I’ve found that when I meet new people and they discover that I’m an acupuncturist, they’re both intrigued and afraid at the same time. To help shed some light on this, I’ve put together some answers to the top 5 questions I get asked:
1. Does it hurt?
It’s my experience that everybody has differing comfort levels of when it comes to acupuncture treatments. For most, when the needles are inserted they barely notice I’ve started where others have said the initial insertion feels comparable to a mosquito bite, ‘twanging’ sensation or even a dulled-down bee sting. I have many patients that also feel so relaxed they even fall asleep during sessions.
I understand the fear most people have relates to hypodermic needles used for shots and drawing blood. Although still in the needle family, acupuncture needles are different as they are much thinner, flexible, and roughly the diameter of a human hair compared to their thick, stiff and hollow hypodermic cousins.
2. What does it feel like?
Again, there are a variety of descriptions I’ve heard with some people feeling a subtle throbbing or heavy sensation to tingling, warmth or even numbness. As long as the feeling is not pain, these sensations are a good sign that the body is reacting to the stimulation and the treatment is working effectively.
3. How does it work?
Within your body lies a series of channels or superhighways that carry electrical and chemical signals to all areas of the body for it to function in a healthy, efficient manner. Sometimes, these pathways suffer interference through injury or illness. Acupuncture treatments serve to stimulate these channels, promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and allow the body to clear any obstacles and ease pain, to improve the flow of energy throughout your body.
4. How quickly can I expect results?
I’ve seen people achieve immediate result and relief during their first treatment and others with more deep-set conditions take longer with delayed results before they see improvement or change. Depending on the condition we are treating and how aggressive you want to be in terms of our discussed approach, I typically suggest a series of 1 or 2 visits per week for roughly 5 to 6 weeks while reviewing your progress and adjusting the treatment strategy based on results achieved and longer-term maintenance or follow-ups. Of course, chronic (or long-lasting) conditions usually involve more treatments than acute or new injuries.
5. How safe is it?
Registered acupuncturists in BC (like myself) are Board certified and undergo a minimum of 3 years of comprehensive training, education and rigorous testing while at the same time, completing over 450 hours of supervised patient care in the schools acupuncture clinic before they are officially licensed to practice.
Practitioners are trained to use the utmost care and cleanliness using sterilized, single-use needles that are securely and safely discarded following the provinces biohazard disposal regulations.
I hope the above clears up some of the questions you may have had and encourage you to ask any additional questions that you feel I missed. I’d be happy to answer them for you in the comments section below or privately if you wish to email me at: email@example.com
Until next time, wishing you the best of health!