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What is acupuncture?

The Chinese technique of acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used integrative procedures in the world. Acupuncture is characterized by the placement of extremely thin needles into the body, and reacts with the brain to release chemicals that reduce pain, regulate hormones, and influence many of the body’s systems.

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Acupuncture, similar to other traditional forms of medicine such as cupping, gua sha and reiki, has its origins rooted in a broad concept called “qi” (pronounced “chee”). This sophisticated theory and philosophy factors in emotional, mental and physical well-being. Traditionally, acupuncture is used to help regulate disruptions in “qi” that can cause pain and illness.

Acupuncture is an evidence-based treatment shown to be effective in numerous studies. Current research in Western medicine shows that acupuncture has impact on inflammatory response, hormone output, metabolism, circulation, pain/opioid receptors and the nervous system. These make it an effective treatment for many conditions. 

Acupuncture influences:

  • Back and joint pain
  • Circulation
  • Digestive system regulation
  • Depression, stress and anxiety
  • Hormone outputs
  • Immune system balance
  • Muscle tone
  • Nervous system regulation
  • Respiratory system regulation
  • Reproductive systems and fertility
  • Smoking cessation
  • Urinary system regulation
  • Women’s health issues


What To Expect During Your Acupuncture Visit

  • Personalized Consultation
  • Treatment Length
  • During Treatment
  • After Treatment
At your first consultation, your acupuncturist will review your complete medical history and discuss your personal health and wellness goals. He or she will share how acupuncture works, what to expect during a session and answer any questions you have. Your acupuncturist will then recommend a treatment approach based on your individual needs.
The length and frequency of acupuncture therapy depends on your condition or health goals. The initial consultation and treatment generally lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. Follow-ups appointments range from 45 minutes to one hour.
During an acupuncture treatment, very thin needles are inserted into various areas of the body, such as hands, feet, ears or back. This is known as needling. What you feel depends on the area being needled and the intent of your acupuncturist. During needling, most people experience no pain and most often report feelings of relaxation. You may experience a variety of minor, brief sensations that usually quickly pass. These may include a dullness, achiness, or fullness at the site of insertion, as well as a traveling sensation moving away from the needle along a limb.

Depending on the condition treated and the approach of your acupuncturist, you may remain clothed during treatment or be asked to wear a patient gown. During treatment, only the areas receiving acupuncture will be exposed.

After treatment you should feel relaxed and ready to go about your day. Some patients notice minor bruising at the needling site. This is temporary and will fade. There is rarely any bleeding involved in acupuncture treatment.

One of the benefits of receiving care at Henry Ford is that details about your care will entered into your medical record so your doctors will be aware of your treatment plan.

Center for Integrative Medicine

Acupuncture at Henry Ford is a part of the Center for Integrative Medicine. The center is built on a holistic approach to health and healing that uses evidence-based, alternative therapies combined with traditional western medical care. Should you wish to supplement your acupuncture treatment with massage or other therapies, our integrative medicine specialists will consider your entire personal and medical history to design a care plan that’s all for you.

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