Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions, however at Brandon Back Pain Relief chiropractic we use it almost exclusively to treat musculoskeletal pain including:
Tension headaches and migraine pain
Low back pain
Hand, wrist, foot and ankle pain
Shoulder, elbow, knee and hip pain
Pain associated with Tendinitis, tendinosis and tenosynovitis
Joint sprain, muscle strain and Menstrual cramp pain etc.
The risks of acupuncture are low if you have a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner using sterile needles. Common side effects include soreness and minor bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted. Single-use, disposable needles are now the practice standard, so the risk of infection is minimal. Not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture. You may be at risk of complications if you:
Have a bleeding disorder. Your chances of bleeding or bruising from the needles increase if you have a bleeding disorder or if you’re taking blood thinners.
Have a pacemaker. Acupuncture that involves applying mild electrical pulses to the needles can interfere with a pacemaker’s operation.
Are pregnant. Some types of acupuncture are thought to stimulate labor, which could result in a premature delivery.