How Does Acupuncture Work?

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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. The goal of acupuncture is to balance the flow of energy or “Qi” throughout the body and promote healing.

From a Western perspective, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and trigger the release of natural painkillers, such as endorphins, as well as other biochemical and physiological responses that can help reduce inflammation, promote relaxation, and improve circulation.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works by unblocking and balancing the flow of Qi, which is believed to be a vital life force energy that flows through the body along specific pathways known as meridians. When Qi is flowing freely, the body is in a state of balance and health, but when Qi is blocked or imbalanced, it can lead to pain, illness, and disease.

During an acupuncture session, the acupuncturist will use sterile, disposable needles to insert into specific points along the meridians that correspond to the client’s symptoms and health concerns. The needles are left in place for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, during which the client may feel sensations such as warmth, tingling, or a dull ache.

Acupuncture is often used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, headaches, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, and infertility. It is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and trained practitioner.

How Long Does Acupuncture Take to Work?

The length of time it takes for acupuncture to work can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. Some people may experience immediate relief after one session, while others may require several sessions before they notice significant improvement.

In general, it is recommended to receive at least six to eight weekly acupuncture sessions for chronic conditions and then continue with monthly or as-needed sessions for maintenance. Acute conditions may require fewer sessions.
The duration of each acupuncture session typically ranges from 30 minutes to an hour, with the needles remaining in place for around 20 to 30 minutes. Some acupuncturists may also use other techniques during the session, such as cupping or moxibustion.

It’s important to keep in mind that acupuncture is a holistic approach to healing and is not a quick fix for all conditions. It may take time for the body to respond to the treatment and for the full benefits to be realized. It’s also important to work with a licensed and experienced acupuncturist who can develop a personalized treatment plan based on your individual needs and health concerns.

Dr. Pin Lu is a renowned licensed acupuncturist with over 15 years of experience practicing acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and natural medicine. We invite you to start the journey of healing and call us at (858) 261-8038 or click here to book your session.