What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture entails the insertion of needles into the body, targeting sensory nerves in the skin and muscles to address chronic pain and various physical ailments. Its objective is to alleviate specific health conditions or symptoms, particularly pain.

Acupuncture originates from traditional Chinese medicine and has been supported by scientific research validating its effectiveness for certain conditions. It is primarily used as a complementary therapy.

How does Acupuncture work?

In Chinese medicine, the energy that circulates within the body is called qi. According to Chinese medicine practitioners, imbalances in this qi energy can disrupt the body’s equilibrium and result in illness.

Certain types of acupuncture seek to restore balance to the qi by targeting specific acupuncture points (acupoints) throughout the body. These acupoints are situated along 14 major meridians or channels through which energy flows.

By inserting needles into these acupoints, the body’s central nervous system and immune system are stimulated, prompting a response to the illness and promoting rebalancing of the body. This stimulation also triggers the release of natural chemicals like endorphins.

Acupuncture Risks

Before considering any therapy, it is crucial to acknowledge that all treatments carry potential risks. Seeking medical advice before undergoing any therapy is highly recommended. Listed below are the risks associated with acupuncture:

    1. Bleeding, bruising, and tenderness may arise at the needles’ insertion sites.
    2. The use of unsterilized needles can increase the risk of infection.
    3. In rare instances, a needle may break and potentially cause harm to an internal organ.

Acupuncture Benefits

While acupuncture does carry potential risks, it is advisable to acknowledge its positive aspects, as it can assist individuals in effectively managing their health conditions. Presented below are the benefits associated with acupuncture.

  1. Individuals have the option to combine acupuncture with other therapies for enhanced effectiveness.
  2. The proficient utilization of acupuncture can aid in managing persistent pain, migraines, and headaches.
  3. Acupuncture poses minimal risk of adverse effects.
  4. It is a versatile treatment method capable of addressing multiple health issues simultaneously.

Acupuncture Uses

acupuncture can effectively assist in the treatment of:

  1. low back pain
  2. neck pain
  3. osteoarthritis (OA)
  4. knee pain
  5. headache
  6. migraineTrusted Source
  7. peripheral neuropathyTrusted Source
  8. nausea
  9. rheumatoid arthritis
  10. fatigue
  11. tendinopathy

What to expect

During an acupuncture session, an acupuncturist will evaluate the individual’s condition through examination and then proceed to insert one or more thin and sterile needles, guiding the way.

Typically, individuals will assume a sitting or lying position throughout the procedure. The acupuncturist needs to utilize single-use, disposable, and sterile needles. Upon needle insertion, individuals may experience a momentary stinging or tingling sensation, followed by a mild ache around the area where the needle is placed.

The needles’ duration usually ranges from 20 to 60 minutes, although this can vary depending on the treatment. In certain instances, the acupuncturist may apply heat to the needles after insertion.

The frequency of treatments required by an individual depends on their particular case. It is common to undergo one or two weekly treatments over several months for chronic conditions.


A significant number of individuals have embraced acupuncture as an alternative form of treatment. While it effectively manages chronic pain and headaches, it is crucial to consult medical professionals before pursuing this therapy. Additionally, it is imperative to ensure that the needles used are properly sterilized, non-toxic, and clearly labelled as “for single use only” by a licensed practitioner.