Acupuncture: How it works, uses, & benefits

What Is Acupuncture?

what is acupuncture

Acupuncture is a primary form of Traditional Chinese Medicine in which hair thin needles are inserted into key areas of the body for therapeutic benefits ranging from pain relief to treating various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the US.


In 1997 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledged acupuncture as an effective therapy for a wide range of health conditions. Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing that historians beleive goes back to 5,000 BC. It was first recorded in the ancient Chinese medical text Huang Di Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. While Chinese acupuncture history dates back centuries, it expanded to the United States after President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 when he learned about acupuncture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified acupuncture needles as medical instruments in 1995.

Facts About Chinese Acupuncture

  • As of 2014 nearly 60% of Americans who were enrolled in employer health insurance plans were covered for acupuncture treatment.
  • Licensed acupuncturists attend a rigorous 3-4 year graduate program and complete over 2,000+ clinical internship hours and maintain their licensure with continuing education.
  • In the United States the most common styles of dry needling are Five Element Traditional Acupuncture, TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture, Japanese Acupuncture and Korean Constitutional Acupuncture

How Acupuncture Works

side effects wiki

Acupuncturists insert tiny needles into the skin at specific points around the body. It is virtually painless when done by an experienced practitioner. Inserting the needles corrects imbalances in the flow of energy in the body, called qi (pronounced “chee”). In more modern scientific terms acupuncture is thought to ease pain by affecting neurotransmitters, hormone levels, and or the immune system.

  • How often is acupuncture needed? Plan on weekly treatments until you start to see a benefit, then gradually lengthen the time until the next visit.
  • What does it cost? Acupuncture treatments range from $65 to $125 for 60 minute sessions in Boise, Eagle, or Meridian area. Some plans may cover the cost of an acupuncturist doctor, check with your insurance company for physician requirements. (Learn more about our costs)
  • Who administers it? Visit a registered, Licensed Acupuncturist from the State of Idaho, like Callie Blackwood. She is also licensed from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
  • Does acupuncture hurt? Acupuncture rarely 'hurts'. Patients report a warm or tingling sensation where the needle is inserted.
  • Pediatric Acupuncture or Acupressure treatments? We offer a gentle, non-invasive acupuncture that uses non-insertion needles and specialty tools. It is a Japanese treatment called Sho Ni Shin, perfect for children's acupuncture or very sensitive individuals.
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As a Chinese Medicine Practioner, I Vow

To honor my ancestors, my teachers and the lineage of Classic Chinese Medicine

To honor this gift of being called to service and I dedicate myself to remaining humble and honest

To trust in the natural order of life and strive to light the innate healing process in all beings.

To continue on my path of personal and spiritual cultivation of maintaining a high level of consciousness and balance.

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