The Many Benefits of Acupuncture

There’s some irony in the fact that many people regard acupuncture as “new age” when it’s actually been done for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine. In the ancient practice, acupuncture needles were used to stimulate or disrupt streams of energy running through your body called Qi (pronounced “chee”). 

There’s evidence that acupuncture affects your nervous system, and it can be used successfully to treat numerous health conditions. 

At Osteopathic Center for Healing, Dr. Neil Spiegel and physician assistant Jennifer Gularson practice integrative medicine and find that acupuncture can be an integral part of a successful treatment program for many patients. There are numerous benefits to acupuncture

Acupuncture is drug free

In the midst of an opioid epidemic, and as health care costs continue to rise, there are plenty of good reasons to seek nonpharmaceutical approaches to pain relief. Acupuncture is a natural method of relieving pain, promoting healing, and treating a host of issues that are often tricky for more conventional medical approaches to help. 

For example, lower back pain is a common ailment. For most people, it’s acute, which means it lasts six weeks or less and then gets better. But for some people low back pain becomes chronic and can be debilitating. Acupuncture is recommended by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians as one of several nondrug approaches that should be considered for chronic low back pain. 

Similarly, acupuncture can be used to treat other conditions that commonly cause pain, such as chronic neck pain, osteoarthritis, and headaches. 

Acupuncture is safe

As long as you’re getting treatment from a qualified and highly trained professional, acupuncture is unlikely to cause side effects or cause negative outcomes. We use sterile needles, and our extensive training means you face almost no risk. 

Acupuncture may help anxiety, insomnia, depression

Current events have a great number of people feeling anxious, unable to sleep, and depressed. There’s a global pandemic, civil unrest, and plenty of other stressors, so it’s not at all unusual that more people are experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder.

Acupuncture is often an appropriate treatment for these kinds of conditions without medications or costly therapy. It’s a particularly successful approach to treating insomnia, and good sleep is critically important to good overall health.

In addition to chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia, acupuncture can be used to treat reproductive issues such as infertility, digestive system problems, and many other medical conditions. Some of our patients come in for the overall benefits of the treatments as a regular part of a healthy lifestyle. 

What to expect

It’s not uncommon for people to imagine that acupuncture is painful because needles are involved. You may be imagining the needles used to give injections, but the needles used for acupuncture are much different. 

Acupuncture needles are very thin -- some of them are about the size of a human hair. They are also solid, unlike needles used to give injections, and flexible. During your treatment, your provider may manipulate the needle. 

Because the needles are so fine, many people say there’s no pain upon insertion. You may feel a pressure, a sting, or even an aching feeling. Many people report that acupuncture leaves them feeling especially content and relaxed, but some people also say they feel energized. 

If you’re ready to learn more about the many benefits of acupuncture and find out if it could be a useful part of maintaining your health, book an appointment at Osteopathic Center for Healing. Call our office in Rockville, Maryland, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Or you can use our handy online booking tool to choose a day and time.

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