The Facts Behind 8 Common Acupuncture Myths

As acupuncture becomes an increasingly popular treatment for pain, insomnia and other conditions, many myths are perpetuated about the ancient Chinese medical modality. Below we address eight common acupuncture myths you may have heard.

Acupuncture Myth: It only works if I believe in it.

Fact: Acupuncture for animals disproves this common myth. Acupuncture treatment is used extensively for racehorses to speed up their recovery, rehab injuries and even enhance performance. The Philadelphia Zoo also uses acupuncture to help ailing zoo animals. This proves that acupuncture is not the result of a placebo effect, as animals of course have no idea they are being treated. Acupuncture will work whether you believe in it or not.

Acupuncture Myth: It is only for some people.

Fact: In 2007, 3.1 million adults and 150,000 children in America sought acupuncture treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Reliance on acupuncture increased by about one million people between 2002 and 2007. Acupuncture’s popularity continues to skyrocket as more people experience the benefits of the treatment.

Acupuncture Myth: I could catch something from reused needles.

Fact: Acupuncture needles are never reused in the United States. Eastside Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine uses prepackaged, sterile, single use needles.

Acupuncture Myth: It is going to feel like getting blood drawn a bunch of times.

Fact: Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of one hair. It’s hard to imagine, but 40 acupuncture needles could fit on the tip of a regular needle. Some patients report not feeling anything at all, others say there is a mild sensation. Most do not report pain.

Acupuncture Myth: It’s is a new fad.

Fact: Acupuncture has been used to effectively treat ailments and relieve conditions for more than 3,000 years.

Acupuncture Myth: People who can afford the best doctors don’t use acupuncture.

Fact: Pro sports players including Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, Jason Kidd, and Vladimir Radmanovic all use acupuncture with success. These players have access to the best sports medicine, and they rely on acupuncture as well to deliver optimum health and injury recovery. Many celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Sandra Bullock swear by acupuncture for losing weight, reducing wrinkles and staying healthy.

Acupuncture Myth: My acupuncturist will want me to stop going to my regular doctor, OR I cannot do both traditional medicine and acupuncture.

Fact: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Practitioner Minerva Henson not only believes traditional medicine is effective and often necessary, she will work with your primary care physician or other doctors to create a comprehensive health plan for you. For some patients, acupuncture will replace traditional medicine treatment; for many, acupuncture will complement it and make it more effective.

Acupuncture Myth: To become an acupuncturist, one just has to take a few classes.

Fact: Licensed acupuncturists attend a rigorous four-year program and obtain hundreds of hands-on clinical internship hours. Practitioner Minerva Henson has her Masters of Science in Acupuncture and continues to undergo supplemental training.

It’s easy for misconceptions or misunderstandings to arise among people who have not yet undergone acupuncture. Acupuncture is a proven, scientific method for delivering the health results you desire. We suggest you schedule an appointment with Eastside Acupuncture to see how Chinese Medicine will benefit you. Make an appointment online or call 425.466.3505 with questions.

Seana Peele