Acupuncture focuses on improving the body as a whole, rather than simply treating a particular symptom.
If Fred Couples wins the Buick Classic, he will owe a debt of gratitude to his acupuncturist. Couples’s back was throbbing Wednesday night, to the point where he considered withdrawing from the tournament. His wife, Thais, wanted him to rest until next week’s United States Open, but Couples tiptoed out of his room Thursday morning and played, sore back and all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Acupuncture focuses on improving the body as a whole, rather than simply treating a particular symptom. It is often used to provide pain relief for certain medical conditions or issues, including the following:
- Postoperative pain
- Chronic pain
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- Lower-back pain
- Myofascial pain (caused by muscle spasms)
- Neck pain
- Dental pain
During acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted into the skin at targeted areas and depths. Only sterile, single-use needles (usually between five to 20 per session) are used to avoid potential infection and ensure the patient’s safety. Once the needles have been placed, the practitioner gently moves or twirls them; needles may also be heated by electrical impulses. Needles are kept in place for five to 20 minutes, with patients typically undergoing a total of 12 treatments on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Acupuncture is considered safe in the hands of an experienced professional. Patients who are pregnant, have a pacemaker or bleeding disorder have a greater risk of experiencing complications from acupuncture, and may not be good candidates.
Although rare, risks and possible complications of acupuncture include the following:
- Organ injury (especially if needles are pushed in too deeply)
- Mild discomfort
- Bruising at the needle sites