At Tampa Spine and Wellness, we utilize acupuncture to stimulate specific acupoints along the skin of the body using various methods such as the application of heat, pressure, laser, or penetration of thin needles. It is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which aims to treat a range of conditions. Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. It is a form of complementary and alternative medicine; acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — through the channels known as merideans. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body's natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
The risks of acupuncture are low if you have a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner. Possible side effects and complications include:
Soreness: After acupuncture, you might have soreness, minor bleeding or bruising at the needle sites.
Organ injury: If the needles are pushed in too deeply, they could puncture an internal organ —particularly the lungs. This is an extremely rare complication in the hands of an experienced practitioner.
Infections: Licensed acupuncturists are required to use sterile, disposable needles. A reused needle could expose you to diseases such as hepatitis.
Not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture or for particular types of acupuncture.