Acupuncture is a form of Chinese Medicine which relies on sticking fine needles into one’s body at specific meridian points. This is believed to fix energy imbalances by letting any blocked “Chi” energy flow through once again. Acupuncture has been used in China for millennia, and it has only been recently introduced to the Western world for a few decades.
Here is a brief overview of what an acupuncture session may be like. The patient lies flat on a massage table, where they may be asked to undress to reveal the area of the body that is having problems. Then, acupuncture needles are inserted at various angles, from 15 to 90 degrees relative to the skin.
Once inside, the needle may be further manipulated by the practitioner with twisting motions, and possibly heated, cooled, or electrified with a small current. The needles are left for a few minutes to supposedly let the chi, or life force energy, start flowing normally.
But does any of this actually work? Unfortunately, in the West, acupuncture is considered alternative medicine, pseudoscience, and quackery. Studies have shown that it may help patients alleviate pain, though the results may be due to the placebo effect. However, there is not enough consistency, and thus it is generally considered ineffective at treating pain.
Below is a list of our articles about acupuncture and the facts we’ve discovered regarding what it truly can and can’t do to alleviate pain.