Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture?
For more than 3,500 years, acupuncture has been providing relief to people around the world. Originally developed and practiced in China, this soothing therapy is today embraced by patients who seek to alleviate symptoms caused by ailments from arthritis to anxiety to migraines. It has even been proven effective in helping people stop smoking!
Acupuncture treatments involve applying tiny needles to specific areas of the body for therapeutic effect. Sessions generally run for 60 minutes. Patients lie on a warm table and soothing music plays in the background. Some people say they feel different sensations during a treatment, which is good – because that means healing energy is moving through the body. But most patients fall asleep or deeply relax during acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work?
Many acupuncture points are near nerves. When stimulated, the point sends a message along the nerve to the brain. This causes the brain to release chemicals such as endorphins. These are chemicals our own body produces that alter or eliminate the message of pain being delivered to the brain. The release of these ‘feel good’ mood-regulating chemicals makes people feel better physically and emotionally. And when someone’s emotional outlook improves, their quality of life improves.
Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture bolsters various systems with the body, including the nervous system and immune system. Acupuncture also decreases the inflammation associated with different diseases and relieves muscle spasms and strain.
What does acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture and clinical studies have shown it to be a beneficial treatment for many conditions, including:
Chronic pain: migraines, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint disorders, frozen shoulder, trigeminal neuralgia, arthritis, plantar fasciitis
Digestive disorders: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, gastritis, constipation and nausea
Urinary and reproductive disorders: menstrual cramps, frequent urination, irregular or
heavy periods, male and female infertility, menopausal symptoms, interstitial cystitis
Psychological and emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, stress, irritability, and insomnia
Cardiovascular: high blood pressure, palpitations, raynaud’s, angina (must be evaluated by MD)
Immune: asthma, seasonal allergies, colds, cough, flu
Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs
Overweight or obesity, when coupled with diet and exercise
What does acupuncture feel like?
Some people feel a tiny prick when the hair-thin needle is inserted. Others don’t feel a thing.
Is acupuncture safe?
Absolutely. Needles are one time use only and are disposed of as medical waste.
Does acupuncture take the place of traditional medicine?
Acupuncture should never take the place of traditional medicine for severe trauma, emergencies or life-threatening illnesses! However, it can be used adjunctively to aid recovery.
Is an acupuncturist a legitimate healthcare professional?
Yes. In Arkansas, acupuncture practitioners must be licensed, possess a master’s degree and pass national board exams in both acupuncture and herbal medicine.