Most fears or preconceived notions that people may have about acupuncture are usually caused by something they were told, something they saw on television, or just a lack of understanding about what acupuncture does. There are two general rules in life that also apply to acupuncture:
Don’t believe everything you see and hear.
Do your homework and get the facts from professionals.
These are the three most common myths about acupuncture that we hear all the time. While they’re not wildly outlandish, they’re certainly easy to debunk. We hope this might open your eyes to the benefits of acupuncture and how it can improve your quality of life.
Myth 1: With all those needles, it MUST hurt!
Yes, needles are involved in acupuncture. But one of those big, scary acupuncture needles is about as thick as a strand of hair. Most people don’t even feel it when a needle has been inserted.
Every person’s body receives things differently, and it’s possible to feel the slightest prick for a split second. But constant, excruciating pain caused by big needles all over your body? That’s a myth.
Acupuncture does not require anything close to a high level of pain tolerance. Actually, most patients feel very relaxed during and after acupuncture treatment.
Myth 2: Acupuncture is for pain relief.
Technically, this is an accurate statement, but it doesn’t come close to telling the whole story.
Acupuncture is wonderful for relieving pain, whether it’s in the neck, back, joints or other parts of the body. However, it also helps with headaches, migraines, asthma, allergies, emotional trauma, stress and women’s issues, like menstrual cycles, fertility and menopause.
The goal of acupuncture, like most Eastern medicine, is to keep the body balanced. Imbalance is caused when your body’s energy and blood aren’t flowing in rhythm.
Think of your body as a circle. All parts of the body are interrelated on a mind-body-spirit level, so if one part is out of balance, the entire body is out of balance. Acupuncture helps to bring everything back into balance.
Myth 2: After a little time with those magic needles, I’ll jump off the table and feel as good as new!
Well, they’re not exactly magic needles. They’re not hypodermic needles and nothing is injected into your body.
What these needles do, without getting too technical, is restore balance by pointing your body’s energy and blood in the right direction and helping them flow in harmony. Many people do feel great after one acupuncture treatment, but if we’re trying to correct a chronic or long-term condition, ongoing treatment is usually necessary.
There really is no magic involved with acupuncture. It’s science – maybe not the science you grew up with, but science nonetheless. Your acupuncturist will discuss any issues you may be having, ask you questions, and determine the best way to help you achieve balance in mind, body and spirit.
Are you wondering if something you’ve heard about acupuncture might not be true? Are you dealing with a condition or issue that you think might be helped by acupuncture? Let us know!
Thank you to Lisa Abramson and Henry Chuu, Natural Healthcare Center’s Licensed Acupuncturists for their contributions to this article.