What is Acupuncture?

An Ancient Healing Therapy is Just As Effective Today

acupuncture chicago chiropractor dr. patricia wascoAcupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine, with its origins originating from China more than 3500 years ago. However, it has only been recognized as an alternative healing art in the United States for the last 30 years. In 2007, around 3.1 million people had an acupuncture treatment. From that time to today, it has grown tremendously in popularity with millions more visits per year with great results.

What is acupuncture?

The whole theory of acupuncture is founded on bringing balance to the body by regulating what is known as the  “Qi’ or the energy of the body. The two main ways this is accomplished is by bringing the energy back to a balanced state by the use of acupuncture needles and herbal formulas.

Early Chinese physicians discovered that there is a energy network the lies just below the surface of the skin that communicates from the exterior to the internal organs.  There are over 1,000 Acupuncture points on the body.  This stabilization factor is between the circulatory, nervous, digestive, genitourinary, muscular; as well as all the other systems of the body.  When this energy network is blocked or weakened and effect occurs in the body system and becomes evident.  This is when acupuncture is effective.  Stimulation of the key Acupuncture points become necessary.


Do the needles hurt?

The answer is no. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, sharp, and the majority of needling is superficial (½ inch to an inch). They are not the same as hypodermic needles you have at the doctor’s office to get vaccinations. The thin, short needles combined with the experience of a licensed acupuncturist, cause minimal discomfort. What most patients feel on needling is a momentary dull ache, numbness, tingling or heaviness which quickly goes away.


Is acupuncture safe?

This is asked all the time because of the use of needles. Many people are concerned about needle cleanliness as well as the chance of needling too deep. The fact is, it is one of the safest therapies that you can receive.

At Advanced Spinal Clinic, we only use disposable needles. Each is sterile and enclosed in it’s own package right up until you are needled. We use strict needling guidelines for your safety.  Also, because needles are very short and inserted superficially by a professional, you can be confident that you are safe.


What are the benefits?

  • When performed correctly it’s safe.
  • It’s very effective in combination with other treatment methods.
  • Effective at controlling pain by increasing endorphins which are our body’s natural pain relievers.
  • Has very few side effects.
  • A great alternative to patients that don’t want to use or don’t respond well to pain medication.


How many treatments are usual?

Treatments can vary with different conditions and individual.  When conditions are more chronic they generally require more treatments then acute symptoms.  Some patients will notice improvement immediately after the first treatment.  However, some patients may not notice any effect until the 7th or 8th visit.  Patients should not engage with Acupuncture therapy with the thought of  “just trying it or taking a few” to see what happens.  Even if it is possible to achieve success, a program is set for a certain number of visits for stabilization factors.  Furthermore, after improvement is seen the maximum benefit is experienced for up to 3 months following their course of therapy.

There is a small number of patients that will experience a slight worsening of symptoms before improvement is seen.  This is usually a temporary experience.  It is caused by the bodies energies are returning to the “balance/stability/normalcy”.


What can acupuncture treat?

There are many conditions that can be treated by acupuncture, but common conditions include:

If you have thought about having an acupuncture treatment, it’s a good time to consider one. Since it is effective and safe with minimal discomfort, it just makes sense to use this type of therapy to help you. It’s important that you give us a call or come on into the office, so we can answer all your questions. We are here to help you find a treatment or combination of treatments that will give you the very best results.