During acupuncture, a licensed acupuncturist painlessly inserts hair-thin needles into specific points on your body.
Researchers think acupuncture works by stimulating your nervous system in a way that promotes health and well-being and reduces pain.
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture can help relieve pain and a variety of other symptoms and conditions. These include the following, among many others:
- Cancer treatment side effects (e.g., joint pain, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, stress, anxiety, hot flashes)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic pain, including back pain and knee pain
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Headaches, including migraines
- High blood pressure
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
There are many uses for acupuncture not listed here. In general, acupuncture is safe for most people. However, if you a have a pacemaker or a bleeding disorder, or are pregnant, acupuncture may have some specific risks.
If you're not sure whether acupuncture is right for you, a primary care provider at Rush would be happy to discuss it with you.
What to Expect During Acupuncture at Rush
At Rush, you'll receive acupuncture from a highly experienced, licensed acupuncturist with a doctoral degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
During your appointment, you can expect the following:
- Your acupuncturist will ask you about your specific symptoms and goals
- You'll lay on an adjustable table (the kind you might find in any doctor's office)
- Your acupuncturist will carefully insert sterilized, hair-thin needles into specific areas of your body
- You may feel a slight pinch upon insertion, but should not feel any significant pain
- Your acupuncturist may manipulate the needles by twirling, moving or charging them with a slight electrical current
- Your acupuncturist will remove the needles after 10 to 30 minutes
- You may have more energy, less pain or an increased sense of well-being after the appointment is over
In some cases, your acupuncturist may recommend other techniques — such as acupressure — in addition to, or instead of, traditional acupuncture.
Rush Excellence in Acupuncture
- Leaders in acupuncture research: Acupuncturists at Rush regularly conduct research designed to increase knowledge of how acupuncture works and what it most effectively treats. Their acupuncture approaches are based on the latest research about what works best to ease which symptoms and conditions.
- Acupuncture integrated with cancer care: Acupuncturists at Rush offer services within the Rush University Cancer Center, giving patients with cancer convenient access to acupuncture. Acupuncture can reduce the side effects of cancer treatment, including nausea, fatigue and lack of appetite. It can also help ease the stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression that sometimes come with cancer.
- Highly experienced acupuncturists: At Rush, acupuncturists are licensed, nationally board-certified and hold a doctoral degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. They also have advanced training in acupuncture oncology. This gives them in-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of acupuncture, a 2,500-year-old practice rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. They'll draw on this extensive knowledge when recommending the acupuncture approaches likely to work best for you.