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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be a sticky subject for some, due to the many needles used during a session. However, this ancient, holistic form of medicine can offer relief from many medical conditions.

The philosophy behind acupuncture is rooted in the Daoist tradition from more than 8,000 years ago. Keep reading to learn more about this ancient procedure that is still bringing healing in modern times.

Learn more about acupuncture treatment at UPMC. To make an appointment with a certified medical acupuncturist from the UPMC Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, call 412-692-4400. 

Learn more about acupuncture

Your Acupuncture Questions Answered

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an eastern form of medicine. The insertion of the needles produces natural chemicals in the body called endorphins, which help decrease your perception of pain. The overall goal of acupuncture is to reduce pain while increasing blood flow and stimulating muscles and nerves throughout the body.

What’s the purpose of acupuncture?

The philosophy behind acupuncture is achieving balance throughout your body. Practitioners believe that if you’re in pain, your body is not in balance. In treating the pain, acupuncturists try to find the specific acupuncture point that will address your physical problem, thereby putting your body back in balance.

But I’m afraid of needles.

The most common concern about acupuncture is the fear of the needles. However, the needles used are very thin compared to needles used for injections of medicine. You’ll feel a little pressure as the needle pierces the skin. Once the needle is in the muscle, there should be no pain.

What illnesses are treated using acupuncture?

Both acute and chronic illnesses can be treated with acupuncture. Because everyone responds differently, the number of treatment sessions can vary for each individual.

How many sessions are needed for acupuncture to be effective?

Typically, the longer the patient has the condition, the longer the course of treatment before they experience substantial or lasting results. Acupuncture can be done as often as five times a week, or as little as once a month.

I’m ready to try it! How do I get started with acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective way to treat many types of pain, and has few side effects. If pain medicines have been a problem for you, acupuncture may be a viable option.

To make an appointment with a certified medical acupuncturist from the UPMC Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, call 412-692-4400. You can also learn more about acupuncture treatment at UPMC.