What have you heard about acupuncture? When it comes to this ancient treatment method, there’s plenty of misinformation available. Here are some of the myths we’ve come across, along with the facts you need to know.
Myth: Acupuncture is not science-based
Because acupuncture has a history that reaches back to prehistory, some people are skeptical about its scientific merit. However, in just the last 20 years, thousands of studies have been conducted regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in treating various conditions.
Not every research study is valid, of course, and of the thousands that have been conducted, not all found evidence that acupuncture works. But there’s enough evidence that scientists continue to investigate and question when and under what circumstances acupuncture is beneficial.
One study found evidence that acupuncture is effective in treating 117 out of 122 areas investigated. Perhaps more importantly, researchers have found little evidence that acupuncture causes harm, as long as it is performed by a trained, skilled professional like Dr. Spiegel.
Fact: Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for chronic pain
Chronic pain is one of the most widespread health issues in the country. Treating chronic pain is difficult for numerous reasons. The issue of opioid addiction demonstrates why a pharmaceutical approach is often inappropriate, and having your doctor tell you to “exercise more” when you’re in pain isn’t exactly helpful.
Acupuncture can be part of an effective treatment plan for chronic pain. Researchers looked at randomized controlled trials investigating acupuncture in cases of chronic pain conducted over several years. They found that acupuncture is a reasonable option and has a clinical effect in patients with chronic pain.
If you’re living with chronic pain, you may want to discuss acupuncture with Dr. Spiegel. There’s very little risk and a good possibility that you’ll get some relief.
Myth: Acupuncture is painful
You may imagine that acupuncture must be painful because it involves needles. However, that’s not usually the case. Acupuncture needles are very thin -- sometimes as fine as a strand of hair!
In addition to the fact that acupuncture needles are nothing like those used to administer shots, Dr. Spiegel is a skilled practitioner. He’s an expert in helping you avoid pain.
You may feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted, or perhaps a tingling sensation. You’re very likely to feel soothed during your treatment, though some people report feeling energized.
Fact: Acupuncture treatments are individualized for you
If Dr. Spiegel recommends acupuncture as part of your treatment plan, it’s because you have a condition that acupuncture can treat. He doesn’t recommend it for every patient, nor does he promote it as a cure-all.
Acupuncture can be a successful therapy in the right circumstances. Before recommending acupuncture, Dr. Spiegel will examine you, discuss your medical history and your goals, and consider how you can best reach optimal health. His recommendations may include nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, or other therapies.
Similarly, not every acupuncture treatment involves the same areas. Your treatment is designed to suit your needs.
If you’d like to learn more about acupuncture, schedule an appointment at Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland. You can use our online scheduling tool, or call us Monday-Friday between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm.