Debunking Common Myths About Acupuncture

At Southwest Spine Center, one treatment we offer our patients is acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on the concept that the body’s vital energy travels in a series of clearly defined paths. Acupuncture stimulates the paths (also called meridians or channels) that correspond to various organs and systems in the body, encouraging balance of energy and healing.


Many people have questions about this traditional Chinese medicine practice, but several of these questions also lead to myths. Below are five common myths about acupuncture followed by the facts.

Acupuncture only treats pain

While many people undergo acupuncture treatment for pain management, it can also be used to treat allergies, digestive problems, insomnia, stress, anxiety and asthma, among several other conditions. Though acupuncture can be used to treat a number of ailments, including pain, not every acupuncturist has experience treating every condition.

Southwest Spine Center has successfully treated a number of conditions using acupuncture, including: fibromyalgia, back and neck pain, female issues such as menstrual troubles and cramping, cysts, acute conditions and wounds, psoriasis, arthritis and more.

Acupuncture doesn’t really work

As with many forms of treatment, acupuncture patients rarely notice significant changes after just one treatment. If you’ve tried acupuncture once or twice and were dissatisfied with results, give it time. At your first appointment, our doctors will evaluate you individually and make a recommendation for treatment on a case-by-case basis. Our typical treatment plan includes 12 visits over a few weeks time though we’ve seen results after only one visit in some cases. Chronic or long-term health issues often take more time.

Acupuncture is painful Needle

Many people who haven’t tried acupuncture are afraid to do so for fear that it is painful. Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a human hair, and their insertion is practically painless. Most people find acupuncture relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatment. Some patients may experience a dull ache from the needles, but not sharp pain. Our office uses both needle and non-needle treatments based on patient preference and results.

Acupuncture is a religion-based treatment

Because the treatment is deeply rooted in Chinese medicine, many people believe there are religious associations with the treatment. The reality is that there is nothing religious or supernatural about acupuncture. Acupuncture is often described as based on ancient Chinese theories of flow of qi (pronounced chee) through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels. According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck or super-abundant. Qi can be defined as a fine, essential substance, which nourishes and constructs the body, “vital energy,” or simply, oxygen.

Acupuncture is not safe

In addition to the misconception that acupuncture is painful, this is another common myth regarding acupuncture treatment. When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture is safe. All acupuncture implemented in our clinic is done with individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles or our Mens-O-Matic micro current unit, which is completely painless, as it does not puncture the skin. This micro current treatment is also very fast, with each point stimulated for approximately five seconds.

If you suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, back or neck pain, female issues such as menstrual troubles and cramping, cysts, acute conditions and wounds, psoriasis, or arthritis, you may benefit from acupuncture treatment. Contact Southwest Spine Center today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.

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