More and more people are catching on to the benefits of acupuncture. One study showed that in 2007 over 14 million Americans had tried acupuncture—and that number has only increased since. While traditional Chinese Medicine has used acupuncture to treat a variety of health conditions for thousands of years, modern science is only now validating the full range of its health benefits. Hugh MacPherson Ph.D., co-editor of the book Acupuncture Research, notes that “strong evidence exists that acupuncture is effective for chronic pain conditions” and is a “useful adjunct” for conventional care when treating depression. But there are countless other benefits to acupuncture.
But first, we need to clear something up. Namely, needles.
I get it. Almost all my patients come in a little bit nervous, even scared about needles. Needles, for many people, remind them of going to the doctor’s office or hospital and getting blood drawn. Here’s the good news: nothing could be further from what happens in an acupuncture session!
Acupuncture uses extremely thin and almost 100% pain-free needles to help increase circulation and therefore help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. After nineteen years of practice, I can’t tell you how many times my new patients have said, during their first acupuncture session, “Did you put the needles in? I didn’t even feel a thing!” Some don’t even believe me when I say I already put the needles in. They open their eyes and are amazed. These are hair-thin needles, far tinier than the ones used to draw blood, that many people don’t even notice. And the benefits for your body are amazing. So while it’s normal to be nervous, if you try it, you’ll be surprised by just how easy acupuncture actually is.
Zhang Y, Lao L, Chen H, Ceballos R. Acupuncture Use among American Adults: What Acupuncture Practitioners Can Learn from National Health Interview Survey 2007?. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:710750.
Stern, Victoria (2014). “5 Scientists Weigh in on Acupuncture” Scientific American Mind. July 1, 2014. Retrieved from: