What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old Chinese stimulation technique that relieves a variety of medical conditions. Most commonly, acupuncture includes the penetration of thin needles into precisely defined points on the skin, though non-needle therapies also can be incorporated into treatment. Non-needle techniques include rubbing or massaging, pressing on a point (acupressure), heating (moxa) or creating suction over an area of skin (cupping). Some acupuncturists also use lasers to stimulate acupuncture points, often including points on the ear.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, acupuncture can help reduce pain and nausea. The practice also can help relieve:

  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Neck aches
  • Menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms and other women’s health issues

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture treatment is surprisingly comfortable. In fact, many patients fall asleep during treatment. Acupuncture needles are about as thin as a human hair, and unlike hollow needles used to give injections or draw blood, they are solid, increasing the comfort of insertion. School children and even toddlers easily can tolerate acupuncture.

What are the side effects of acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe when performed by an experienced and licensed acupuncturist who uses disposable needles. Side effects may include mild sleepiness and minor bleeding. More serious side effects—such as infection, broken needles or lung puncture—are very rare (less than one in 10,000 treatments).

Are acupuncturists licensed?

The State Medical Board of Ohio regulates acupuncture. Non-physician acupuncturists are registered to practice.

Will insurance cover acupuncture services?

Possibly. Prior to your visit, contact your provider to learn more about your coverage, whether you’ll need a referral from your physician, the portion of the payment in which you’ll be responsible and what co-pay is required at the time of the appointment.

Why Choose Ohio State?

Why choose acupuncture services at Ohio State?

At Ohio State’s Integrative Medicine Clinic, our registered acupuncturists work alongside medical doctors and other health professionals in a convenient, multidisciplinary, personalized and holistic setting. We offer:

  • The highest quality care from acupuncturists trained in both traditional Chinese and western medicines
  • Other health services such as chiropractic treatment, massage and general medicine
  • Seminars and classes related to yoga, tai chi, stress reduction and more
  • Free and convenient parking

Our Acupuncture Practitioners

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