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Martha Jefferson: What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work? - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work?

To put it simply, acupuncture is a way to re-align the energy in your body to help you feel better.  It's been used for the past 5,000 years as part of ancient Chinese medicine, and in the United States, doctors say it can help pretty much anyone who isn't feeling well. 

"Acupuncture can be used for all sorts of problems," said Dr. Margo Gill, an acupuncturist at Forest Lake Family Medicine. "It can be used to help with chronic problems, or it can be used for new, acute injuries."  

Dr. Gill has seen acupuncture work to stop migraines, assist people trying to quit smoking and help pregnant women dealing with nausea and vomiting. 

During treatment, needles are placed around different areas of the body. Dr. Gill says it's important to recognize that these needles are round-tipped and not sharp. They are different from what is used to give a shot or draw blood. 

"Really what the needles used for acupuncture are doing is spreading tissue, not cutting tissue.  Most people might notice the needle when it first gets inserted, but there is no pain associated with the actual treatment," said Gill. 

For some, just inserting the needle is enough. In other cases, an electrical current is turned on, not causing pain, but rather reminding the body of how to run in harmony.

"What the energy is doing is helping remind the body, either using electricity or just the needles themselves, of how the body needs to work properly with itself," commented Gill. 

There is no set number of treatments that is given; rather it depends on how the patient feels.  Gill says most people end up feeling much better after a few sessions, and then might come back every now and then if they have a flare up. 

For more information on acupuncture services at Martha Jefferson, or to schedule an appointment call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. 

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