In order to perform acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted under the skin at specific bodily locations. Acupuncture, a crucial element of traditional Chinese medicine, is frequently used to relieve pain. It is increasingly being utilized for overall wellness, which includes stress reduction.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a method for regulating the flow of energy (chi or qi), which is thought to pass along meridian pathways in your body. Acupuncturists believe that by placing needles into particular locations along these meridians, your energy flow will be restored to equilibrium.

Many Western practitioners, in contrast, see the acupuncture points as locations to activate muscles, connective tissue, and nerves. According to some, this stimulation increases your body’s natural painkillers.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Acupuncture is primarily used to reduce pain brought on by a number of diseases and conditions, such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines and other types of headaches, such as tension headaches
  • Pain during labor
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in the neck
  • Toothache
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Cramps during menstrual period
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis


If you receive acupuncture from a qualified, licensed practitioner who uses sterile needles, the dangers are minimal. Soreness and slight bleeding or bruises where the needles were put are typical side effects. Since single-use, disposable needles are now the norm, there is little chance of infection. Acupuncture is not appropriate for everyone.

Be sure to inform the acupuncturist of the following before beginning treatment:

  • Having a bleeding disorder. If you take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, your risk of bleeding or bruising from the needles may be enhanced.
  • Having a pacemaker. It’s possible that acupuncture that uses light electrical pulses on the needles will affect how a pacemaker functions.
  • Pregnancy. Some acupuncture points may induce labor, which could lead to an early birth.

Before the procedure

Before receiving acupuncture therapy, there is no particular preparation needed.

Consider acupuncture, then follow the same procedures you would to pick a doctor:

  • Request recommendations from people you trust.
  • Verify the practitioner’s credentials and training. Non-physician acupuncturists must pass a test administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the majority of states.
  • Speak with the professional. Inquire about the treatment’s components, likelihood that it will improve your condition, and cost.
  • Determine whether the treatment is covered by your insurance.

If you’re thinking about trying acupuncture, let your doctor know. He or she might be able to provide you with information on the success rate of utilizing acupuncture to treat your problem or suggest an acupuncturist.

Each practitioner of acupuncture has a distinctive style that frequently combines elements of Eastern and Western schools of medicine. Your practitioner may inquire about your symptoms, behaviors, and lifestyle in order to establish the sort of acupuncture therapy that will benefit you the best. He or she may also pay great attention to:

  • Your facial color
  • The areas of your body that hurt
  • Your tongue’s texture, color, and form
  • The consistency, strength, and rhythm of your wrist’s pulse

Although some sessions can be substantially shorter, an acupuncture treatment can last up to 60 minutes. One or two treatments per week would normally be part of a regular treatment regimen for a specific ailment. The severity and kind of the illness being treated will determine how many treatments are necessary. Six to eight treatments are typical, on average.

During the procedure

There are acupuncture points all across the body. The right points may not always be close to where you are hurting. Your acupuncturist will inform you of the general location of the intended treatment and whether you need to undress. There will be a gown, towel, or sheet available. You are treated while lying on a table with padding.

  • Needle insertion. Various depths of acupuncture needles are put into your body at predetermined locations. Since the needles are so thin, insertion normally doesn’t cause much discomfort. Most of the time, they don’t feel at all inserted. 5 to 20 needles are typically used in a therapy. When a needle is inserted properly, you could experience a slight hurting feeling.
  • Needle manipulation. After the needles have been inserted, your practitioner may gently twist or twirl them, as well as deliver heat or brief electrical pulses.
  • Needle removal. The needles often stay in place for 10 to 15 minutes while you relax and lie still. Typically, there is little pain when the needles are taken out.

After the procedure

Following an acupuncture session, some people feel calm while others feel more invigorated. Acupuncture, however, does not work on everyone. Acupuncture might not be for you if your symptoms don’t start to get better within a few weeks.


Although it can be challenging to quantify the advantages of acupuncture, many people find it effective for managing a range of painful ailments.

But according to several studies, some forms of virtual acupuncture may be just as effective as actual acupuncture. There is evidence that acupuncture works best in patients who anticipate positive results.

If you’re having problems managing pain with more traditional approaches, acupuncture may be worth a try because it has low negative effects.