Have you ever tried acupuncture before? Maybe you have tried dry needling, but that is not quite the same!
Over the years, I’ve come across lots of misunderstandings (and myths) about acupuncture, what it does, and how quickly it works! Here’s some of my favourite acupuncture myths.
1. Acupuncture is a one time only miracle treatment
Sure, on occasion a client will leave their session pain free! Or we have a “how did you do that” moment where one needle can make a person’s pain disappear completely.
Often times though, if a person does leave pain free, it will return in a few days. This is the body’s way of saying it needs its next acupuncture treatment. Because it can take several treatments for the pain signals and old pathways in the body to be rewired in the brain by the acupuncture.
Now it depends on what you are getting treatment for, but let’s say it is for musculoskeletal pain, and this pain is chronic. It is highly likely that initially, your acupuncturist will want to schedule your sessions frequently and close together, possibly twice a week for two weeks, and then drop it back to weekly, eventually fortnightly or monthly and then as maintenance as your initial pain complaints will be under control now.
If you were seeking treatment for something that needed more time, such as balancing hormones, fertility support, weight loss, digestive health issues, autoimmune regulation, or healing old emotional patterns, you will most likely need consistent treatment for 2-6 months to see the changes taking place in your health.
2. Acupuncture is painful
It can be, but in my experience, it is nowhere near as intense as dry needling. This works in a person’s advantage when they have only experienced dry needling before, and then they get acupuncture and ask “why am I not feeling that?” But sometimes this can give patients the impression that the acupuncture is not powerful, because it does not feel the same as when they had dry needling.
Once again, dry needling and acupuncture are very different treatments.
Some acupuncturists specifically needle with the intention to create a strong Qi feeling (it can feel like a strong dull ache, or an electrical sensation), whilst other acupuncturists have a gentler approach.
The sensations felt will also depend on the patient. Do they have a high pain threshold? Are they fatigued, sensitive, or very depleted?
3. Acupuncture will fix all my issues and I won’t have to make any life changes
Sorry, not true!
You must be willing to make changes in your life to get the best results from your acupuncture sessions
This is particularly true if your life habits have led you to this health crisis over a long period of time. If a person has had a diet consisting of processed foods, refined sugar, excess coffee and alcohol, not enough water, high levels of stress, and very little exercise, the acupuncture is only going to be able to help that person some of the way towards their goals.
Working with an acupuncturist is team work. The acupuncturist has their role to play in the team, and so does the patient. When it comes to sleep, food, hydration, movement and stress management, certain things will need to change in the patients’ lifestyle to maximise what acupuncture can do for their transformation.
And huge transformations are available to you with this medicine!
4. Acupuncture is a placebo.. it’s all in you head!
I can totally appreciate that this medicine looks like some kind of weird sorcery.
How does it even work?
What do the needles do?
In witnessing my own patients, and hearing hundreds of stories of other people, this is real!
Acupuncture gets real results but like so many other strange mysteries, you simply have to have your own experience to know what it has the capacity of doing for you
We live in a society where people need evidence, facts, and tangible reliable data to develop a sense of trust, especially when it may cost them precious time, money and hope for a better quality of life. Nobody likes getting their hopes up and then crashing in disappointment when it does not deliver.
The Acupuncture Evidence Project is a fantastic document for people to read to see the top health issues that acupuncture has the best efficacy for; all based on randomised controlled peer reviewed studies.
I hope this has cleared up some of the misunderstandings about acupuncture for you. It truly is an extraordinary medicine, and I am honoured to be a student of its wisdom.
If you ever decide to try acupuncture, may you also have an extraordinary experience and be opened up to the power of your own transformations.
Love Karina x