Acupuncture is a complex branch of ancient Chinese medicine.
Acupuncture – Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is a medical system that has been developed in China over thousands of years. It is one of the fastest growing health care treatments because it works. In acupuncture, disposable hair-like stainless steel needles are inserted into specific points on the body. According to Chinese Medicine, these points are grouped together along channels called meridians. Illness and pain are due to blockages and imbalances of these meridians. Inserting thin needles into the body at these precise points can unblock the meridians and assist the flow thereby promoting health.
The Western clarification indicates that as these points are needled, the central and autonomic nervous systems as well as biochemical responses are prompted to promote body healing.
Studies in the early 1980s found that acupuncture works in part by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, much like vigorous exercise does. Now, a growing body of research suggests that it may have several mechanisms of action. Those include stimulating blood flow and tissue repair at the needle sites and sending nerve signals to the brain that regulate the perception of pain and reboot the autonomic nervous system, which governs unconscious functions such as heart beat, respiration and digestion.
As I have seen over 25 years as a practitioner, acupuncture does have real effects on the human body, which scientists are now able to measure using high-tech tools. Neuroimaging studies show that acupuncture seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside.
Acupuncture improves and stimulates the body’s immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells, anti-bodies and gamma globulin in the blood, which fight any infections.
In other words, acupuncture can help your body to help itself.
How many treatments are necessary?
The number of treatments depends upon the nature of your complaint. Although you may only need up to three sessions to experience relief, a series of treatments is generally recommended. It is often easier to determine your course of treatment after experiencing the results of your first session.
Acupuncture can also be preventative medicine. You don’t have to have a medical ailment to receive treatment. Acupuncture can promote relaxation and stimulate your immune system to keep you healthy.
What happens during a treatment?
After your condition is discussed, you will be examined to determine which points to use. Acupuncture needles are sterile, pre-packaged, disposable, and hair-thin. After the needles are inserted, they stay in place for 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, moxabustion, which warms the needle and is extremely soothing, may be administered. The effects of acupuncture are so relaxing that due to the endorphins which are released, many people fall asleep during treatment!
Does it hurt?
Some people experience no sensation at all, while some may feel what is similar to a mosquito bite.
Does my insurance cover acupuncture?
More than likely – we can gladly assist you with verification!
If you need a Fairbanks acupuncture clinic or Fairbanks chiropractor call us for an appointment.