While you may be familiar with the term acupuncture, you may still have some questions about what it is, why people do it and whether it could help you.
Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine practice that uses fine, sterile needles inserted into the skin to stimulate the body’s various systems. It traces its roots back more than 3,000 years, but in the last 40 years this ancient healing practice has experienced increased popularity in the United States.
Its goal is the same as traditional medicine: to restore a state of optimal health. But the methods are a bit different.
As more Americans try acupuncture, its popularity in the United States has gradually grown. People who have experienced acupuncture have helped spread the word about its benefits. Many people have tried acupuncture because they were seeking a more natural treatment for certain diseases or when recommended as a complementary therapy by their doctor.
Acupuncture isn’t a replacement for medical care or regular physicals with a primary care physician. But it could be helpful as a supplemental therapy.
Ever wonder what an acupuncture session is like? In Episode 37, you’ll get details on acupuncture, how it’s used and how it can help people from Dr. G and his guest, acupuncturist Alejandro Fernandez, NMD, L.Ac.
Myths vs. Facts
“Acupuncture is painful.” - Depends
It depends on the practitioner and it depends on what part of the body is being treated.
“Acupuncture is ancient folk medicine. No legitimate healthcare professional would recommend it.” – Myth
Acupuncture has been around for more than 3,000 years. Physicians recommend it for their patients in certain scenarios as part of a collaborative approach to healing and wellness.
“Acupuncture is used for more than treating pain.” – Fact
It’s used for far more than just treating pain, including treating allergies, digestive issues, fertility and headaches.
“Health insurance covers acupuncture.” – Maybe
Many insurance companies cover it, but not necessarily all.
“Acupuncture has a lot of side effects and you’ll need time off work afterward.” – Myth
It’s the opposite. Many acupuncture patients fall asleep on the table while receiving treatment, as the most common side effect is feeling more relaxed.
“Acupuncture’s effects are psychological. It doesn’t really do anything.” – Myth
Acupuncture has been shown to produce physical health benefits.
“Once you start acupuncture, you’ll always need acupuncture.” – Myth
The aim of Chinese medicine is to restore an optimal state of function. Once that is restored, you no longer need treatment.
“If you do not see results in 1 or 2 treatments, then you’re unlikely to benefit from acupuncture.” - Myth
People sometimes feel results after one treatment, while some require more than two treatments. It depends on the diagnosis.
“You’ll need a doctor’s referral or a prescription for acupuncture.” - Myth
Most patients don’t need a referral, but should still seek a recommendation from their primary care physician. They should also check their insurance to see if the treatment is covered or requires a referral.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“I’m a good sleeper and know what an unearned blessing it is.” – S.N.S.