Common Myths About Acupuncture

Acupuncture hurts

The term “needle” can understandable conjure up feelings of fear in people who have only ever experienced western hypodermic needles used for injections. Unlike hypodermic needs, acupuncture needles are solid, surprisingly thin, and therefore cause very little pain. In fact, as many as 40 acupuncture needles can fit into the head of a standard hypodermic needle. When the acupuncture needles are inserted, some people feel nothing while others notice a slight twinge. During an acupuncture session, people often describe a feeling of calm and relaxation. At the end of a session, the Acupuncture Physician quickly and painlessly removes the needles and disposes of them safely.

Acupuncture doesn’t work

Chinese medicine has been around for over 3,000 years and has clearly stood the test of time. Western medicine has taken notice of the beneficial effects of acupuncture, and as a result, there are now countless reputable research studies that demonstrate its effectiveness. Both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions. Many reputable hospitals and treatment centers in the US now have licensed acupuncturists on staff including Boston Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, VA hospitals and countless others. 

Acupuncture is only useful in treating pain

While it’s true that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain, it has been proven effective for many other conditions as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes over 100 conditions for which acupuncture is effective based on controlled research. In addition, The National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a Consensus Statement has identified a number of conditions for which the efficacy of acupuncture has been shown including:

Addiction, Allergies, Anemia, Anxiety, Arteriosclerosis, Arthritis, Asthma, Back Pain, Bronchial Conditions, Candida, Chronic Fatigue, Circulatory Disorders, Colitis, Common Cold, Constipation, Depression, Dermatological Disorders, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Ear Disorders, Ear Ringing, Emotional & Endometriosis, Epstein Barr Virus, Eye Disorders, Fertility Issues, Fibroids, Frozen Shoulder, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal Disorders, GERD, Gynecological &, Headaches & Migraines, Hepatitis, HIV & AIDS, Hypertension, IBS, Immune Disorders, Impotence, Infertility, Insomnia, Irregular cycles, Joint Pain, Lupus, Menopause, Miscellaneous, Morning Sickness, Mouth & Throat Disorders, MS, Muscle Spasms, Pain & Musculoskeletal Issues, PCOS, PMS, Psychological Disorders, PTSD, Respiratory Disorders, Rhinitis, Sciatica, Sexual Dysfunction, Sinusitis, Smoking Cessation, Sprains, Stress, Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, Ulcers, UTI 

All acupuncture providers are the same

There’s a huge difference, actually.

Licensed acupuncturists complete a minimum of three years (2,000+ hours) of training, including supervised clinical experience. They also must pass a series of board exams issued by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), which establishes standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public. Licensed acupuncturists are also required to complete continuing education classes to maintain their licenses. Every practitioner at Family Tree Acupuncture is a licensed acupuncturist.

Chiropractors, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Doctors, and Physical Therapists who offer acupuncture receive between 10 and 300 hours of training (versus the 2000+ hours required by licensed acupuncturists) some or all of which can be completed online. No continuing education courses are required for these types of practitioners to keep offering acupuncture. 

Acupuncture works in mysterious ways

There is nothing supernatural or mystical about acupuncture. It is a clinical modality designed to help balance your body’s various interconnected systems. Western medical research has identified possible neurochemical mechanisms of acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects. In other words, acupuncture stimulates the body to signal the release of pain-relieving hormones (such as beta-Endorphins) from the brain that suppress pain, improve your mood and calm the nervous system. 

Acupuncture will only continue to work if you continue to get treatment

A huge benefit of acupuncture treatments is that they create lasting change for many people. Everyone responds differently to acupuncture. People with relatively new or minor issues will often see their symptoms resolve within three treatments while more severe or chronic issues can take up to ten or more. Once a patient’s goals are reached, we can start weening them from treatment. Some people require no further follow-up treatment while others might be on a maintenance schedule a few times a year. 

You need a doctor’s referral or prescription for acupuncture

While many people are referred to acupuncture by their doctor, a referral is not required to start treatment. Many people use Chinese medicine exclusively for their healthcare, and others seek out acupuncture to support other conventional treatments that they are using. The great news is that there are little to no side effects or contraindications for receiving acupuncture. Patients on blood thinners should make their acupuncturist aware of this so that the treatment can be adjusted accordingly. 

Jorge Mejia

Acupuncture Physician

Meet Jorge

Maggie Mejia

Acupuncture Physician

Meet Maggie

Andres Nemeth

Acupuncture Physician

Meet Andres

Gina Bushelon

Acupuncture Physician

Meet Gina

Choose Family Tree Acupuncture

Our clinic is patient-centered with practitioners who listen, devote ample time to your appointment, and expertly customize treatments using multiple modalities.

Collaborative Care

Family Tree Acupuncture provides collaborative patient care. Our team works together to provide the treatment plan for your needs.

Specialized Training

Each of our practitioners has gone above and beyond the 2000+ hours of training required to become a licensed acupuncturist.

No Hidden Fees

As a patient at Family Tree Acupuncture, you pay a flat fee for your initial and return visits, no matter what modalities are provided.

Voted Best Acupuncture

We’re proud to have been named the Best Acupuncture Clinic by the News Journal, Hometown News, and WNDB radio.