Because the needles used in acupuncture are so thin, for most patients insertion feels similar to a mosquito bite. Once the needles are in place, usually any initial discomfort is gone (and there’s no bleeding when the needles are removed). Treatments typically involve eight to 20 needles. These are left in place for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition being treated.
How does acupuncture work?
Western medicine believes that acupuncture stimulates the production of neurochemicals. These chemicals influence the body’s internal regulating system, and improve energy and the body’s chemical balance. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture in treating many medical problems, including those related to pain, orthopedic conditions, and neurological and muscular disorders. See what acupuncture doctors treat.
Will I experience side effects?
Most patients don’t experience side effects following a treatment. Sometimes, however, the original symptoms worsen for a few days. Side effects can include usually minor changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns. Such changes seldom last more than a few days.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Some insurance companies cover acupuncture services for certain conditions. Check with your insurance company about your specific coverage.