Some people think of acupuncture as a New Age fad, but this popular treatment has actually been used for more than 2,500 years. Acupuncture therapy effectively treats many conditions, from migraines and anxiety to osteoarthritis and asthma. You can use acupuncture alone or with conventional medicine.
Patients often ask, “Does acupuncture hurt?” as they nervously eye our therapy needles. Fortunately, the answer is no. Some of our patients notice a tingling sensation during treatment, but many of them feel nothing at all.
You may have heard people compare acupuncture to vaccinations, but this comparison is inaccurate. Acupuncture needles are thin and small, and therapy involves neither any kind of injection nor any fluid removal (such as patients experience with platelet-rich plasma therapy).
How Does Acupuncture Therapy Work?
Acupuncture therapy relieves pain by correcting the imbalances of energy throughout the body. This form of traditional Chinese medicine stems from the ancient philosophy of yin and yang, two opposing forces which must be balanced. A disruption in their flow of energy can cause illness, pain and poor body function. Acupuncture releases this blocked energy and helps facilitate your body’s natural healing response.
Needles are inserted at pressure points throughout your body. Your body views each insertion as a microscopic injury, which stimulates the central nervous system. After this happens, chemicals are distributed throughout your body, giving your immune system a boost and improving your circulation from head to toe. This process encourages wound healing and also helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Acupuncture needles can be used as-is, but they may also be heated or combined with electrical stimulation. You can use acupuncture as a solo remedy or combine it with treatments such as chiropractic care or physical therapy. Our team will work with you to determine the right treatment plan for your health issues and concerns.
What Does Acupuncture Therapy Treat?
You can enhance your physical and mental well-being with acupuncture therapy. At NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine, we provide top-notch acupuncture treatment and pain management services in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas.
Here are some health concerns our team can treat with acupuncture:
- Back pain
- Menstrual problems
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Migraines and other headaches
- Sports injuries, such as sprains and strains
- Other types of pain and discomfort
Evidence is still emerging about the effectiveness of acupuncture for other conditions. Some medical professionals believe acupuncture therapy can help patients manage schizophrenia, diabetes and alcohol dependence. This popular treatment may also help with skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Acupuncture therapy provides a variety of benefits. Many of our patients report that they feel less stressed after an acupuncture session, and some say they sleep better. Acupuncture has also been known to reduce chronic pain, improve vision, help balance hormones, help resolve fertility issues and erectile dysfunction, and promote weight management.
What Should I Expect During Acupuncture Therapy?
Acupuncture therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your acupuncture appointment begins with a consultation, when our acupuncturist talks to you about your medical history. After this examination, you will receive a customized treatment plan to address your pain and other health concerns.
During the process, you’ll have the option to either lay on the treatment table or sit, if you prefer. Many of our patients keep their eyes closed, and some of them even take a quick nap during therapy.
As you rest, your acupuncturist will gently place small, thin needles across your body. The locations of the needles depend on the health concerns you are addressing and may include your face, chest, arms, legs, or back.
When treatment ends, the needles are gently removed and discarded. You should not notice any bleeding, but some patients see a few small spots of blood.
Treatment usually lasts for 30 minutes or less, plus the time spent doing your consultation. You can expect your initial acupuncture appointment to last longer than follow-up sessions.
Can Anyone Get Acupuncture Therapy?
Acupuncture therapy is generally deemed safe for most adults. However, there are some exceptions.
Let us know if any of the following apply:
- You have a pacemaker or defibrillator.
- You have breast implants.
- You are prone to skin problems.
- You have slow-healing wounds.
- You are on any medications, especially those which affect blood flow or circulation.
- You are pregnant or nursing.
These aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but they may impact your ability to benefit from acupuncture therapy. Our knowledgeable team will discuss your health with you and help you decide if acupuncture therapy is a good fit.
Common Questions and Concerns About Acupuncture Therapy
You may have some reservations about scheduling acupuncture therapy until you know what to expect. We completely understand! That’s why we’ve compiled some common questions our patients have about this beneficial treatment.
Does acupuncture hurt?
When performed correctly, acupuncture should not hurt. Some patients experience a mild tingling sensation after needles are inserted.
Are needles sterilized?
Acupuncture needles are sterilized and suitable for one-time use. Our needles are carefully discarded after each session, so you don’t have to worry about using the same needles as another patient.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a minimally-invasive medical procedure that is approved by the FDA. Side effects are rare, and when they do occur, they are generally mild. At NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine, acupuncture therapy is only performed by skilled acupuncturists on our medical team.
Can you get acupuncture during pregnancy?
The short answer is sometimes. It generally depends on your overall health, which conditions you want to treat, and whether your OB-GYN is on board.
Can kids get acupuncture therapy?
We typically reserve acupuncture therapy for adults. However, some older kids and teens may benefit from the process. Regardless of where you receive acupuncture therapy, practitioners generally do not perform this medical treatment on babies or toddlers.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance plans cover acupuncture as a standalone treatment. Others require patients to combine it as an add-on service. Our team can review your insurance coverage and let you know the costs of treatment before your first appointment.
Can you combine acupuncture with other services?
Yes, and many of our patients do! Your treatment plan may include acupuncture, chiropractic care, cold laser therapy, physical therapy and other services. We work with you to determine which treatment options are best for your unique needs.
Did we miss anything? Give us a call or shoot us an email if you have additional questions about acupuncture therapy. We’re happy to keep you informed about this popular pain-management option.
Schedule Your Acupuncture Therapy Today
Don’t put your life on hold another day. You deserve to feel good, physically and mentally. We can help you do that with pain management services at NorthEast Spine and Sports Medicine.
Acupuncture and other pain management services are offered in our offices throughout Ocean County and Monmouth County. To request an acupuncture treatment or other service, fill out our online contact form or call the office. We’re here to help, whether you’re battling sciatica or need relief from persistent migraines.