10 Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture
So, you’ve decided to give acupuncture a try, but you still have questions about what this therapy can do for you. At Total Body Chiropractic, Massage & Acupuncture, we want you to feel calm, comfortable, and confident before your first session. Continue reading for the answers to the 10 most common questions about acupuncture in Bend.
1. What is acupuncture, and how does it help?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for centuries to encourage natural healing. The idea behind acupuncture is that energy runs along various pathways throughout the body, known as meridians. When there is a blockage or inconsistency along one of these pathways, it can result in illness, disturbances, and low functioning.
By stimulating corresponding organs and systems, acupuncture is thought to rebalance the body, allow for pain relief, and promote proper body function.
2. What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is used to treat and ease the symptoms of several conditions, including:
- Carpal tunnel
- Dental pain
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Chronic lower back pain, neck pain, elbow pain, or arthritic joints
- Women’s health issues, like menstrual cramps, menopause and infertility
- Conditions related to pregnancy, including labor pain, nausea, and discomfort
- Digestive problems
3. What happens during acupuncture?
During your session, a licensed acupuncturist in Bend will insert hair-sized, sterile needles made of stainless steel into specific points of your body. The placement and number of the hair-thin needles (ranging from 5 to 20) will vary depending on your symptoms and condition.
Once in place, you will lie still for about 30 minutes at the recommendation of your therapist. Your acupuncturist may also provide light stimulation to the selected acupuncture points.
4. Does acupuncture work immediately?
How quickly you feel the benefits of your acupuncture session will depend on your symptoms, severity, condition, and treatment plan. Generally, patients report feeling relaxed or energized as soon as their first visit with effective treatment. However, if you are not seeing results after a few weeks, you may need to take another treatment route, like chiropractic care or massage therapy.
It is important to recognize that acupuncture treatment is a process, not a quick fix. After all, if your symptoms have developed over months or even years, the full impact of your condition won’t be undone in one visit.
5. Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture should not feel painful. You may experience sensations, like heaviness, dullness, or warmth, which is a sign that the acupuncture points are being activated.
Some patients do report feeling slight discomfort during their first session, especially if needles are placed in sensitive areas. However, this feeling should go away once the needle is fully in place. If you feel continuous pain during your session, tell your acupuncturist in Bend so that they can adjust.
6. How far do acupuncture needles go in?
The needle depth varies based on the location and angle at which it is placed. Typically, the thin needles are placed deep enough to reach the targeted meridian point, which can range from 1/16 to 1-inch deep. For example, needles placed in the fingers may rest shallower than a point in the neck or back.
7. How long do the effects of acupuncture last?
There is no exact time for how long the effects of your treatment will last. This measure will vary depending on your condition, severity, and how long you’ve been dealing with symptoms. Whether you maintain these results with your lifestyle and diet may also impact the longevity of results.
Generally, the benefits of acupuncture can last up to a few days. As you continue with treatment, the effects should last from days to weeks. Your acupuncturist in Bend may even recommend scaling back to monthly treatments with significant improvement.
8. What can I expect at my first acupuncture treatment?
At your first treatment, your acupuncturist in Bend will discuss your medical history, symptoms, current treatment route, and conduct a physical exam, which often includes looking at the tongue to pinpoint imbalances.
They will then select points to treat the symptoms and underlying causes. This initial acupuncture appointment lasts about 90 minutes.
9. What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
From the outside, acupuncture and dry needling look the same. However, these treatments vary greatly in their purpose, placement, and history. While acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, dry needling only started gaining popularity in the last few decades.
Acupuncture aims to help internal ailments. On the other hand, dry needling focuses specifically on muscle pain and stiffness. During dry needling, needles are inserted into the hard or knotted muscle to release tension and reduce spasms. The major downside of dry needling lies in the lack of training necessary to complete this therapy.
10. How can acupuncture work with chiropractic and massage?
Acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage can all fit into a holistic treatment plan for overall health. When used together, patients can expect faster and more complete healing and longer lasting results between visits.
Both acupuncture and massage increase blood flow and relax the muscles, which provides a good environment for a chiropractic adjustment. Each therapy has its own focus: chiropractic targets hard tissues (like bones) and nerves; massage focuses on tight muscles; acupuncture rebalances energy. We combine all three treatment options to deliver the best chiropractic care in Bend.
The skilled team at Total Body Chiropractic, Massage & Acupuncture can create an individualized treatment plan centered around acupuncture to help you feel your best for longer. Call to schedule your appointment today!