How does acupuncture work?
For as many things that can happen in the human body there are probably an equal amount of ways this question can be answered. Here’s a very simple response to this age old question:
Why does my pain disappear after a treatment at PRH? Local acupuncture: You know when you get a splinter on your finger and you literally see all of the white blood cells rush to that splinter? The human body is genius at recognizing foreign objects ad wants to keep you safe. When we place an acupuncture pin in a muscle tear, near a herniated disc or a back spasm – your body will recognize this and immediately harness all of the agents in your blood stream to rush to that area in order to clean out debris and rapidly regenerate healthy tissue.
Why do I feel so relaxed and euphoric after a treatment at PRH? Distal acupuncture: You can think of your nervous system as the electrical wiring underneath sheet rock. It starts in your brain/spinal column and travels through pathways all the way to your fingers and toes. Stress, injury, trauma can disrupt this pathway over time. The points we choose just below the surface are mostly on or near nerve plexuses. We choose a pattern specific to your presenting complaints to literally rewire your nervous system. The nervous system is intelligent and recognizes this pattern and as you wake up you have rebooted your internal computer. This message reminds your body and mind what it feels like to live with the ease and comfort of a nervous system in harmony.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture does not have to hurt. We work with new patients every day and some are not so into needles. Acupuncture is nothing like getting a shot at the doctor’s office. The needles are whisker thin and the practitioners are skilled and experienced in treating all kinds of conditions. Sometimes there can be light pressure, tingling, or heat around the points. More often receiving acupuncture is a deeply relaxing and incredibly refreshing. If you are sensitive to needles, let us know! We will make sure to adjust your treatment to balance your comfort and achieve your health goals.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is safe when performed by a qualified practitioner, L.Ac.
Acupuncture needles are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires that the needles are manufactured and labeled in accordance with set standards of sterility, non-toxicity, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. If anyone knows how safe acupuncture is, it’s the insurance companies. The minimal cost of our malpractice insurance speaks volumes about the safety of this medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) comments that unlike many drugs, acupuncture is non-toxic and adverse reactions or side effects are minimal. For instance, acupuncture and morphine have similar rates of effectiveness when used for chronic pain, but with acupuncture, unlike morphine, a patient does not have the negative side effect of dependency.
What if I don’t want needles?
We can often use different modalities such as cupping, guasha, herbs and moxa. For very sensitive patients we can use special needles that are designed for children. Be sure to let us know if anything feels like too much for you!
How Long Does It Take?
Your first appointment can last from 1 to 1.5 hours. Follow-up visits usually last 40 minutes to an hour. If you need to leave by a certain time, let the front desk know and we’ll make sure you’re out the door with plenty of time.
If you book online, it might look like your appointment is only 15 or 30 minutes long, but that’s because we treat multiple patients at the same time. The first 15 or 30 minutes, if you’re a new patient, are the time that you spend talking with your provider, and the remaining 45 minutes are the time you will spend resting.
Why Do You Recommend Frequent and Regular Treatments?
Acupuncture can take/ time and often we recommend regular treatments. Your body didn’t develop disease or discomfort in one day, so we cannot expect it to be fixed in one treatment. We think of Acupuncture As a commitment you make to yourself because you value your health and want to enjoy your life to its fullest! Your acupuncturist at PRH will come up with a recommended course of treatment and discuss your individual case with you directly. If you have questions, please ask us!
While some patients will feel immediate relief or a measurable lessening of symptoms with each treatment, this does not mean your condition is gone for good. A good analogy is the use of antibiotics in western medicine. With antibiotics, you are not asked to take a pill once. Instead you are prescribed a course of treatment that can last for days or weeks. You might feel markedly better after a short time, but you still need to complete the course of treatment. Acupuncture is the same. We are slowly changing the way your body is balanced and establishing that new pattern so it won’t revert to its old ways.
I feel 100% Healed After One Treament, Why Should I Come Back?
Some patients will feel “100 percent” better after their first treatment. This is especially true of more acute or recent injuries, such as minor sprains, strains, or pains. While that’s great news, experience has taught us that instantaneous relief may not always last. Since we don’t want you to conclude that, “acupuncture doesn’t work,” we recommend you come in for a follow-up visit, even if you don’t think you need it. Yes, acupuncture works, but the effects change due to lifestyle and physical activity and we believe it is our job to create a lasting change in your body.
When working with our practitioners, we recommend you keep track of when your symptoms reappeared or new ones present themselves, and together we create a treatment schedule that builds on successful acupuncture sessions. Our goal is to treat you as thoroughly and as quickly as possible, so you can rave to your friends about how awesome we are and how effective acupuncture is.