Does Acupuncture Hurt?
I am dedicated to making your acupuncture treatment as comfortable as it is effective. Most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, similar to a mosquito or gnat bite. In most cases, you feel calm and relaxed soon after the needles are inserted. The reason acupuncture needles don’t give the painful sensation you might expect is because they’re very thin in comparison to the hypodermic needles used to give injections. Hypodermic needles are necessarily hollow so that the shot can be injected. They also have a very blunt point (actually a wedge shape) in comparison to an acupuncture needle. Approximately forty acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle.
There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, which are known as Da Qi (pronounced “dah-chee”). These may include slight aching, heaviness, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild. Overall, your treatment should be virtually painless as well as relaxing.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is very safe.
Acupuncture needles are extremely safe, because they are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Every practitioner gets extensive training in anatomy so as to avoid inserting a needle in a place that can cause damage. Only sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used.
Do I Have to Believe in it for it to Work?
Chinese medicine is a medical theory, not a belief system.
Acupuncture and light therapy work whether you believe in them or not. Of course, having a positive attitude that you will indeed feel better is important to healing in general. Good results are seen in the majority of cases. When all other treatment methods have failed, this indicates a systematic imbalance – exactly what acupuncture and light therapy excel at treating.
Acupuncture is widely used on animals, including horses, dogs and cats. Animals respond incredibly well to acupuncture without understanding or believing any of it!
What Should I Expect on my First Visit?
During your first session, we spend a lot of time getting a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. I examine the condition of your tongue (is it cracked, coated, excessively pink or purple etc.), and check your pulse on both wrists (the quality of your pulse gives information about possible imbalances). I’ll also ask questions about your emotional state, and specific symptoms you may have.
This is done because unlike Western medicine, acupuncture treats the whole person instead of focusing on the symptoms of your condition.
Please wear loose, comfy clothes to your acupuncture treatment. Treatments are provided while you are wearing your own clothing and any undressing is kept to a minimum.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week, for a total of 4-12 treatments. If the condition is acute and painful, treatments may be necessary two times per week until the condition starts to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture.
After achieving the results they are looking for, many people come in once every 4-6 weeks for maintenance or 2-3 months for a seasonal “tune-up”.
In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi and Blood flow. Qi can be described as a form of bioenergy that runs along 12 major meridians. If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is out of kilter. Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose the imbalance… and balance it.
In Western medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural bio-molecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms which bring this about are not completely understood, but the effects are measurable.
A good example of this is the use of acupuncture to induce labour. One of the first things that Oriental medical students learn is that there are a few points that are absolutely forbidden to use with pregnant women. These points cause the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone that naturally induces labor. Studies have shown that using acupuncture to induce labor reduces the active (painful) phase of labor by an average of 3.6 hours.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy is the therapeutic application of laser light at low intensity. It has a thirty-five year history. Over 4,000 studies and articles have been published. I have personally trained with one of Light Therapy’s pioneers, David Rindge, in Melbourne, USA.
Does Light Therapy have any Risks?
In more than thirty-five years of research and clinical use, an adverse reaction has never been documented. In contrast to surgical lasers, which employ more powers and intensities, light therapy is customarily administered using gentle, non-ionizing radiation below the threshold of thermal damage to tissue. This may account for its excellent safety record.
Does Light Therapy Hurt?
Most people feel no sensation whatsoever. You may feel a slight warmth. Occasionally, patients will report a fleeting increase in pain following light therapy. This is more likely in long-standing, chronic conditions within the first few sessions and will usually pass within 24 hours. It is not an adverse reaction and, in fact, it indicates that light therapy is working. Sensation should then normalize, and pain and function may then be significantly improved.
Will My Treatment be Covered by my Health Insurance?
Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can usually find out by calling them. Make sure to mention that Juli is registered with The British Acupuncture Council.
If you have a question not answered here, please get in touch and ask!