"I hate needles!"
Fear of needles is one of the most common reasons why people do not choose to seek out acupuncture. The standard acupuncture needle is 0.25-.0.30 mm in diameter - almost the size of a hair in comparison to the standard hypodermic needle used (which are about 29mm in diameter). And unlike hypodermic acupuncture needles are not hollow! If your fear of needles is unease-able, acupuncturists are trained in other modalities that may be effective too. Tuina, Shiatsu massage, cupping, Guasha or simple acupressure can also be very effective.
"Does acupuncture hurt?"
The sensations that people feel during acupuncture vary. Some feel a pulling sensation, some a tingling, some feel warm sensations in the needle area. These sensations should not be painful. Most people find their experience to be quite relaxing.
“Is acupuncture effective for pain?”
The idea of inserting needles into the body to help relieve pain does seem strange but Acupuncture is an effective and non-invasive way to help ease chronic and acute pain issues and pain relief is one of the most popular reasons why people seek out acupuncture treatments. According to Chinese medicine diagnostics, pain can be a result of stagnation in the body. Insertion of these hair-fine needles helps to increase blood flow to areas of the body reducing that stagnation. Acupuncture activates the body’s own self-healing mechanisms by releasing the secretion of endorphins – our natural pain-killing chemicals. It also releases serotonin which helps regulate our mood, appetite, digestion and sleep – all of which an be affected when dealing with the stresses of chronic pain conditions.
"What are the safety precautions acupuncturists take?"
Acupuncture is an extremely safe practice, when performed by an experienced, and well-trained practitioner. Registered practitioners are trained in clean needle techniques and sterile single-use needles are used and disposed of after use. Proper sterilization and cleanliness of all equipment is practiced to avoid the spread of any transmissible disease or infections. All registered acupuncturists in Ontario must complete and pass a Jurisprudence examination before being allowed to practice
"Are there any negative side effects?"
Overall there are very few negative side effects but there are some adverse reactions. Bruising, light-headedness and emotional release are quite common reactions some people might experience during a treatment. Like any form of treatment there are some contraindications. A well-trained practitioner will always discuss your past and present conditions and know what precautions to take.
"How many treatments will I need to get?"
The number of acupuncture treatments and speed of success will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors: frequency of treatments, if there are any underlying issues, and the severity. Acupuncture in conjunction with other forms of treatment such as physiotherapy, or massage, and necessary diet or lifestyle changes can all affect the time of outcome.
"Will my insurance cover acupuncture?"
Most insurance companies do have coverage for acupuncture treatments. Please look into your insurance plan details to find out.