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Video:See an Acupuncture Treatment

with Cathy Wong

Acupuncture may sound a bit intimidating at first, but there's a wide range of benefits associated with acupuncture, and the applications can be a relaxing experience. Learn more as we see a real treatment and meet an acupuncture expert.See Transcript

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Transcript:See an Acupuncture Treatment

Hi, I'm Cathy Wong, your guide to Alternative Medicine at About.com.

Acupuncture History

Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique that originated in China over 2, 000 years ago. It's used for many conditions, such as pain, digestive disorders, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.

Common Acupuncture Questions

Some questions that I get asked a lot are "does it hurt" or "what are the needles like"? So today, I'm at Exhale Spa in Boston, and I'm going to show you what an acupuncture treatment is really like.

Acupuncture Consultation

I'm here with acupuncturist Jennifer Tongren. Now Jennifer, tell me about the consultation. Well usually, I start asking about your health concerns, your lifestyle and your well-being. I personalize the treatment by feeling your pulse and looking at the tongue, which reflect the interior condition of the body. For example, the center of the tongue is linked to the digestive system.

Acupuncture Needles

Most people are surprised to see how thin acupuncture needles really are. Look at how this one bends against my finger.
Typically, 6 to 12 needles are used in a treatment. They're inserted into acupuncture points in the body, which are invisible lines of energy flow called meridians.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

One of the most common things people are most interested in is whether acupuncture hurts. When the needle first goes in there's usually a slight pinch or no pain at all. They're typically inserted 2 mm and 1.5 cm into the body.

And if you're afraid of needles, don't worry. Just tell your acupuncturist. There are many ways to get around this. Often the needle is manipulated until a mild sensation or tingling is felt in the area around the needle.

How Long Does Acupuncture Treatment Last?

Once the needles are in, you're usually allowed to rest for anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. With some styles, needles only need to be left in for seconds.

And if you have to move, let's say if your toe is itchy, just tell your acupuncturist. At the end of the treatment, the needles are removed. The needle is usually removed so quickly you hardly feel anything at all.

After Your Acupuncture Treatment

After the treatment, the most common feeling is being relaxed but some people feel energized. Take a few minutes to rest, drink some water or herbal tea, and you're ready to get on with your day.

Thanks for watching. To learn about acupuncture, please visit us on the web at Altmedicine.About.com.
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