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Acupuncture

Acupuncture literally means "needle piercing," the practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acupoints) for therapeutic purposes. Along with the usual method of puncturing the skin with the fine needles, the practitioners also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points. The acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of energy in the body to restore health.

Procedure Overview

Acupuncture is an in office procedure that is usually administered with no anesthetic. Groups of small stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin in different areas of the body. The acupuncture needles are so fine that there is very little discomfort during insertion. A tingle or a heavy sensation is produced when the needle is inserted correctly. The needles are sometimes stimulated manually by heat or by electrical stimulation in an attempt to increase circulation.

Procedure Details

Will you be asleep for the procedure? It is not necessary for you to go to sleep for this procedure. How long will the procedure take? The length of an acupuncture treatment will vary from case to case depending on your pain and the amount of needles inserted into the different areas of the body.

Before the Procedure

To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important: Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.

Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.

 

After the Procedure

Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem.

Procedure Risks

There are virtually no risks but some side affect may occur. Original symptoms may worsen for a few days. You may experience general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.