Pain
- Headaches and Migraines
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Stomach Pain
- Chemotherapy Side Effects
- High Blood Pressure
- Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
- Allergies and Asthma
- Circulation and Recovery
- Immune System and Illnesses
- Menstrual Cramps and Menopause Side Effects
4) Acupuncture in Unhygienic
Many people who have little to no experience with acupuncture worry that it is unhygienic and that the needles may transfer illnesses or diseases from one patient to another. However, this is not the case. Each needle comes in an individual, sterilized package, in which no single needle is reused. Brand new needles are used at each session and the needles are immediately disposed of in a sharps biohazard container, exactly the same as those used in hospitals. There is no need for concern in terms of the health and cleanliness of acupuncture needles.
5) Once You Start Acupuncture, You’ll Always Need It
Each patient has their own individual response to acupuncture. Some patients with minor issues can respond rather quickly to the treatment, in which one to three sessions will do the trick. Whereas others may need up to eight or ten treatments to notice sufficient improvement. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative as it is more of a process than a one-time treatment. Depending on the condition of the patient, follow-up appointments can range from every couple of weeks to monthly sessions – it all depends on the patients’ goals and conditions.
As you can see, there are several misconceptions regarding acupuncture, in which we hope this blog helps you better understand acupuncture as an effective form of treatment for a wide range of conditions. If you’re interested in acupuncture and would like to learn more about the services available to you at LiveWell, please feel free to contact any of our four clinic locations. We offer acupuncture at all of our clinics as patients seek our services because of our holistic approach to acupuncture. We not only want to help our patients with pain relief and management, but we also want to empower them with the knowledge of how to improve their overall health and lifestyle. Contact us today to book an appointment at our Lancaster, Waterloo, Driftwood, or Baden locations.
Want more lifestyle advice on how to improve your health and wellness? Get in touch with our LiveWell Health and Physiotherapy Kitchener (Lancaster and Driftwood), Baden, or Waterloo teams for more information and to book your next appointment. You can also reach out to us by email or social media, and one of our team members will be more than happy to answer any of your questions! All of our practitioners have tips and expert guidance to help improve your health and overall quality of your life.