What it is – Acupuncture is a procedure in which extremely fine (as small as 0.10mm), sterile needles are inserted into the body at points located near neurovascular bundles, or in trigger and motor points that exist in the muscles.
The practice of acupuncture originated in the Far East and made its way across the world over the course of the past several thousand years. Acupuncture is now practiced in almost every country. Over time, acupuncture has evolved and there are a wide variety of styles.
What it feels like – Patients receiving acupuncture often report a variety of sensations. Some patients do not feel the needles at all, while others might feel a light pressure that subsides quickly. Discomfort with acupuncture is rare, but when it occurs it should fade away in approximately 30 seconds. Many patients report feeling deeply relaxed during the treatment while they rest on a warm treatment table.
What the research shows – When an acupuncture needle is placed into the body, it affects the connective tissue and muscles in which it is lodged. The result is that both local and systemic circulation improve, and there is an improved exchange of gasses (particularly oxygen and nitric oxide) in the body. Nerves are also stimulated, and there is activation of the nerve pathways traveling to the brain and the spinal cord. The treatments have been shown to be helpful for pain, anxiety, and countless issues. Additional information can be found on the modern research of acupuncture and conditions page.