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What is an acupuncture treatment?

Thumbtack Editors
Answered

An acupuncture treatment is a type of integrative health care session that uses needles (and sometimes heat and/or electrical stimulation) to stimulate the body’s nervous system to begin a healing process. Long practiced in traditional Chinese medicine and other Eastern cultures, acupuncture has gained widespread acceptance and use as a complementary and integrative part of healing in Western medicine. During an acupuncture treatment, the patient lies in a relaxed position on a table that is very similar to a massage table. The acupuncturist, having done a diagnosis of health concerns and determined a course of treatment, will insert thin stainless steel needles into the prescribed acupuncture points. These points are determined by the patient’s health needs. The practitioner may gently manipulate the needles to trigger a healing response in the body. Typically there is no pain associated with the treatment. A session may use anywhere from 6-30 needles or more, depending on what illness is being treated. The needles can remain in place for 5-30 minutes, with 15 minutes being a common time. Acupuncture treatments are often prescribed in a series, based on patient need.

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