Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body, to various depths.
Research suggestsTrusted Source that it can help relieve pain, and it is used for a wide range of other complaints.
However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there is limited evidence Trusted Source for its effectiveness in areas other than pain.
What is acupuncture
An acupuncurist will insert needles into a person’s body with the aim of balancing their energy.
This, it is claimed, can help boost well being and may cure some illnesses.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force known as chi or qi (chee)
By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
Moreover it is used mainly to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, including:
- Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Dental pain
- Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
- Labor pain
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Respiratory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis
During the procedure
Acupuncture points are situated in all areas of the body. Sometimes the appropriate points are far removed from the area of your pain.
However, your acupuncture practitioner will tell you the general site of the planned treatment and whether you need to remove any clothing.
Thus,a gown,towel or sheet will be provided. You lie on a padded table for the treatment, which involves:
Needle insertion. Acupuncture needles are inserted to various depths at strategic points on your body.
The needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. People often don’t feel them inserted at all.
Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.
Needle manipulation. Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after placement or apply heat or mild electrical pulses to the needles.
Needle removal. In most cases, the needles remain in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you lie still and relax.
Hence there is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.