In the United States, acupuncture has found its greatest acceptance and benefit in the treatment and management of musculoskeletal pain. Acute musculoskeletal and myofascial conditions such as sprains, strains, spasms and contusions are among the problems most frequently and successfully treated to resolution with acupuncture. In such cases, acupuncture can be legitimately considered as a first line treatment.
The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique most often studied scientifically involves inserting thin, metallic, specialized needles into the skin which are then manipulated manually or electrically.
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid and hair-thin. Patients experience acupuncture differently. Most patients feel minimal or no pain as the needles are inserted superficially.
Needles are inserted to the depth necessary to elicit the patient’s sensation of de qi or needle grab, a dull ache that radiates from the point. Acupuncture needles remain inserted for 15 to 30 minutes.
Patients receiving acupuncture treatment may either feel energized or relaxed after the treatment.
Patient visits are usually scheduled once a week for four to six weeks initially. However the frequency and length of treatments may vary depending on the condition being addressed.
Patients will feel relief in 2-3 acupuncture sessions.
Reviewed by: Dr. Thomas Nguyen.