Ask Nurse Colleen: Is there evidence proving acupuncture works and why do you feel sedated after a treatment?

Recently, several evidence based research studies on the effects of acupuncture have proven that this five thousand year old therapy actually works to heal the body. The CAT, MRI and PET scan technology of today provides the scientific data contained within these studies and supports acupuncture efficacy. Although researchers around the world do not fully understand how Traditional Chinese acupuncture works, they acknowledge that it has a profoundly positive effect on the body.

A study out of George Washington University indicated that patients typically feel a healing result after six treatments, however, I have found that most patients experience significant improvement after just three treatments. I am always very surprised when some patients experience relief with just one treatment. This could be the body’s placebo affect or it could be a atypical rapid response. I have pondered this rapid response over my years of acupuncture practice and although it is difficult for me to believe that I could heal someone with just one treatment, it has indeed happened.

Research papers state that acupuncture causes hormones to stimulate the release of endorphins which are naturally produced in the body to control pain. Typically, lasting changes and the best results occur twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the needles are removed. Patients usually visit me once a week until their pain or condition subsides.

Finally, research points to the fact that acupuncture is safer than drugs because it cannot cause dependence, side effects, allergic reactions, or toxicity of any kind.

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