Debunking Myths About Acupuncture That Still Exist

December 04, 2020

You've probably heard of acupuncture before. After all, about 14 million Americans have used acupuncture treatments in the past or currently use it right now. But just because you know that other people use acupuncture doesn't mean that you'll immediately start looking up "acupuncture near me" online.

There are a number of different myths and misconceptions surrounding acupuncture. Like any form of Chinese medicine, it suffers from a lot of misinformation. While many Americans like to compare Eastern medicine and Western medicine, rarely do acupuncture specialists suggest that clients totally abandon the medicine that they know. Rather, they use acupuncture in tandem with Western medicine. The more that you know about acupuncture, the easier it will be for you to use it to its best advantage and move forward exploring acupuncture near me. With that in mind, let's debunk some of the myths surrounding acupuncture.

Myth: It's Painful

One of the biggest myths surrounding acupuncture is that it causes pain. Many people don't even begin looking up acupuncture near me or other topics because they believe that the needles used during acupuncture make the process excruciating. In fact, many report that acupuncture isn't painful at all; and if there is any discomfort, it's usually very minimal and restricted to the first session or two as you get used to the process.

Acupuncture is actually incredibly relaxing, to the point that many patients fall asleep during the procedure. The needles used are very thin, quite different from the types of needles used for injections. All you may feel is a slight pinch as the needles are initially inserted. Deep relaxation, comparable to that experienced during meditation or yoga, is reported to follow.

Myth: Acupuncturists Don't Receive Training

Some believe that acupuncture is simply a natural medicine that is passed down through tradition and doesn't require the type of training that would be required of medical professionals. This couldn't be further from the truth. To become an acupuncturist within the United States, you must undergo about three years of graduate school. Usually, these studies will involve Asian bodywork, nutrition, practice management, needle technique, acupuncture points, ethics, and Western medicine as well.

Students must undergo at least several hours of on the job training. These clinical experiences allow them to train in an observed setting. Acupuncturists who have earned their degrees must then attend continuing education classes over the years and must pass National Board Licensure exams. Much like Western medical professionals, acupuncturists must maintain their expertise over the years.

Myth: Acupuncture Only Resolves Pain

While you may be looking up acupuncture near me to aid in treating pain, acupuncture is not merely used to treat pain. It can be remarkably effective in terms of pain management. This is because acupuncture typically relies upon pressure points, and is therefore used to release muscle tension and stimulate blood flow. But acupuncture has been used for a broad range of conditions that don't necessarily have to do with pain or muscle stiffness.

Acupuncture has also been used to treat nausea, helping patients stabilize, as well as anxiety. The relaxation caused by acupuncture can help ease anxiety and depression symptoms. Many prefer this natural treatment for anxiety and depression to medications that have to be taken for the long term. It's also been connected to the treatment of gynecological disorders and infertility. Some even use acupuncture to treat inflammatory disorders, which are often related to the immune system. It can be difficult to predict the full extent to which acupuncture can be used, as new techniques are being developed and studied regularly.

Myth: Acupuncture Isn't Scientific

Some believe that acupuncture is mystical, or for that matter works due to a kind of placebo effect. There is very much a science behind acupuncture, and much research is being done to determine how it works. Many believe that acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves, which signals the brain to release certain hormones.

It's impossible to know exactly how you will respond to acupuncture until you experiment further with it yourself. With that in mind, you may want to give acupuncture a try; but make sure that you're working with a licensed acupuncturist and exploring the specific issues that you want treated. You may be surprised by the results.