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Whether you have a chronic ailment or acute injury, acupuncture may be able to help you. This ancient healing technique is often used in conjunction with chiropractic care, physical therapy, and massage for maximum results. Learn more about acupuncture and how it promotes holistic recovery and pain relief.

What is acupuncture?

This form of traditional Chinese medicine involves inserting thin needles into the top layers of skin. When applied at precise points along a network of energy lines, known as meridians, acupuncture needles are known to clear blocked channels, making way for full-body restoration. The technique is used in Asia alongside modern medicine, and its popularity is growing in the West.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is considered a holistic, all-around wellness treatment and preventative care method. According to the Acupuncture Evidence Project, positive effects have been documented for 117 different conditions. Here are some of the ailments that show the strongest evidence for successful treatment with acupuncture:

  • Chronic and acute low back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment
  • Postoperative pain, nausea, and vomiting

What to expect at your first acupuncture treatment

If you’re interested in trying acupuncture for the first time, sit down with a practitioner for a consultation to discuss your ailments and what you hope to achieve. If desired, you can have your initial treatment session on the same day.

Treatment begins by having you lie down on a special table. Your practitioner swabs the insertion sites with rubbing alcohol and places thin, sterile, one-time-use needles into your skin. You should feel little to no sensation during this process.

The needles are left in place for 20 to 25 minutes while you lie still and relax. Some sites may feel tender, but most patients report feeling deeply relaxed during acupuncture treatment. You are monitored constantly to ensure you remain comfortable.

How to prepare for acupuncture treatment

  • Drink plenty of water and eat a light snack beforehand.
  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages for three hours before and after treatment.
  • Wear loose clothing or bring a change of shorts and a t-shirt for easy access to needle placement sites.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for two hours following treatment.

How many sessions are required?

One treatment is usually not enough to result in pain relief. The number of sessions you need depends on the condition you want to treat and how well you respond to the acupuncture needles. You may be asked to commit to at least eight treatments once a week to determine if it’s working for you. Once the initial healing period is complete, maintenance treatments may occur bimonthly, monthly, or seasonally as needed. Your practitioner will discuss the ideal timeline for your situation.

Effective Integrative Healthcare offers pain-free acupuncture treatment in Millersville and Crofton, MD. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, or you want to learn more, please contact us today.