Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting very thin needles through the skin, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). A trained acupuncturist inserts the very fine needles into various pressure points throughout the body to interrupt pain signals. It is thought that by activating the pressure points, the body releases its own natural energy (known as qi, or chi) to help promote healing and balance. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine practice, can be used for chronic pain caused by conditions including migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and back and neck pain/injury.
It’s important to seek acupuncture treatment by a certified professional to ensure safety (use of sterile needles) and effectiveness of the treatment. Some people feel that acupuncture relaxes and energizes them following a treatment, while others may see no effects. Every individual responds differently, which is why if improvement isn’t experienced after a few treatments, acupuncture may not be the right therapy for managing chronic pain.