Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that uses thin needles throughout the body to alleviate pain and symptoms of illness. Similarly, acupressure uses pressure from the practitioner’s hands to achieve similar results for patients who have an aversion to needles.
Using the same body map to identify the areas where needles will be placed to bring about relief, Cortney Singleton, a licensed acupuncturist, says she shows patients just how small and thin acupuncture needles are before she treats someone new to the technique. She notes that most people find they can barely feel the needles at all.
“I have a very gentle touch, but if someone has a phobia to needles, we can use a variety of different methods to get similar effects,” she says. “The idea of creating flow to the injured area can be accomplished in a variety different ways.”
Patients do not have to believe acupuncture or acupressure treatment will work for it to have a positive effect; however, having an open mind contributes to the success of any treatment. In acupuncture, as in mainstream medicine, your mental status and attitude can enhance or decrease a treatment’s effectiveness.
“I find it most helpful for patients to believe in the usefulness of acupuncture or alternative treatments in order to get positive outcomes,” she says.