Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body – most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. It is one of the most effective practices used in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture stimulates nerve fibers to transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. Acupuncture may also: increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.
The Acupuncture Procedure: Step by Step
- According to the different acupuncture points, you’ll usually be asked to sit or lie down (face up or down) on the massage table. In any cases, you will roll your pants up to your knees and sleeves up to your elbow. We advise patients to wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- The points to be needled based on your condition will be disinfected, from the center to the surrounding area.
- The needles are inserted into acupuncture points just under the skin, or deeper, so they reach muscle tissue.
- Electric Stimulation: In some cases, your practitioner may rotate the needles or stimulate them with a mild electric current (known as electro acupuncture). You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted, but shouldn’t experience any significant pain. If you do, let your practitioner know right away.
- Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting around 30 minutes. The practitioner will leave the room so you can rest and relax, and maybe even take a nap.
- After a while, the practitioner will peek in to check on you and see if anything needs adjusting. If it doesn’t, he’ll leave you to continue relaxing.
- When the treatment is over, the practitioner will remove the electrodes and needles while you get up from the table slowly. It is recommend that you drink a small amount of water before you leave. After your treatment, it is okay to go about your normal routine, but avoid any activity which is overly strenuous.