Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles at specific points on the body. While acupuncturists describe the action of the treatment in terms of balancing the body’s energies and life force, modern medical studies have shown that acupuncture has many observable beneficial effects on the body, especially in terms of pain relief. Acupuncture has been found to increase the secretion of endorphins (the body’s natural pain and stress relievers), calm anxiety, raise levels of immune anti-bodies and white blood cells, improve circulation, and reduce pain levels. The evidence provided by these studies has resulted in acupuncture frequently being incorporated into modern pain management interventions.
Most people find that acupuncture sessions are very relaxing, and that they feel very little discomfort, if any at all. During your acupuncture session, you will lie down on a treatment table, and the acupuncturist will insert thin needles in specific areas of your body that will provide you with the best relief from your pain. You may feel a moment of discomfort when each needle is inserted, but often patients do not feel anything. You will rest for 25 to 45 minutes with the needles in place, to allow for the beneficial effects to take place.
A series of acupuncture sessions is often recommended. Although you may feel a reduction in your pain immediately after your session, you may need to undergo several sessions to feel results. If you receive good results from your initial series of sessions, your doctor may recommend additional sessions to reinforce the outcome.