What Is Acupuncture? 

Reduced to its simplest form, acupuncture is a medical system developed a few thousand years ago that uses sterile, single-use, hair fine needles at specific locations on the body.  These acupuncture points strengthen and improve your body, while healing symptoms of disease.  


Do you feel it? Does it hurt? 

Do you feel it? Yes.  Acupuncture is not a sensation free treatment.  But does it hurt? No, or at least it should not.  Generally, you will feel a gentle pressure or that of a body hair being tugged on insertion.  The sensation of acupuncture is a unique experience.  Sometimes you will feel a bubbly sensation, pressure, or a dull ache at the acupuncture point or along an entire acupuncture channel.  These sensations are not 'ouch' sensations and are often enjoyable to feel what happens with each treatment. Most often patients fall asleep or deeply relax during each treatment. 


How does it work? 

Acupuncture points lie on meridians with both a superficial pathway and an internal one that wraps around and connects various internal organs in East Asian medical theory.  Because these meridians travel all over the body, acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions using points far away from the sight of injury or illness.  

The meridians and points work to regulate the circulation of all bodily substances including, blood, lymph, and energy or 'Qi.'  In Chinese medicine, disease occurs when circulation of any or all of these substances becomes impaired.  The insertion of acupuncture needles or massage to points where Qi is blocked will help restore proper circulation to the entire body.  In Chinese medical theory, Qi powers our digestive system, affects our emotions, helps our heart circulate blood throughout the blood vessels, and helps our body have the ability to build our hormones, neurotransmitters, and new cells.  In many ways, the healthy circulation of Qi affects our entire wellbeing.  


What can acupuncture treat? 

Acupuncture is a complete medical system honed over a few thousand years.  It can treat a wide variety of health concerns.  Chinese medicine specializes in understanding women's health and the digestive system, as well as treating all manner of physical pain.  It also can treat mental wellness, stress management, and seasonal allergies.  The World Health Organization considers acupuncture proven to treat the following conditions: 

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow    


The World Health Organization also recognizes that a therapeutic, clinical effect has been shown in the following conditions, but more investigation is necessary to consider acupuncture proven to treat them. 

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)