Acupuncture is an alternative treatment method and one of the oldest forms of therapy practiced in the world, effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions. This traditional Chinese treatment involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin into the underlying tissue at precise locations known to help relieve pain and other symptoms. Acupuncture can be used to treat many different medical conditions, including:
• Postoperative pain
• Headaches, neck and back pain and other orthopedic conditions
• Menstrual cramps
• Fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome
• Sinusitis and asthma
• Gastritis, nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal conditions
• This treatment is often combined with more conventional ones, such as prescription drugs, to maximise results and allow patients to return to their regular activities more quickly.
During the acupuncture treatment, the needles are inserted into the skin at targeted areas and depths depending on each patient’s individual symptoms. Only sterile, single use needles are used during acupuncture in order to ensure patient safety. Patients may experience an aching sensation when the needles reach their desired location. The needles are usually kept in place for five to 20 minutes, and may receive electrical or heat impulses during this time. Patients often undergo a series of weekly or biweekly treatments, usually with 12 total treatment sessions.
It is important for patients to have this treatment performed by a licensed professional, as improper administrations can result in pain and other side effects. Some patients may experience soreness, bleeding and bruising at the site of the injection, but these side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Patients with bleeding disorders or those taking blood thinning medication should not undergo acupuncture treatment.
In general, acupuncture is a safe procedure with little to no side effects and is effective for most patients, including those who do not respond well to more traditional treatment options. For more information about this treatment, do not hesitate to ask your doctor if your medical condition can benefit from acupuncture.