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Myths and Facts About Acupuncture

You’ve had symptoms that haven’t cleared up with traditional medicine. You’ve heard about acupuncture but have never tried it. Does it really work?

It’s time to separate the myths from the facts about this form of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dr. Donghwan Lee, board-certified acupuncturist with DH Acupuncture in New York, New York, helps set the record straight. 

Myth 1: Acupuncture hurts

While you might feel a very tiny prick when an acupuncture needle is placed on your body, the needles don’t cause pain. In fact, acupuncture treatment produces calmness and relaxation. 

The treatment reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol. At the same time, it increases your body’s production of endorphins, hormones that stimulate opiate receptors that elevate mood and help you relax. 

Myth 2: Acupuncture is old folks’ medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine, using acupuncture and herbs, has been used in China for more than 2,500 years. TCM posits that acupuncture corrects poor or blocked energy flow, called Qi, in your body. Western researchers have studied the effects of acupuncture on the body. Clinical studies show that acupuncture causes neurochemical changes that yield health benefits. 

Myth 3: Acupuncture doesn’t work

Western medicine has embraced acupuncture in recent decades. Numerous well-designed National Institutes of Health research studies show that acupuncture, in the hands of a trained practitioner, can help resolve a variety of health problems, ranging from back pain to headaches, digestive problems, nausea from chemotherapy, and more. 

Many patients turn to acupuncture for pain relief. Opiates are addictive, and doctors in the US now restrict their use. Too, all drugs have side effects. Taking too many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories over a period of time can damage your kidneys and liver. Acupuncture is free of the side effects and risks associated with pharmaceuticals. 

Acupuncture triggers your central nervous system to produce biochemical changes in your muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Their release can stimulate physical healing and a feeling of well-being. 

Myth 4: Acupuncture shouldn’t be used in conjunction with Western medicine 

On the contrary, with very few exceptions, acupuncture can be used to complement traditional Western medicine and yield improved results. For example, studies show that acupuncture may improve your chances of getting pregnant when you’re going through an IVF cycle for infertility. Surveys have indicated that up to almost 50% of couples experiencing infertility add acupuncture at a key point in the process.   

If you’re on blood thinners, Dr. Lee coordinates with your prescribing physician, avoids placing needles in certain areas of your body, and uses very small, fine needles. 

Acupuncture can assist with a myriad of issues. Call DH Acupuncture or book an appointment online today for expert acupuncture treatment with board-certified practitioner Dr. Dongwhan Lee.

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