Acupuncture 101: What You Need to Know About This Time-Tested Healing Practice


There’s a reason that time-tested healing practices continue to captivate those seeking holistic approaches to wellness. Rooted in Chinese medicine, acupuncture has evolved over thousands of years and continues to be widely used throughout the globe. We’ll discuss what acupuncture is, how it can benefit you, what to look for in a practitioner, and how to prepare for your session. 

What Is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a therapeutic practice that involves inserting fine, thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate desired physiological response. When the body’s systems work smoothly, it fosters health and balance (whereas imbalances or blockages lead to illness and discomfort).  

Acupuncture was discovered over 3,000 years ago and is intricately connected to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a holistic approach to health and wellness. TCM views the body as an interconnected system where physical and mental well-being are intertwined. TCM incorporates techniques such as acupuncture and herbal medicine to reduce pain and inflammation, manage chronic conditions, and prevent illness. 

What Is Acupuncture Good For?

The benefits of acupuncture are diverse and well-documented. People may experience pain relief, decreased stress, improved energy levels, enhanced immune function, digestive improvement, and better sleep. Combining healing acupuncture techniques with herbal remedies, Western medicine, and other approaches improves the ability to address all aspects of well-being. 

Common Acupuncture Healing Techniques

Traditional acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the body, and there are several related techniques used to complement or enhance effects. Gua Sha is the use of an instrument in scraping motions over the body to stimulate blood flow. Moxibustion involves burning dried mugwort at the acupuncture points to warm and stimulate energy flow. Cupping involves placing heated glass or plastic cups on the skin to create a vacuum effect, which helps improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. Electro-acupuncture is a modern variation done by attaching electrodes to acupuncture needles and delivering a gentle electrical current to the points, amplifying the therapeutic effect. 

What Is the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

While both involve inserting fine needles, dry needling is focused on treating localized issues in the muscle, such as trigger points or knots. Acupuncture optimizes the physiological processes in the body to help with a wide range of physical and mental conditions. Whereas dry needling addresses only the musculoskeletal issue, acupuncture plays a role in unwinding deeper aspects of the problem. 

Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist

When seeking acupuncture treatment, it is crucial to find a qualified and experienced acupuncturist to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

  1. Look for an acupuncturist who is licensed by their state and trained under certified programs. 
  2. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals.
  3. Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge the acupuncturist’s reputation and patient satisfaction.
  4. Schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns, treatment plan, and the acupuncturist’s approach to your wellness, as well as their experience in treating your condition.

Preparing for an Acupuncture Session

Your acupuncture practitioner will provide you with information in advance of your appointment on what to expect and how to prepare, but generally, you should: 

  1. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the areas where the acupuncturist may place the needles.
  2. Bring a list of any medications or supplements you take as well as health conditions. 
  3. Refrain from consuming caffeine or heavy meals before your session to ensure a relaxed state during treatment.
  4. Embrace a calm and open mindset. Acupuncture works holistically, and addressing mental well-being is as essential as physical health. Be open to the experience and its effects.

Acupuncture continues to be a valuable asset in the world of holistic healing. Its ability to promote pain relief, stress reduction, improved energy levels, and overall well-being without the effects of common medications and other interventions makes it popular for those looking to enhance or change their current care. 

Tired of pain, fatigue, and stress? Ready to find a holistic approach that looks to heal the deeper cause, not just the symptoms? 

Call us at 615-439-2900 to schedule an appointment with our licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, Cris Octa del Rosario, L.Ac. Located in Hendersonville, we help you avoid inconvenient trips to Nashville that add to your stress. Hendersonville Acupuncture Clinic is local and ready to help our community find balance and thrive!

Start Feeling Better TODAY

Don’t wait any longer to take charge of your health! Schedule a consultation with us and let us help you improve your quality of life.

Call us at 615.439.2900

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At Hendersonville Acupuncture Clinic, we are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health. We are committed to continually support the vibrant community of Hendersonville and Sumner County.

About The Author

Cris Octa del Rosario, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in chronic pain and chronic conditions. His office is located in Hendersonville, TN.

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