By Carolyn Tsang
R.Ac, RMT, B.HSc Acupuncturist.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

September 29th, 2019

Here are answers to three frequently asked questions about acupuncture people most commonly ask.

What is acupuncture good for?

Muscular Pain, Tension, and Injury Rehabilitation

As a Registered Acupuncturist, my gut reaction to this question is always “EVERYTHING!”. As a matter of fact, most people recognize acupuncture for its effective use in managing muscle pain, tension, and injury rehabilitation.

What most clients don’t realize is that Acupuncture is this amazing modality that can be used to treat so much more than just aches and pains.

Conditions Acupuncture can treat

Many years ago the World Health Organization released an extensive document listing all the conditions that acupuncture has been found useful for. According to this document, acupuncture is a natural way to treat digestive issues (bloating, IBS, Crohn’s, colitis), improve fertility (male & female), reduce stress, and treat premenstrual syndrome – PMS (cramping, heavy bleeding, irregular cycles), just to name a few.

During pregnancy acupuncture is a safe way to help with morning sickness, pregnancy pains, and other related issues that crop up during those nine months. For instance, adding acupuncture into your pre-birth routine has been shown to improve and help with labour.

How does acupuncture work?

Often people can understand the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain, as the nature of the treatment tends to be more along the lines of “stick it where it hurts”. Finding those knots and tight muscles and releasing those ares of tension with acupuncture.

On the contrary, when I provide acupuncture for stress management or anxiety, it becomes a little more difficult for patients to wrap their heads around it.

Acupunture Axis

Science Behind Acupuncture

In short, acupuncture works on the nervous system of the body. Our brain controls every function in our bodies (digestion, sleep, hormones, etc). For this reason, different external stimuli will produce a different reaction.

Acupuncture produces a very calming effect on the nervous system, taking it out of that constant stressed state. It is widely known that stress negatively impacts our ability to properly rest and digest. Under those circumstances, this is where acupuncture comes in – as a gentle reminder to our bodies that it needs to take a break

Does Acupuncture hurt? What does it feel like?

Superficial Layers of The Skin

Acupuncture feels NOTHING like getting your blood taken or a vaccination. The single-use disposable needles are so thin you could fit about 20 of them inside a regular blood draw needle. You often don’t even feel anything, perhaps a minor prick with the insertion. There could be a slight achey-ness once I hit that “right spot”.

When I’m doing acupuncture for insomnia, digestion, fertility or anything more internal related, I leave the client to rest for about 20min after the needle insertion. This gives them the opportunity to really relax into it, leaving them feeling refreshed and zen’d out at the end of the treatment.

Sports Acupuncture

Sports acupuncture on the other hand, is a little bit of a different story. The aim of sports acupuncture is get deep into the muscles to really release those nagging spots of tension and trigger points. This process can be a bit more uncomfortable, similar to getting a deep tissue massage – but so worth it!

Afraid of needles? Honestly – 95% of my clients are! Despite of that, the benefits and relief they find with acupuncture keep them coming back though.

All things considered, acupuncture is one of the most versatile tools available to any therapist. By stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal, acupuncture provides a form of treatment that is completely natural.

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