What Happens During Acupuncture Treatment?

Your acupuncturist may burn incense or aromatherapy candles.
Acupuncture is sometimes helpful.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that involves stimulating certain points on the body with needles.
The purpose of acupuncture is to stimulate the flow of vital energy, also known as qi.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2015
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Many people find that acupuncture treatment helps with a number of conditions, both physical and mental. Sometimes used along with traditional medical treatments, acupuncture is also the treatment of choice for many people who find that Western medicine does little or nothing for them. The process of treatment is straightforward and normally requires no more than thirty minutes.

Before you actually undergo an acupuncture treatment, it is necessary to spend some time talking with the practitioner. Most acupuncture practitioners will want to know about your personal medical history, the medical history of your immediate family, and how your current ailment is affecting you, both physically and emotionally. This information is very important, as it gives the practitioner insight into the overall condition of both your body and mind, and provides valuable clues as to how to proceed.

Once your patient profile is complete, your practitioner begins the process of determining where the energy imbalances are occurring and how to clear those blockages or imbalances. This portion of the process is very important, as it determines where each of the acupuncture needles will be inserted along your body. The needles interact with energy medians at strategic points, and help to stimulate the flow of energy, which in turn stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities. Once your practitioner has determined where to place the needles, the actual acupuncture treatment will commence.


Many people are concerned about modesty during an acupuncture treatment. The fact is that most practitioners want their patients to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This means you can make use of a drape or gown during the procedure. To further help you relax, the procedure may augmented with the use of soft music, as well as scented candles or incense. Your preferences will determine how you are dressed, and whether music or aromatherapy is included in the procedure.

It is not unusual for an acupuncture treatment to be administered while the patient is in a prone position. This makes it easier for the practitioner to observe the overall reaction of the body as needles are placed, and may lead to additional insights as to where a needle should go. However, there are situations where the treatment is administered while the patient is reclining in a chair or lounge, depending on the nature of the ailment.

One of the greatest fears of many people is that the insertion of the needles will cause a great deal of discomfort. In fact, that is rarely the case. A well-schooled acupuncturist knows how to position the insertion so that most patients may feel what is similar to a pinprick at the point of insertion; even this minor irritation usually subsides in a matter of seconds. People who have treatments from on a regular basis sometimes report that they cease to feel the needles at all.

The duration of the acupuncture treatment will depend on the nature and severity of your affliction, and your rate of response to the treatment itself. However, it is not unusual for treatments to last a half-hour to forty-five minutes on average. Many people find that regardless of what ailment they are seeking help with, they are able to sleep more soundly, and enjoy an enhanced sense of well being for some time after the treatment.


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