What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of therapy that has
been around for thousands of years. It utilizes very fine, sterile
needles that are inserted into specific areas of the body to provide a
therapeutic effect, promoting natural, self healing. Often times gentle stimulation is applied to select needles to enhance the effect.
How does it Work?
Acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves in the area of complaint, as well as at the spinal level, where information is sent to the brain. Chemicals such as endorphins are released, which help to reduce pain. It also works to increase blood flow to the area and speed up healing time.
Acupuncture can also stimulate other areas of your brain to release hormones such as oxytocin, which gives a calming effect and an overall feeling of well-being. It helps to relax an overactive nervous system. Even if someone is being treated for a muscle related condition, it is common to also experience the feel-good and calming benefits.
Does it Hurt?
Acupuncture generally is pain-free due to the slenderness of the needles, but you may feel a slight pin prick initially, similar to a mosquito bite. This usually subsides right away. Sometimes there may be a dull ache or warm sensation, or a feeling of fullness. Acupuncture is quite relaxing and people will often fall asleep during treatment.
Electric stimulation is generally used on select needles to enhance the therapeutic effect of acupuncture. This added sensation can sometimes feel like a tapping or a slight prickle or tingle, but the intensity is never too high where it is uncomfortable. It may also cause a muscle twitch, which is completely normal.
What can it Help?