Acupuncture & Acupressure
As part of our comprehensive Integrative Medicine & Health program, UK HealthCare offers acupuncture at our outpatient clinic. It’s just one of the many alternative therapies provided to help patients overcome illness and injury while nurturing the mind-body connection and fostering a sense of peace, comfort and relaxation.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most widely used medical practices in the world. It involves the use of very fine needles or filaments – about the width of a human hair – inserted into the skin at key points and in specific combinations. This has been shown to improve the physiological functioning of the body through several bio-chemical and nervous system responses.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure activates the same pathways as acupuncture – stimulating the points with strategic touch or pressure – to help the body heal itself and signal a return to balance. It can be an effective technique for pain, nausea, headaches, digestive issues, and stress, as well as to help achieve physical and emotional wellness. Guided group classes and individual sessions are available via telehealth at this time.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture initiates and facilitates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. In addition to treating a wide variety of health conditions, some of the other benefits of acupuncture include reduced muscle tension, improved immune response, mood stabilization and better sleep. Acupuncture improves overall health and well-being, so you can experience benefits beyond just the specific site or problem being treated.
Which conditions can be treated effectively with acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of chronic and acute health problems. Some of the conditions managed effectively with acupuncture include migraine headaches, digestive disorders, joint or muscle pain, arthritis, neuropathy of the hands and feet, menopausal symptoms and emotional disorders like depression.
What can I expect during an acupuncture session?
Prior to beginning your first acupuncture session, you will meet with the acupuncturist to discuss your health concerns and determine the appropriate care plan. When the session begins, you will lie face up, fully clothed. The acupuncturist will place between five and 20 needles into key points on the body. Although the needles are not painful, you may experience a slight aching sensation or heaviness, which results from the stimulation of the nervous system. Some experience immediate symptom relief; however, the number of sessions required will vary based on the condition being treated.
Who can participate in acupuncture at UK HealthCare?
UK HealthCare patients, family members and staff can take advantage of the services we provide. Acupuncture is a viable treatment option for anyone interested; there are no physical limitations that inhibit your ability to participate. However, patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, should notify our acupuncturist prior to treatment. Should you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your physician and consult our acupuncturist for more information.
At UK HealthCare, our Integrative Medicine staff is highly skilled and specially trained to care for those with illness or injury. They can adapt their techniques and suggest complementary therapies to best meet your health needs. In addition, our offices are located on site at UK Markey Cancer Center, so patients, family members and staff have easy access to our services.
Connie Jennings, MD, is the medical director for Integrative Medicine & Health. In additional to her internal medicine practice, Jennings has been practicing acupuncture since 2005. She was trained in traditional Chinese medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.