Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of very fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body that have been determined over thousands of years of research and study to have varying positive effects on the body. The use of acupuncture points involves the application of theories about the human body and the circulation of vital energy that have been established, recorded, studied and tested first in China and then all over the world.
There are a wide variety of ways of doing acupuncture – we prefer a gentle, focused method that puts great intention into each point. We sometimes will use as few as two needles, and rarely more than a dozen. Acupuncture almost universally leaves a person feeling very relaxed and open, and often can have profound effects including emotional releases and changes in old symptoms and diseases.
Acupuncture also has adjunct therapies that use the same points on the body, but involve different applications, including cupping and moxibustion.
Most people do not find acupuncture painful. While there are different styles of acupuncture, some that utilize more stimulation, and some that utilize less stimulation, when done correctly there shouldn't be a high level of discomfort for the patient. People will feel a poking sensation as the needle enters the skin, but sensations beyond that are usually described more as “weird” than “painful.”
Additionally, I tend to utilize a very gentle form of Japanese style acupuncture that is very suitable for use in sensitive patients, including children and people with serious skin conditions.
If a patient has severe needle phobia, there are plenty of alternatives. As stated above, cupping, moxibustion, and other therapies can be utilized to stimulate the acupuncture points to good effect without needles. While it is best to let your practitioner do the therapy that is going to be the most effective for your condition, nothing positive will be gained by great tension or fear on your part! Never hesitate to tell me about your concerns or difficult experiences – your wellbeing is my number one concern.
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