Acupuncture: Your questions answered

If you’ve never tried acupuncture and are considering giving it a try, you probably have a few questions.  You aren’t alone.  The truth is, acupuncture can seem very daunting to the uninitiated.  What follows here are some common questions about the acupuncture Edmonton residents may have, along with the answers.  This information may help you understand why acupuncture may be a good course of treatment for you?

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is aimed at balance the Qi (“chi”) or life energy in a person’s body.  It stems from the belief that all living things depend on Qi to function, and when the Qi is out of balance, that imbalance manifests itself as a variety of ailments.  In order for the body to be in harmony, the Qi needs to be able to flow freely throughout the channels, or meridians, in the body.  When an acupuncture needle is used to touch the Qi energy channel, the energy is allowed to flow freely once again, returning the patient to health.

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?

Much like conventional Western medicine treatments can be used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, so too, can acupuncture.  Common conditions that can be treated by acupuncture include:

Menstrual and menopausal symptoms

Respiratory complaints

Anxiety and depression

Insomnia and other sleep disturbances

Migraines

Arthritis

And many more

Acupuncture is aimed at treating the person as a whole, not simply targeting the symptoms of the condition in isolation.   The end result is an overall feeling of health and well-being.

What should I expect at my first acupuncture treatment?

Although all acupuncture clinics will vary in their protocol, general expectations will be the same.  A typical acupuncture treatment will last about an hour.  At your first visit, you’ll likely be asked to give a detailed medical history, just as you would at a visit to your family doctor.  You will be given the chance to ask questions about your treatment.  Before treatment begins, the acupuncturist will feel your “pulses” to determine the best course of treatment for your situation.

The treatment will consist of the insertion of several very small, sterile, stainless steel needles into your acupuncture points.  In some cases, the needle will be taken out immediately, while in other case it will be left in place longer.  It depends on the symptoms.

Does it hurt?

No.  Although it may seem counterintuitive, the insertion of the acupuncture needle does not hurt.  At most, you’ll feel a dull ache at the insertion point.

Will I experience any side effects?

When compared to treatments like medications and surgery, acupuncture presents very few side effects.  Some patients may experience a dull aching feeling in the treatment area following a session and you may see some bruising at the needle insertion points.  It’s also important to always eat something prior to an acupuncture treatment, as you may otherwise feel light headed.

If you are considering looking onto acupuncture as a treatment option, it’s important to have all of your questions answered ahead of time.  That way, you’ll feel more at ease and open to the treatment.

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