But how? Why?
Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves in very specific regions of the skin. These regions make up pathways called meridians or channels which are made up of nerves, blood vessels and muscular networks extending from the surface to internal organs and tissues.
These channels serve as pathways, and like roads, Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists help them to remain opened and unblocked so as to maintain balance and homeostasis for the body.
How big are the needles? Do they hurt?
Acupuncture Needles are very thin, always sterile and disposable. (Some are thin like a strand of hair). There should always be a gentle and respectful bedside manner from the Acupuncturist. The thin needles do not hurt or seek to cut into anything. Rather they slip through the fibers of the skin creating only a mild tap or very mild pinch. Acupuncture seeks to stop pain, not cause it!
What if I am afraid?
Special breathing methods are easily taught during the therapy session and are used to help relax body tension to allow for a pain free experience.
What happens after the needles are put in?
The patient is comfortably resting on a therapy table for a period of time after the needles are placed. Patients often feel relaxed and easily fall asleep within about ten minutes. Your Acupuncturist should always be within hearing distance if you should need them. It is customary for the Acupuncturist to come in and check on patients during the resting period to ensure you are alright. You can ask for the treatment room door to be left opened or closed in a way that makes you feel comfortable and safe.
How long do the needles stay in?
Needles usually stay in for about 35 minutes. During this time, you are resting on a comfortable massage table with a warm heat lamp above you to ensure you are warm and comfortable.
Does it hurt when the needles come out? Will they bleed?
When the needles are removed, you will not feel anything. Remember how thin the needles are and the body does not feel pain when they are removed. Also, your body and mind have become very relaxed at this point. Occasionally there may be a drop of blood as with any injection therapy but with a dab of a cotton ball it clots in only a few seconds.
Are there any side effects of Acupuncture?
It is possible to bruise on the skin because this is a needle, however it is rare and such a bruise is usually very small and painless.
What should I do after a treatment?
After Acupuncture people may feel more relaxed than normal. This is a good thing. Try not to disturb this physical and mental processing time with stress or heavy exercise.