Myth #1 It Hurts!! Acupuncture needles are tiny, about the width of a hair, and the insertion is virtually painless. Most people don't feel anything besides the acupuncturist's touch. Some people report feeling a tiny prick when the needle is inserted and a dull, heavy sensation after insertion- this is what we acupuncturists call “de qi” or the activation of the body’s energy.
Myth #2 It’s quackery- The NIH funds many clinical research trials on acupuncture, and these studies time and time again prove the efficacy of acupuncture. Acupuncture has made its way into mainstream medicine and is used in many medical institutions, and even by the US Military. Research has shown that acupuncture has a powerful effect on brain chemistry and the nervous system, regulating important substances in our body like neurotransmitters, hormones and natural pain killing substances called opioids. Theories that acupuncture’s success is based on the placebo effect have been disproven, and high-tech scientific tools are being used to help us learn exactly HOW it works.
Myth #3 Chinese herbs are dangerous- When prescribed by a board certified herbalist and sourced from herbal pharmacies with rigorous testing, Chinese herbs are extremely safe and effective, with very few side effects as compared to western pharmaceuticals. Like any other medicinal substance, it’s important to only take herbs after being prescribed by a professional. Be sure to let your acupuncturist know about any other medications you may be taking so they can check for any interactions.
Myth #4 It’s only good for pain- While may people have their first experiences with acupuncture for treatment of acute or chronic pain, it is beneficial for SO much more. Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can help with asthma, arthritis, depression, nausea, fibromyalgia, infertility, anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and more.
Myth #5 It’s only for adults- Acupuncture is great for kids! Treatments are really quick and sometimes can use other modalities in place of needles. It can help kids with lots of issues including allergies, asthma, eczema, ADHD, chronic coughs and ear infections, and more. Read my blog about pediatric acupuncture here!