Acupuncture was developed thousands of years ago as a key treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Needles are used to stimulate crucial points in the body known as acupoints 穴位. Stimulating these points would improve blood flow and allow “Qi” 气 or healing energy to circulate throughout the body, hence boosting the body’s self-healing and restoration processes.
Despite acupuncture’s growing popularity, there are many misconceptions that deter some people from trying it. Let’s bust some of these common myths about acupuncture!
Myth #1: Ouch! Acupuncture is Painful!
The first thing most people ask when considering acupuncture is, “Does acupuncture hurt?”
Acupuncture needles only cause minimal pain as they are as fine as a cat’s whisker! We're talking about 0.16 mm (yes mm not cm). A trained and experienced acupuncturist will also take great care to ensure that these needles cause minimal discomfort. Some of our patients find acupuncture so relaxing that they might fall asleep during treatment!
If you are up for it try electroacupuncture. Small pulses of electricity give light tapping sensations on the needles making the acupuncture treatment more comfortable.
After the needles have been inserted into your skin, the discomfort u feel during the insertion should not persist. If you feel any sort of discomfort, make sure you sound it out to your physician.
Myth #2: Acupuncture is not Scientific, it is just another Old Wive's tale.
Numerous studies proved that acupuncture works to relieve pain by:
promoting blood flow
In a groundbreaking controlled trial led by a Harvard neuroscientist, the study team proved that patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome could experience significant brain remapping after receiving acupuncture. The MRI scans of these patients showed that the damage to their somatosensory cortexes (the part of your brain that controls your senses) had been partially repaired following acupuncture!
Acupuncture is ancient, but definitely not outdated.
Myth #3: Acupuncture may interfere with conventional medical treatments
There is weak evidence to suggest any conflict between acupuncture and conventional medical treatment. In fact, WHO recognizes the efficacy of acupuncture as a complementary treatment for over 100 medical conditions!
A trained acupuncturist will take caution if patients are on blood thinners. For patients on blood thinners, smaller needles will be used and compression on the acupuncture area will be done to minimize bleeding and bruises.
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