By Kaley Burns EBS COLUMNIST
With more Americans looking into alternative wellness and putting a focus on preventative healthcare, it’s a good time to consider acupuncture and the positive effects it can have on your life.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine technique that has been used for centuries to treat chronic pain and a variety of other health concerns ranging from headaches to mood disorders. Acupuncturists insert thin needles into specific points throughout the body to balance the body’s energy, stimulate healing and promote relaxation. The needles may also be manipulated manually or stimulated with small electrical currents (electroacupuncture).
Acupuncture may be useful for a variety of conditions, including:
- Arthritis/joint inflammation
- Insomnia/sleep-related difficulties
- Sinus congestion
- Infertility/hormone related concerns
Studies show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for many ailments, particularly chronic pain and menopause-related symptoms including hot flashes, sleep interruptions and anxiety. In one study, researchers found that acupuncture reduced menopausal symptoms by 37%. Women who received acupuncture during the study also reported improved quality of life.
Most Americans who try acupuncture come to it when other medical options have failed to give them relief or help them heal. However, acupuncture is actually an important preventative health measure. You don’t have to experience any health challenges to benefit from acupuncture. Similar to a healthy diet and exercise, acupuncture is a great practice to maintain or optimize your current health.
What to expect
When you go for an acupuncture appointment, you can expect to spend time checking in with your practitioner, which is usually longer on the first visit. Then it’s time to relax (usually lying down), while your acupuncturist inserts your unique needles depending on the type of treatment. The needles are left in for about 20 minutes, during which time you can just zone out and let the therapy do its job.
One of the biggest misconceptions about acupuncture is that it hurts—most people are surprised that acupuncture can be virtually painless.
Acupuncture is overall a soothing procedure. It works with the body’s own wisdom to heal deeper within the body. Most people treating a specific condition will require weekly sessions for about six weeks. After that you’ll evaluate your needs with your practitioner and set up a maintenance plan.
Dr. Kaley Burns is a licensed Naturopathic Physician providing a wide range of services for her clients, including: Naturopathic Medicine, IV Nutrient Therapy, Regenerative Injections, Rejuvenation Therapies, Vitamin Shots, and Nutrition Counseling. She embraces a natural approach to health and aims to similarly inspire and guide others on their health journey.