If you are looking for a natural healing modality that can ease your pain or improve your overall health, you might be considering acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture has become more common in the U.S. in recent years, and in most cities and towns, you can find at least one acupuncture clinic. The therapy has helped many people, but it's still a little unfamiliar to some, so you might have a few questions you'd like answered before you schedule a session.
What is the difference between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture?
You might see some clinics advertising Chinese acupuncture and others advertising Japanese or even Vietnamese acupuncture. Chinese acupuncture is the oldest, most traditional version of acupuncture. The Chinese are said to have invented acupuncture; it's a core component of Chinese medicine. Other regions adopted acupuncture and made their own changes. Japanese acupuncture, for instance, tends to use finer needles than Chinese acupuncture. Japanese acupuncture also tends to incorporate some herbs into treatment, whereas Chinese acupuncture tends to be pure needling. Herbal remedies are seen as a separate treatment. Neither style is necessarily better or worse; it just depends what you prefer and what is available.
Do you have to have needles inserted into your skin?
The insertion of needles is the core work that is acupuncture. Luckily, the insertion is not painful. You may feel a tiny pinch, but that's all. If you truly do not want needles inserted, even with the knowledge that it's not that painful, then you may instead want to opt for acupressure. This is a similar treatment in which the practitioner applies outward pressure to the treatment area. It may not be as effective as acupuncture, but it does provide relief for a lot of patients.
How quickly does it work?
Some people feel relief before their acupuncture session is even over. Most feel relief after a session. However, to feel the full effects of acupuncture, you might need to have several treatments. The more intense your pain or illness, the more treatments you can expect to need. Each one will relax your nervous system a little further until you're no longer in pain or discomfort.
With these questions answered, you should feel more comfortable scheduling a Chinese acupuncture appointment. Remember to relax and enjoy the treatment. If you immerse yourself in it and can get your mind off the fact that needles are involved, it can be quite enjoyable.