Acupuncture, a treatment originating from ancient Chinese medicine, is seen as alternative medicine. This treatment involves fine needles inserted at specific locations in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
Uses of acupuncture
Acupuncture practitioners use acupuncture to treat various health conditions. Nevertheless, acupuncture is only sometimes based on rigorous scientific evidence.
Many health organizations issue guidelines and recommend acupuncture as a treatment option for:
- Chronic (long-term) pain
- Chronic tension-type headaches
To treat musculoskeletal conditions; of the bones and muscles, including:
- Joint pain
- Dental pain
- Postoperative pain
However, the effectiveness of acupuncture compared with other treatments needs to be clarified.
An initial acupuncture session lasts from 20 minutes to 1 hour. It involves an examination of your health in general, a medical timeline, and a physical examination, followed by the insertion of acupuncture needles.
The span of treatment often concerns several separate sessions that vary depending on your signs.
Insertion of the needles
Insertion of the needle occurs in specific portions of the body, which c call acupuncture points.
You’ll usually sit or lie down during the session. Practitioners might ask you to remove some of your clothing so the practitioner can access specific body parts. The needles employed are very delicate and are usually a few centimeters long. These needles should be a single-use.
The practitioners choose specific points to place the needles depending on the number of symptoms you have.
The needles may be inserted under the skin or deeper to reach the muscle. Once the needles are in place, it still in that position for up to around 30 minutes. You may feel a tingling or a pale ache when the needles are, but you should not undergo any pain. If you do so, let your practitioner know straight away.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 04 October 2022