Acupuncture: Benefits, How It Works and Some Myths About It

Acupuncture is an ancient medical technique that originated in China approximately 3,000 years ago. Acupuncture treatments involve inserting paper thin needles (generally the size of a human hair) into the skin at strategic points on the body.


Research suggests that acupuncture works particularly well on chronic pain, including back pain, neck pain, headache, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. No wonder people from all over the world use it to break the vicious circle of chronic pain.

Acupuncture does not have any significant side effects, although some people may experience soreness. Muscle soreness from acupuncture usually dissipates within 24 hours. Acupuncture is minimally invasive and drug-free.

Stress is a silent killer and (unfortunately) a seemingly inevitable part of modern life. Various studies have found that acupuncture can alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. In people with a compromised immune system, acupuncture can increase red and white cell counts, T-cell count, and enhance humoral and cellular immunity.

In 2003, the WHO published a list of health conditions that acupuncture can treat. These conditions include high and low blood pressure, painful periods, sprains, facial pain, gastric conditions, and dental pain.

Acupuncture also treats several allergy symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and puffy eyes.

 How it Works 

TCM practitioners believe that an illness occurs when the natural flow of energy in the body is disrupted. Once an acupuncturist makes a diagnosis, they create a treatment plan which involves inserting acupuncture needles into specific points along the appropriate meridians (the pathways through which Qi flows) to restore the balance and flow of energy.

Your acupuncturist may also recommend certain exercises or lifestyle changes and certain Chinese herbs to improve acupuncture techniques’ effectiveness.

 Common Acupuncture Myths 

Acupuncture Hurts 

It is one of the most common concerns of people who try acupuncture for the first time. The concern is understandable, given that needles are inserted into the skin.

However, acupuncture needles are not hypodermic needles. They are much smaller and thinner. Acupuncturists get trained to insert acupuncture needles into specific points gently.

Most patients do not feel any discomfort or pain while needles are inserted. If you feel a mild, dull ache or a tingling sensation when a needle reaches its intended depth, you do not have to worry about it. It is a sign that the acupuncture point is being activated and this feeling is generally a warmth.

 Patients Can Become Addicted to Acupuncture 

Many people wrongly believe that acupuncture is addictive. On the contrary, it treats a variety of addictions.

 If You Do Not See Results Immediately, You Will Not Benefit 

The length, number, and frequency of sessions required will depend on various factors such as the age of the patient, their medical history, and the condition being treated. Some patients may start experiencing benefits after a couple of sessions, while others may not report any benefits even after 10 sessions.

After completing a few sessions, your acupuncturist will determine how you are responding to the treatment. Based on their findings, your acupuncturist will recommend a specific course and length of treatment.

Are you looking to try acupuncture in San FranciscoLook no further than Anchor Acupuncture & Wellness. Our certified acupuncturists will create a customized plan to treat the root cause of your health condition. To consult a certified acupuncturist, call (415) 855-3112.