Let’s get straight to the point!
Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the body to stimulate the body’s own resources to heal itself.
This helps to bring our system back into balance from an unhealthy state or if you are well, it can encourage and support your body to continue on a good path to staying healthy, optimising bodily functions and promoting general wellbeing.
There are hundreds of acupuncture points all over the body so it’s hard not to miss one, but the art of acupuncture is to know what points to stimulate, and when to stimulate them.
It is also important to understand that when different point combinations are stimulated at the same time they can have an increased effect on the treatment outcomes.
There are many different methods of applying acupuncture techniques and your experience will differ depending on who the health care practitioner is, and what they are attempting to treat.
Acupuncture needles also vary in length and thickness (gauge).
The type of needle selected is usually decided upon based on the following:
- The area of the body being needled (thicker muscles need longer needles)
- The sensitivity/constitution of the patient
- The style of treatment and training of the practitioner
So, how does it feel to get acupuncture?
Most people report that the insertion of the needles is painless with it sometimes feeling like a small prick or a mosquito bite. This depends on the circulation in the area, the tension of the muscles, if there has been an injury or inflammation to the tissue and the needling technique being used.
Patients usually experience one or more of the following:
- A feeling of “heaviness” or dull ache around where the needle is
- A gentle tingling sensation or warmth
- No sensation where the needle is inserted but a general feeling of relaxation
If the practitioner is targeting a knot in a muscle this can cause some temporary discomfort. These situations usually involve the person being in some pain already prior to the treatment. Once the needle is inserted, it can feel quite intense for a short time but this is soon replaced with a feeling of relief.
The techniques used by the practitioner will also vary depending on the style of the practitioner and what condition they are treating. In most cases the needle will be stimulated at different intervals throughout a treatment and this can be done in different ways such as:
- Manually twisting or gently thrusting the needle once it’s inserted into the body
- “Electro” stimulation on the needle (similar to TENS)
- Moxibustion (heat therapy)
- Cupping therapy (suction cups)
- Massage (Tui Na, acupressure)
Getting regular treatment from a registered acupuncturist can help resolve issues not only currently presenting in your health but can prevent other problems from occurring.
At Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners we have a number of different Acupuncturists offering different styles of treatment and that have different areas of specialisation so give us a call today to find out who would be best to help you.