acupuncture needles in patient's stomach

How Does Acupuncture Work?

How acupuncture works

The acupuncturist typically injects four to ten acupuncture needles into acupuncture points on or under the skin and leaves them in place for ten to thirty minutes while you rest.

The practitioner may manipulate the needles to reduce or strengthen the flow of Qi (energy). A typical plan of treatment includes six to twelve acupuncture sessions for the course of three months.

How does acupuncture work scientifically?

Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relief neuro-hormones. It’s the stimulation by insertion of needles into specific acupuncture points on the body, which triggers the natural healing process.

Why does acupuncture work for pain?

Pain relief with acupuncture is possible since the insertion of the needles makes the body release endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. The release of endorphins affects the part of the brain responsible for serotonin, a hormone involved with mood.

Where are acupuncture needles placed?

Normally, the number of needles used during treatments varies from five to twenty. These acupuncture needles are inserted at various depths into specific acupuncture points on your body which correspond to energy channels that qi and other crucial substances flow through. These acupuncture points are known by a variety of names including energy vessels, acupuncture meridians, acupoints or Jing Lou in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What can be expected during an acupuncture treatment?

Every acupuncturist has a unique style, often blending aspects of modern medicine. The acupuncturist might ask you about your lifestyle, behaviors, and symptoms. Your first evaluation can take up to an hour.

The practitioner will then inject one or more thin, sterile needles into specific acupoints on your body. You might be asked to lie down on your back, front, or one side, depending on where the needles are to be placed.

As every needle is inserted, you might feel a tingling or stinging sensation that then subsides. The needles will usually stay in place for five to thirty minutes.