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> Services > What are the Benefits of Needles?

What are the Benefits of Needles?

If there are so many excellent non-needle methods for stimulating acupoints, why use needles at all? There are some things only needles can do:

  1. Acupressure and most other non-needle techniques can only stimulate one, or at most two acupoints at the same time. Stimulating an acupoint is like playing a note on a musical instrument. Stimulating several acupoints at the same time is like playing a chord. An “acu-chord”, composed of several acupoints transmits a more refined and sophisticated frequency or message to the cells via the meridians than a single “acu-note”. There are many classic and modern acupuncture textbooks that offer effective and time-tested multi-acupoint prescriptions for the treatment of both common conditions and complex disorders.

  2. Acupuncture needles can be retained in the body for long periods of time. Needles are usually retained for 10-40 minutes. However, some point prescriptions require only a minute or two of retention. Intradermal needles and presstacks can be retained for several days. Retaining a selected group of needles for a period of time sends a stronger message to the cells than pressing each of those points sequentially for a moment or two.

  3. There is a much greater volume of research demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating serious diseases, than there is for acupressure.

  4. Acupoints are like chimneys or holes that connect the surface of the skin with the meridians and deeper layers of the body. Penetrating an acupoint with a metal needle helps “vent the chimney” by bringing the body’s internal environment into homeostasis with the external environment. This is particularly beneficial when treating a weak or over-reactive immune system, emotional imbalances, arthritic conditions that worsen in bad weather, post-viral conditions, fibromyalgia and many other disorders.

  5. Needles directly impact the nerve plexuses, blood vessels and fascia--which relaxes internal spasm, and improves nerve conductivity and blood circulation. This is especially true in orthopedic and Chinese acupuncture styles in which the needles are inserted more deeply in order to directly stimulate specific tissues within the body.

  6. Acupressure may not be beneficial for those with severe inflammatory arthritis, severe circulatory problems from diabetes or varicose veins, acute pain conditions that are aggravated by pressure and certain skin disorders. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for these types of conditions. In my practice, I often first treat patients with severe pain or acute injuries with acupuncture. After their symptoms abate somewhat, I incorporate acupressure and other modalities into their treatment plan.

  7. Acupressure does not treat acute infections such as the common cold, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, tonsillitis and ear infections. Acupuncture helps resolve these conditions quickly.


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