with Dr. Chloe Morgan BSc DC
Acupuncture is a unique form of therapy, which can be a great adjunct or stand alone treatment for many of our bodies aches, pains, and dysfunctions. Many people ask, “What is acupuncture?” or “How does acupuncture work?” – so let’s walk through it!
Small Changes Make
Acupuncture uses very thin needles of many different lengths, which are inserted into different areas of the body. When a needle is put into your body, micro-trauma is created in that area. Any kind of trauma sounds a little scary, and you may think, “How can trauma be good for my body?” This micro-trauma is very small, but mighty enough to bring an increase in blood flow to the area being worked on.
With an increase in blood flow comes a couple things 1) an increase in oxygen levels to the area, and 2) an increase in the cells and blood factors that our body needs to heal. Another great aspect of acupuncture is the decrease in pain that can accompany the treatment. This is accomplished by activating sensory nerves in the skin – which travel to both local areas, and far away areas (like the brain and spinal cord) to create different analgesic responses to help reduce our pain levels.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture is a needle being inserted into the body, so there can be some minor pain associated with the treatment. Most patients can feel a slight pinch of the needle breaking through the top layer of skin, and that is about it! Some areas may be more sensitive than others if the tissue being worked on is tighter, but for the most part patients often comment how they didn’t even know how many needles were inserted because they could not feel them!
Are their risks involved with acupuncture?
With any type of treatment there are always risks to consider. With acupuncture the following minor risks are possible: minor pain or tenderness, mild bleeding or bruising. All risks associated with the treatment will be discussed with you prior to treatment, and if you have any questions on concerns always just ask your doc!
Can anyone get acupuncture?
There are a few contraindications for receiving acupuncture treatment. If you are a person with major health concerns, blood disorders or are taking anticoagulants, have a high risk for infection, or a metal allergy – these may limit you from participating in acupuncture. Other reasons a doctor may not perform acupuncture on you may include heart valve issues, prosthetic implants, pacemakers or electrical implants. The doctor will discuss all these things with you and ask pertinent health questions prior to performing the treatment to ensure it is right for you!
Can I receive acupuncture if I am pregnant?
Acupuncture can be beneficial during pregnancy. Certain areas of the body and specific acupuncture points may however be avoided during this time. Make sure you inform your doctor if you are pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant, prior to treatment.