Many people have heard about acupuncture but are cautious to try it for the first time because of some of the following myths. So, lets do some myth busting!

Myth #1: I tried it once and it didn’t work!

Myth Buster – In China, patients go for acupuncture every day for what ails them. But in the US, you will often hear “I tried acupuncture once for back pain I had for 20 years and it didn’t work”. There seems to be the concept that if acupuncture doesn’t work after 1 treatment then it doesn’t work. It is true that some people see quick, dramatic changes especially if it is an acute problem such as stiff neck from sleeping poorly the night before. Others experience more gradual, subtle effects especially those that have a chronic condition, an autoimmune condition or chronic pain that you have suffered from for 20 years or longer. How can it be a realistic expectation that 1 acupuncture session or 1 anything will resolve this? If you take conventional medical treatment for the same problem, 1 tablet is not likely to resolve it either, neither is one surgery. Acupuncture has been helping people for thousands of years around the world, it would not be so popular if it wasn’t working. Occasionally, people find that acupuncture doesn’t help them, and in those cases, as a primary care provider I will work to find a referral to another type of health care provider. Your health and wellness is our ultimate priority.


Myth #2: Ouch! The needles are like injection needles. I am afraid of needles.

Myth Buster Acupuncture needles are about the size of a hair on your head. They are super thin. It is a pity they are called needles because the word is often associated with having blood drawn or vaccinations with a hypodermic needle. That needle has a hole so that liquid can pass into the body. Acupuncture needles have no such hole, which is why they can be so fine. You may feel a very brief prick or mosquito bite sensation when the needle first goes in but this eases almost immediately. You will feel a little discomfort but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have any sensation. While the needles are left in, some people feel a radiating sensation around the needle or a heavy feeling at the point. These are good signs. Some acupuncture therapies don’t even use needles, but still treat acupuncture points. Don’t let fear of needles deter you from acupuncture, as there are so many options available.


Myth #3: I can’t get acupuncture yet because it may conflict with my medication, chiropractic, physical therapy and other ‘mainstream’ conventional medical treatments

Myth Buster – There is no conflict between acupuncture and conventional medicine; they complement and often enhance the results of each other. For example, chiropractic adjustments may last longer when paired with acupuncture. If you’re unsure, talk with an acupuncturist and your other health care providers about a coordinated treatment plan. We are happy to send your medical provider with a progress report on your acupuncture care.


Myth #4: Acupuncture treats pain, right? Nothing hurts right now.

Myth Buster – Acupuncture is great at treating pain, including knee pain; back pain; headache; stomach pain and menstrual cramps. As a matter of fact, the military uses it on the battlefield for wounded soldiers. Because acupuncture affects so many of our bodies’ systems, acupuncture can be used to improve nausea/vomiting, chemotherapy side effects, morning sickness, hypertension (high blood pressure), allergies, depression, infertility and many other conditions. The list goes on, see the World Health Organization (WHO) for a current list of valid treatment options.


Myth #5: Acupuncture is new age voodoo medicine; no legitimate healthcare professional would recommend it

Myth Buster – Acupuncture is a treatment option that many medical institutions recommend including:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic
  • All Canyon Ranch properties
  • United States military uses acupuncture on the battlefield for wounded soldiers
  • United States military uses acupuncture at Veterans Clinics
  • Drug Rehab facilities around the country
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds many clinical research trials on acupuncture.
  • Both the NIH and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions.


Myth #7: Acupuncture’s effects are purely a placebo. You need to believe in it for it to work

Myth Buster – It is hard to deny that acupuncture has beneficial effects on the nervous, musculoskeletal and other systems ignores as many scientific studies and systematic reviews are accruing in acupuncture’s favor. Studies show that during acupuncture, our brains begin to release chemicals such as endorphins (natural painkillers) Acupuncture also has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps people’s immune system.


Myth #8: “Acupuncture works by moving Qi.”

Myth buster – The Chinese word “qi” or “chi” literally means “air” or “breath”—not “energy.” Many believe that the notion that acupuncture moves energy arose from a mistranslation of “qi” into the word “energy” in the early 20th century. This “energy” often alluded to in books on Chinese medicine and New Age healing perpetuates this error, referring to acupuncture as “energy medicine” rather than recognizing its rational basis: a system that invokes neuromodulation and mechanotransduction of impulses throughout connective tissue.


Myth #?: What’s your myth?

Myth buster – Although Acupuncture is so old and currently so popular, there are still many people who have never tried it and have many questions? That’s okay. That’s why I offer a 15 minute complimentary consultation.