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Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, initially as a treatment technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine and relatively recently spreading to America. Traditional Chinese Medicine is often based around the balancing of Yin and Yang and circulation of qi, a concept of energy flowing through the body.
At Acu-Chiropractic we adapt acupuncture as a therapeutic modality using current knowledge of neurology, anatomy and physiology to treat various conditions. Acupuncture acts primarily by stimulating the nervous system which causes various responses in the body including release of pain blocking chemicals. We find that acupuncture can be very effective for many different painful conditions including headaches, migraines, neck pain, back pain, sciatica and various other conditions.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves inserting very thin needles to stimulate various points throughout the body. After they are inserted they are often left in place for 10-20 minutes. We use sterile single-use needles at each visit.
What is electroacupuncture?
Electroacupuncture is the same as acupuncture described above, except that after the needles are inserted they are stimulated with a small amount of electricity to increase the stimulation of the points.
What conditions can acupuncture help?
At Acu-Chiropractic we use acupuncture primarily for painful conditions like headaches, migraines, back pain, trigger points, neck pain, chronic pain, neuropathy, muscle pain and sciatica. If you have questions about treatment of a specific condition call us and we can discuss possible treatments.
Is acupuncture covered by my insurance?
In recent years acupuncture has increasingly become a covered service with many insurance plans. Acupuncture for both acute and chronic pain is covered for MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance plans through the State of Minnesota. Since coverage varies from plan to plan for private insurance plans or insurance plans through your employer it is best to contact your insurance company and ask if acupuncture is a covered service. For some plans you may need to specify that the acupuncture will be performed by a chiropractor for it to be covered.
How does acupuncture work?
Current research has shown that acupuncture affects the body in a variety of ways but the primary effect appears to come from stimulation of the nervous system. The result of this stimulation can increase blood flow, cause the release of pain blocking substances and hormones, and cause changes in the overall tone of the nervous system. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy (Qi) in the meridians or by balancing various systems in the body.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Often acupuncture is painless; the needles are much thinner than needles used to draw blood or give an injection and often patients won’t even feel the needle go in. Occasionally you may feel a small prick or sharp sensation as the needle goes in, and less commonly you may feel some pain as the needle enters different tissues in the body.
What will I feel?
What you feel depends on the type of acupuncture performed. Often needles are inserted and then left in place without any additional stimulation, with this type of acupuncture you may feel nothing at all during the session, and some patients may feel some tingling, warmth or other sensations around the needles. If the needles are stimulated manually with movement the goal is often to get a “needle sensation” which generally feels like pressure, numbness, heaviness, ache or tingling. During electro-acupuncture the primary feeling is a tingling sensation around the needles and sometimes muscle twitching. With all types of acupuncture it is common to feel relaxed afterwards, you may feel decreased pain during or immediately after acupuncture but like taking a pain reliever it can take some time to reduce the pain, slight temporary numbness around the needles is also common following acupuncture.
How long does treatment last?
An individual acupuncture treatment session lasts about 15-20 minutes on top of your chiropractic treatment. The amount of treatment needed varies based on the severity and the type of condition being treated. Just like medication it takes the right dose of treatment to get an effect. An example of a common treatment plan would be two treatments a week for two to four weeks.