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Myths about acupuncture

When I tell people what I do for a living, people are usually quite surprised and curious about acupuncture. They have heard about it, but are either too scared of the needles, or do not know if it can assist in their health problems.

Although acupuncture has been around for over 2000 years, it is relatively new in Australia. Due to this there are plenty of myths about acupuncture, here are the top 10 I have heard, which I want to debunk right now.

Acupuncture needles hurt

No, not in the way people think. When I talk about needles, people always think about hypodermic needles (the needles a nurse uses to take blood). The needles I use in acupuncture are very fine (width of a hair strand) and smooth. When tapping the needle in, you may feel an initial prick, and then a slight dull sensation, which should dissipate quickly.

Acupuncturists have limited training

In Australia, you are required to complete a 4-year degree, and over 800 hours of clinical experience, before you can call yourself an acupuncturist! This may differ from someone that performs acupuncture or dry needling, in a different field, so be sure to ask about a person’s qualifications and training if concerned.

Acupuncture will give me severe side effects and impact my health

Acupuncture uses the body’s own energy to heal itself therefore, there should be no to minimal side effects, and will be able to return to work or your normal daily chores after a treatment session. Speak to your specialist if this is a concern.

I should be fixed after 1-2 treatments

Everyone is different! How quickly treatments work for a person depends on many factors; how their body responds to the treatment, how chronic and long they have had issues, the frequency of appointments, and other outside factors (diet, stress, lifestyle situations). Acupuncture takes time; so you cannot expect a problem you have had for 10 years to be resolved in 1-2 treatments.

Private health insurance doesn’t cover acupuncture

Depending on your private health insurance policy, you may be able to claim back some treatment costs.

Acupuncture is based on the placebo effect

There have been numerous studies testing the placebo effect of acupuncture; studies show that acupuncture assists the brain in releasing endorphins, which is the body’s natural pain killers to assist in managing pain, and helping the body heal. Other studies also show that acupuncture needles bring blood into an area, to help with the body’s natural healing processes.

It conflicts with mainstream treatments, medications and other therapies

Acupuncture is a natural, holistic approach using your own body’s healing processes to resolve some conditions. Acupuncture has been found to work well and complements some of other treatments and conditions, however It is always best to check with your GP or local acupuncturist first when starting any new health care treatments.

The needles are a health risk

All needles used are sterile and for single use only. They are then disposed into a sharps container.

Acupuncture is only for pain management

Acupuncture may be able to assist with a range of symptoms and issues including; sleep, stress and anxiety concerns, menstrual pain or irregularities, fertility issues, digestion and allergies symptoms.

It doesn’t work

You may have tried acupuncture before, and may have not seen much difference. This could be due to a range of reasons such as; not the right timing, not the right practitioner, medications, or other factors going on in your life that are impacting your symptoms.

If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to send me an email or give me a call.

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