What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that helps promote healing and improve function through the insertion of needles and the application of electrical stimulation or heat at different points throughout the body. The Chinese believed that there are energy channels that run throughout the body, helping to nourish and irrigate tissues. Medical acupuncture helps to unblock obstructions in these channels. Re-establishing these energy channels helps the body to correct imbalances and heal itself.
According to modern science, acupuncture helps stimulate the release of chemicals from the nervous system. These chemicals can help change the way one experiences pain, but they can also trigger the release of hormones and additional chemicals that stimulate the body’s natural abilities to heal.
What is medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is quite similar to traditional acupuncture, but it’s performed by a doctor who has been licensed and trained in Western medicine as well as in acupuncture. Many doctors who use medical acupuncture combine it with traditional treatment methods when necessary.
What is medical acupuncture used for?
Typically, acupuncture is associated most often with pain management, but with the right doctor, it has many effective uses. There are three main areas of care that medical acupuncture can be used in:
- To promote overall well-being
- To prevent illness
- To treat certain medical conditions
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the efficacy of acupuncture to treat many different medical problems, which include:
- Digestive disorders (constipation, diarrhea, spastic colon, bloating, and other related issues)
- Respiratory disorders (sinusitis, asthma, chest infections, bronchitis, and other breathing issues)
- Neurological disorders (headaches, neck pain, facial tics, tendinitis, sciatica, and more)
- Menstrual, urinary, and reproductive problems
When it comes to physical discomfort or other problems related to stress and tension, acupuncture has been shown to be particularly helpful.
What are the side effects of medical acupuncture?
In most cases, there are no side effects to medical acupuncture. But some people do experience a worsening of their original symptoms for the first few days following treatment. Others may experience changes in their emotional state, sleep, appetite, and/or urine and bowel patterns. It is common for people to experience mild disorientation or deep relaxation after their first couple of treatments, but this should pass quickly, and you should never need more than a little bit of rest to fully recover.
Does medical acupuncture hurt?
Everyone has their own individual experience when it comes to medical acupuncture, but most patients report feeling only a minimal amount of pain with the insertion of the needles. Others say they feel no pain at all. After the needles are in place, any pain that may have existed should be gone. Acupuncture needles are not hollow or as sharp as hypodermic needles, so it’s much less painful than blood samples or typical injections. There is also less risk of bruising or skin irritation with acupuncture needles.
Does medical acupuncture work?
Throughout the past 2,000 years, there have been more people successfully treated with acupuncture than those treated with all of the other treatments combined. While it may have originated in Ancient China, it is now used across the globe, and it’s becoming more and more recognized as a complementary treatment option in Western medicine.
Is medical acupuncture covered by insurance?
Some insurance plans cover the costs of acupuncture, but not all of them will. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the value of acupuncture, so please check your policy to find out if you are covered before you schedule your appointment.
Is medical acupuncture right for you?
If you’re looking for relief from chronic pain, respiratory issues, or even digestive disorders, acupuncture may help you find it. Dr. Sniezek can help you determine if it’s the right treatment option for your needs. Request an appointment today!