Acupuncture is an ancient medical procedure that originated in China. Because acupuncture has been used to treat a broad range of health-related problems for more than 2,000 years, it is one of the oldest procedures known to man. Throughout history, acupuncture has evolved. Today, modern acupuncture is used to support traditional medical treatments or as a viable alternative.
For managing musculoskeletal pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and non-specific low back pain, among other conditions, a multitude of clinical studies have proven acupuncture to be highly effective.
Unlike needles used to draw blood, acupuncture needles are solid. Because these ultra-thin needles are strategically placed just beneath the skin’s surface, most patients experience little sensation.
For the acupuncture procedure, a trained acupuncturist follows very specific techniques and uses sterile needles. Each needle, sometimes referred to as an “acupoint”, is carefully placed on a different part of the body. Typically, these are regions where groups of nerves are located just below the skin.
For the acupuncturist to achieve the desired effect, sometimes the needles are slightly manipulated. During the procedure, the body’s natural painkillers, known as endorphins, are released. As a result, most patients have immediate pain relief.
Depending on the patient’s physical condition, a treatment session will last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. For some patients, a full regimen of acupuncture brings relief in just one session, whereas for other patients, 8 to 12 sessions over the course of several weeks are required to achieve the same outcome. To determine the appropriate treatment plan, the acupuncturist will review both your symptoms and clinical diagnosis.
Initially, acupuncture was developed as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but now it is considered a powerful and extremely beneficial procedure used for pain management. Although most patients get outstanding results with acupuncture as a standalone treatment, it can be combined with physical therapy, chiropractic, prescription pain medication, and/or exercise. Regardless, acupuncture is a primary component of comprehensive pain management for the lower back, shoulder, neck, leg, and hip.