Acupuncture – How Does It Work?

by Dr. Sofie Desforges-Bell, ND
Naturopathic Doctor

A Natural Holistic Modality

As part of my naturopathic medicine training, I learned and practiced acupuncture. It is one of the many modalities that I now use in my practice to treat patients in a holistic manner. So why choose acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based in traditional Chinese medicine and it has been around for more than 2500 years.

It works with very thin needles inserted at various points in the skin. This, in turn, stimulates nerves in the area which can help enhance the function of various organs, tissues and body systems. Each needle comes pre-sterilized in its own individual packaging. This ensures complete sanitization and no risk of infection.

Acupuncture and the Qi

Acupuncture also works with the qi, this invisible life-force within us. It can ensure that this life-force is flowing properly throughout the body, resulting in better physical and mental balance. It is believed that there are over 2000 acupuncture points connected by meridians & pathways in our body. By releasing blockages and stagnation, we encourage the body to get well.

What To Expect From an Acupuncture Session

Each session starts with a short discussion about your health goal so I can assess where to insert needles. Acupuncture points are found all over the body. The best trigger point may not always be in the area that is causing your pain.

Once the assessment is done, you will be invited to lie down on our treatment table and to remove any piece of clothing that may cover any body part that needles will go in. A blanket or sheet will be provided if needed.

Needle insertion: Acupuncture needles will be inserted at strategic points on your body in keeping with your health goal. The needles are so thin that there is usually very little discomfort. I may gently move or twirl each needle after insertion to ensure correct depth and placement. There are usually between 5 and 10 needles placed on various points on the body.

Needle removal: To maximize their benefits, needles are usually left for 20-30 minutes. You can then relax to the sound of soft music playing in the background. When possible, lights will be dimmed to encourage total relaxation. Removal of needles is usually painless. Some patients report feeling very relaxed after their acupuncture session.

Health Benefits of Acupuncture

Research has shown that acupuncture can help with a variety of ailments, mostly the relief of chronic pain including: 

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis/Knee pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Relief of symptoms associated with cancer treatments

According to the World Health Organization, other benefits have been observed for the treatment of various ailments and conditions. More research is needed to confirm these, but some patients have had seen relief for the following:

  • Digestive issues
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety
  • Stress relief
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual pain
  • Infertility
  • Arthritis & muscle pain
  • Respiratory issues

Community Acupuncture

If you are looking for an alternative to help with pain and various conditions, why not try acupuncture, a natural treatment that has existed for thousands of year. I now offer community acupuncture twice a month. All acupuncture treatments fall under naturopathic services and are covered by most health benefits. Feel free to email me if you want more information or book a FREE 15-min Meet-and-Greet.