Using needles to initiate a healing response
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very fine single-use sterile needles into the body to stimulate the bodies own healing responses. Rationales for needle locations vary greatly according to the training and treatment strategy of the practitioner. A single treatment could involve the insertion of anywhere between 1 and 30 needles, depending on the requirements of the patient and the practitioner’s preference, although 8-12 needles would be typical.
Needles range in gauge and length, and the practitioner will select the most appropriate needle for each site being needled. Some acupuncture traditions (such as Japanese) tend to prefer very shallow insertion with very thin needles and minimal sensation, while other styles (typically Chinese) tend to use deeper needling with thicker needles and strong ‘deqi’ or needle sensation.
What does it feel like?
The needles can cause a variety of sensations, ranging from a gentle, warm tingly to a dull ache. These are usually pleasant, but if they are too strong, the patient has only to tell their practitioner so they can adjust the needle.
How long are treatments?
Treatment duration is flexible according to the needs of each case. A typical adult treatment at Newtown Acupuncture lasts approximately 40-50 minutes, including time to consult with the practitioner and time for dressing and undressing. When treating babies the needles are not retained at all, and young children can expect to have the needles in anywhere from 5-20 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
We understand that it requires time and financial commitment to undergo treatment and we do our best to give reasonable expectations of treatment duration and cost. Treatment duration will depend on the health condition being treated, the general health and lifestyle of the patient and how well the patient is responding to treatment.
As a general rule, acute conditions will respond faster than chronic ones.
For example, an acute injury in a young and fit person may only require 1-2 sessions. The same injury sustained by someone in their 50’s may require 6-12 treatments to restore normal function. Usually after 3-5 treatments we will have an good idea of progress and expectations.