Acupuncture is a popular alternative wellness treatment that can help alleviate pain, anxiety, headaches, migraines, stress and other issues but there are still many myths about it.

That is according to Dr. Tiffany Avery, who holds a doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist and clinic director of Modern Acupuncture at 1615 E. Camelback Road.

Avery said some patients are afraid the acupuncturist will apply the needle directly on the body part that is bothering them but that is not necessarily the case. Many acupuncturists use a method called “distal needling,” which is when needles are inserted into different acupoints along the body, typically in a distant location from the area of concern or pain. The process stimulates the brain, as well as sparks a healing response as a full-body approach.

Some people fear that receiving acupuncture will be painful but that is not true, Avery said. She said acupuncture needles are typically as thin as a piece of human hair so it is common for patients to not even feel the needles being applied.

Another misconception is that it takes time for the benefits of acupuncture to be felt. Avery said while people are encouraged to have many sessions to experience the most impact for chronic conditions, it is common for them to feel benefits right away from acupuncture. Avery said when the nervous system is activated, it stimulates blood flow to the area of pain or concern, offering immediate relief.

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