Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years to treat everything from sleeplessness to chronic pain. It is increasingly valued by Western medicine practitioners, who view it as an alternative treatment method that can alleviate pain. Despite its widespread popularity, many first-time patients have a lot to learn about the procedure. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about acupuncture.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to treat the roots of specific problems in the body. Thin needles are placed in strategic places to stimulate energy and promote the balance of qi, or the body’s energy flow. In Western medicine, it is theorized that acupuncture needles can increase dopamine production via proper muscle and nerve stimulation.
Does It Hurt?
Acupuncture shouldn’t hurt, but it is normal to feel a slight tingling or pinching sensation when the needle is inserted just below the skin. Acupuncture needles are small, sterile, and disposable, and your practitioner will gently place them under your skin. Most patients report feeling no pain at all during acupuncture treatments.
What Should I Expect During a Session?
An acupuncture session usually begins with a physical exam, in which the Chinese medicine practitioner will assess your overall health by taking your pulse, examining your tongue, and more. Then they will determine where the needles will be inserted for the maximum impact on your qi.
How Do I Prepare for an Acupuncture Treatment?
Prior to your acupuncture session, it is best to avoid prolonged exercise, eating a large meal, and drinking, smoking, or fasting. Wear loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable to lay down in.
Doctors Guangpi Xu and Wanzhu Hou have over 40 years of experience practicing holistic medicine in China and the U.S. At their Rockville, MD, practice, All Natural Medicine Clinic, they use Chinese medicine treatments like acupuncture and herbal medicine to improve patients’ health. To make an appointment or to learn more, call (301) 770-4480 or visit the clinic online.