What Is Acupuncture and What Can It Treat?

In modern acupuncture the use of electrical stimulation is frequently combined with acupuncture for painful conditions, a technique that can treat chronic pain, pain radiating along a nerve pathway, muscle spasms, inflammation, scar-tissue pain and conditions that present with pain in multiple locations .

For the treatment of pain, a typical course of treatments would be to receive acupuncture once or twice a week for two months at which point the practitioner will re-assess the case.

In addition to treating pain, the World Health Organization has published the following list of over forty disorders that research has shown favorably to acupuncture.

Respiratory Diseases

Acute sinusitis

Acute rhinitis

Common cold

Acute tonsillitis

Bronchopulmonary Diseases

Acute bronchitis

Bronchial asthma

Eye Disorders

Acute conjunctivitis

Cataract (without complications)

Myopia

Central retinitis

Disorders of the Mouth Cavity

Toothache

Pain after tooth extraction

Gingivitis

Pharyngitis

Orthopedic Disorders

Periarthritis humeroscapularis

Tennis elbow

Sciatica

Low back pain

Rheumatoid arthritis

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Spasm of the esophagus and cardia

Hiccups

Gastroptosis

Acute and chronic gastritis

Gastric hyperacidity

Chronic duodenal ulcer

Acute and chronic colitis

Acute bacterial dysentery

Constipation

Diarrhea

Paralytic ileus

Neurologic Disorders

Headache

Migraine

Trigeminal neuralgia

Facial paralysis

Paralysis after apoplectic fit

Peripheral neuropathy

Paralysis caused by poliomyelitis

Meniere's syndrome

Neurogenic bladder dysfunction

Nocturnal enuresis

Intercostal neuralgia

What should I expect?

On the first visit your practitioner will do an take on the history of the disorder to be treated and come up with a treatment strategy. The first visit can be about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the complexity of the case. Follow up visits will be about a half hour to an hour. Acupuncture will be given on the first visit and herbs will be prescribed if appropriate.

What should I do to prepare for my treatment?

Most conditions can be treated using points on the extremities, typically below the elbows on the arms or below the knees on the legs. Wearing loose fitting clothing with pant legs or sleeves that can be easily rolled up will allow the practitioner to easily access these points.

Does it hurt?

No. Acupuncture needles are hair-thin and designed to go into the body smoothly. A feeling of warmth or a little bit of pressure is a typical sensation when being needed, but it's nothing like the jab of a hypodermic needle like you might be familiar with getting a shot or a blood draw.