1. Acupuncturists use Filiform Needles

These needles are generally thin, and as many as 40 needles can fit into a standard hypodermic needle. The difference between a filiform needle and a hypodermic needle is that a filiform needle isn’t hollow like the hypodermic needle, which is generally used to draw blood or inject medications.

2. Not Every Acupuncturist Treats the Same

Acupuncture has many different styles ranging from Korean, Japanese, Five Element, electro-acupuncture, auricular and more. The difference can be anywhere from needling style, selection of points, to diagnoses. It is essential to know that the entire body is mapped on to different particular parts of the body, like in Korean or Auricular acupuncture. Sometimes the practitioner inserts the needle in a different place than where the problem is located. The needling style of Japanese acupuncture is very gentle and doesn’t puncture the skin, while 5 Element focuses on emotions. It is very important that you ask your practitioner about their specific techniques before receiving treatment to make sure that they match up with you what you are looking for.

3. Acupuncture Treatments Work Best in Series

It is very important to understand that acupuncture treatments work best in series. These treatments build on one another and have an accumulative effect. If you wait for an extended period of time between appointments it’s like starting your treatment plan all over again. If you are thinking of giving acupuncture a try you should do at least a couple of sessions and commit time to your treatment plan to see if it is a good modality for you.

4. Not Everyone Responds to Acupuncture the Same Way

There is always a possibility that the condition you are treating can get worse before getting better, which is a result of a strong healing response called a healing crisis. The explanation for this is that when the body initiates a change things can get stirred up in unexpected ways. This can lead to an exacerbation of current symptoms, or it can wake up a previous dormant ailment.

Some people may feel relaxed; others will feel energized. Also, different people will have different sensations during their treatments. The treatment can induce a hot or cool wave sensation, muscle twitches, dull ache, heaviness, tingling or an electrical feeling.

5. There are Side Effects with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is generally pretty safe, but there are rare side effects.  Most of these are non-life-threatening and generally resolve themselves, but it is good to be aware of them so that if you experience any you know that it’s normal and not usually anything to be concerned about.

Bruising can happen at the needling site which can take a couple of days to resolve. There is also always a possibility that a nerve can be hit, which may cause a brief shocking or painful sensation.