Recently, there has been a surge of people trying out traditional Chinese medicine—this includes acupuncture. In fact, reports have shown that the acupuncture market is forecasted to rise to $151 billion by 2030.
This rise shows that people are seeing the benefits that acupuncture has to offer.
That said, if you are looking for a good acupuncture place in Singapore, please click here to see 7 of the best acupuncture places in the country.
However, if you are still on the fence, in this article, I answer 10 of the most asked questions about acupuncture.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, called acupuncture points. The practice of acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years to promote healing and well-being.
Acupuncture is based on the principle that the body has a network of energy pathways, called meridians, through which energy, or Qi, flows. According to traditional Chinese medicine, when the flow of Qi is disrupted or blocked, it can lead to pain and illness. Acupuncture is believed to restore the balance of Qi and promote healing by stimulating specific points along the meridians.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain and infertility to addiction and depression. It is considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner using sterile needles.
In addition to needle insertion, practitioners may also use heat, electrical stimulation, or cupping in conjunction with acupuncture. It is a holistic approach to healing and practitioners will take into account the overall health and well-being of the patient, not just the specific symptoms.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The sensation of acupuncture needles can vary depending on the individual and the location of the needles. Some people may feel a slight pinch or pressure when the needles are inserted, while others may not feel anything at all. Once the needles are in place, most people feel little to no discomfort.
Does acupuncture work?
Many studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, such as:
- chronic pain, including low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis
- headaches, including migraines
- menstrual cramps
- nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
- addiction, such as to alcohol or tobacco
- depression and anxiety
It is worth noting that acupuncture may not be effective for everyone and that results may vary depending on the individual.
Are there any side effects?
Like with any medical treatment, there can be some side effects. The most common side effects of acupuncture are mild and temporary, such as:
- Bruising or bleeding at the needle insertion site
- Soreness or achiness after the treatment
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Nausea or dizziness
- Fainting spells
- Allergic reaction
How many sessions should I have before it becomes effective?
The number of sessions depends on the condition.
A typical course of treatment for a chronic condition might be once a week for six to eight weeks, followed by less frequent maintenance sessions. For acute conditions, a course of treatment may be shorter.
How long does a session take?
It depends on the condition being treated.
A typical acupuncture session lasts between 20-40 minutes. During this time, the practitioner will insert needles into specific points on the body and may manipulate the needles to stimulate the acupuncture points.
What should I do to prepare for an acupuncture session?
Here are a few things you can to do prepare:
- Wear loose yet comfortable clothing. This is to make the areas being treated accessible.
- Be on time
- Inform your practitioner about any medications you are taking
- Bring a list of your current symptoms
- Be prepared to answer anything about your health
- Avoid eating a large meal before a session because it may cause discomfort during a treatment
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol as those affect your body’s response to the treatment
What happens during a session?
During an acupuncture session, a practitioner will insert thin needles into specific points on the body, called acupuncture points. Here is a general overview of what happens during an acupuncture session:
- You will get consulted about your medical history, your symptoms, and lifestyle habits to determine the most appropriate treatment plan
- The practitioner will use sterilized, disposable needles to insert into specific points on the body. The needles are typically inserted to a depth of about 1/4 to 1 inch.
- The practitioner may manipulate the needles by gently twisting or tapping them to stimulate the acupuncture points.
- After the treatment, the needles will be removed.
- The practitioner may give you advice on aftercare, such as drinking water, avoiding certain foods, or avoiding strenuous activity.
- Your practitioner may schedule follow-up sessions based on your condition and progress.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is considered a safe form of treatment when performed by a trained practitioner using sterile needles. It is considered safe for most people when performed by a qualified practitioner. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a valid form of medicine.
Can acupuncture be used in children and/or seniors?
Yes! Acupuncture can be used in children and seniors. Acupuncture is safe for people of all ages, including children and seniors. However, the practitioner should be aware of the age-specific needs and use appropriate techniques and needles.
Acupuncture is a holistic approach to healing. Apart from the treatment itself, it is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment like herbal medicines or lifestyle changes. Likewise, acupuncture does just not treat a specific symptom but also addresses the overall health and well-being of the patient.
Being grounded in the idea of restoring the balance of a person’s energy (Qi), acupuncture aims to restore the balance of Qi while promoting healing.
Surely, it seems worrying or even daunting to have tons of needles inserted in your body, however, many attest to its healing abilities.
Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!