What is acupuncture?

AccupuntureThe 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.

Request an acupuncture appointment

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.

A great deal of research has since and continues to be done on acupuncture. Current research in Western medicine shows that acupuncture has an impact on many of the body’s functions, receptors, and systems. It’s demonstrated that it can be effective for a number of 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

Acupuncture and Cancer Treatment

Studies have shown that acupuncture can help support patients through the cancer process from diagnosis through survivorship. Acupuncture helps patients manage many of the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment, including pain, chemotherapy-induced vomiting (CINV), chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), stress and anxiety, fatigue, dry mouth and hot flashes.

Acupuncture and Fertility

Acupuncture is also used as a complementary treatment with in vitro fertilization (IVF) for women struggling with fertility. Acupuncture is known to regulate ovulation and balance the body and hormones, and is used as a supplemental tool in partnership with other fertility treatments.

How much does acupuncture cost?

An initial acupuncture visit costs $145 and $94 for a follow up visit. After your initial session, if you purchase five follow-up sessions you receive the sixth one free.

Acupuncture Locations

Henry Ford Center for Integrative Medicine offers services at multiple locations throughout metro Detroit: 

  • 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. 

IFV and Acupuncture
Acupuncture and IVF

How can acupuncture and integrative medicine help a woman during fertility treatments? Licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Ryan Gauthier explains.

Contact our Integrative Medicine team

by calling (833) 246-4347 or schedule an appointment through MyChart.


Cookie Consent

We use cookies to improve your web experience. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. Read our Internet Privacy Statement to learn what information we collect and how we use it.

Accept All Cookies