WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE FEEL LIKE?
Acupuncture is performed with sterile, metallic, solid, and hair-thin needles. There is little to no pain associated with the insertion of the needles and patients report different sensations associated with acupuncture during the treatment. If the placement of the acupuncture needle is too close to certain anatomical structures there can be soreness but if this occurs (it's rare but it does happen) you simply notify your practitioner of the discomfort and the location will be adjusted to make sure you're comfortable before the next insertion begins. Once the needles are all inserted you should be completely comfortable.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE AFFECT THE BODY?
Researchers have identified several processes in the body that have demonstrated acupuncture's effects, primarily on pain. In general, acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either alter the experience of pain or release other chemicals that influence the body's self-regulating systems. Attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:
Conduction of electromagnetic signals.
Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
Activation of the body's natural opioid system.
Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opioids, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture's pain-relieving effects.
Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body's needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones.
Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Each patient has a unique health history, symptomatic profile, and capacity to heal. We will recommend a course of treatment that is tailored to your rate of response. Typically, acute conditions take 4 to 6 treatments to resolve. Chronic, stubborn ailments can take 10 to 20 visits or even more. In all cases, we will work with you to create a treatment plan and evaluate your progress along the way.
CAN I ADDRESS MORE THAN ONE SYMPTOM?
Definitely. Often, patients who come in for an acute injury will notice an improvement in something apparently unrelated, such as a chronic lung problem. This is because the effects of acupuncture are not confined to the area of treatment. The effects are systemic and can impact the homeostasis of the entire body. A detailed interview will be done during your intake and examination, any other signs or symptoms should be identified at this time... Even if you don't believe that they are related to your primary source of discomfort.
Can’t find the answer to your question? Give us a call!