|In the 1950s Westerners were amazed to learn that Chinese surgeons had used acupuncture as an effective replacement for anesthesia. Unfortunately this has given people the false impression that acupuncture is mainly a treatment for pain management. It is true that it is an excellent therapy for musculoskeletal pain, whether it is due to arthritis, a sports injury, or from other causes. However, the aim of acupuncture is not simply to remove symptoms but to treat the underlying imbalances of the patient. Thus, acupuncture is actually a good treatment for a wide variety of illnesses. The World Health Organization lists an array of diseases that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment. These include everything from constipation and diarrhea to migraines and sinus infections. The National Institute of Health has found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for patients undergoing chemotherapy, to help with nausea, low appetite and fatigue. Similarly, in my practice, I have found acupuncture to be effective for a wide variety of conditions from PMS and depression to sports and repetitive strain injuries to recovery from car accidents.
When most people think of acupuncture needles they remember times when they had blood drawn or were given an injection. Actually, these are not good comparisons to the experience of getting an acupuncture treatment. The needles used to draw blood or give a vaccination are quite large in order to allow fluid to be pushed through the needle. Acupuncture needles, on the other hand, are quite thin and fine and the physical sensations associated with acupuncture are quite different from the pain from getting a shot. People usually find acupuncture treatments to be relaxing and rejuvenating. In this age of communicable diseases, it is also important to note that all the needles I use in my practice are sterile and disposed of after treatment.