Pain Treatment Services Acupuncture Service

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Acupuncture refers to the insertion of special needles through the skin into underlying tissues at strategic points known as acupuncture points.  Acupuncture is used to alleviate pain and to treat many diseases.  It has been practiced in China for more than two thousand years.

How does acupuncture work?

According to principles of traditional Chinese medicine, vital energy, known as Qi, flows through a complex system of meridians throughout the body and maintains health and life.  The body is viewed as a dynamic system of organs connected by the flow of Qi within the meridians.  Illness results from the improper flow of Qi through the meridians.

The proper flow of Qi may be restored by the insertion of fine needles at properly selected combinations of the 365 classical acupuncture points which are located along the meridians.  The improved energy flow produced but acupuncture results in stimulation of the body’s natural healing abilities and promotion of physical well-being.

Modern scientific research suggest that needling acupuncture points stimulates the body to release chemicals into the nervous system and into the bloodstream,  These chemicals change the experience of pain and trigger the release of other chemicals which influence the body’s internal regulatory systems.

What is medical acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor fully licensed in Western Medicine who has also had through training in acupuncture as a specialty practice.  Such a physician is able to integrate both Western medicine and acupuncture to treat illness.

Acupuncture may be used as an adjunct to other medical treatments in many disorders.  The world health organization and national institutes of health recognize that acupuncture may benefit a wide range of medical problems including.

  • Postoperative surgery pain, postoperative dental pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy
  • Sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma
  • Gastritis, ulcers, nausea, vomiting, colitis, hiccups, constipation
  • Headache, neck pain, low back pain, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, peripheral neuropathy and stroke rehabilitation.
  • Menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, carpel tunnel syndrome , and more

Are there any side effects?

The primary advantage of acupuncture treatment is its safety.  Acupuncture usually does not produce any side effects. We use only sterile, disposable, stainless steel needles in our clinic.  There is no risk of acquiring transmissible, blood borne diseases from the acupuncture treatments.

What should I expect?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid, and stainless steel.  The point its smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like hypodermic needle). Insertion through the skin is not as painful as when using a hollow needle. Each individual experiences acupuncture needling differently.  Most feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted, and some feel no pain at all.  Once the needles are in place, no pain is felt.

It is common during acupuncture treatment to experience a peculiar feeling, known as “obtaining the Qi,” at the site of needle insertion.  This sensation is produced by the stimulation of acupuncture points and resolves after treatment.

How many treatments do I need?

The number of treatments differs from person to person.  For complex to long-standing conditions, repeated treatments may be needed. Acute problems usually require fewer visits.

Does acupuncture work?

In the past two thousand years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined.  Acupuncture is currently practiced in Asia and Europe.  It is becoming more widely practiced in the United States.  Acupuncture treatments can be given in conjunction with conventional western medicine.

Will my insurance cover it?

Despite the documented benefits of acupuncture therapy, some insurance companies cover acupuncture, but others companies do not yet recognize its value.  Please discuss your individual needs with us and we will work with you regarding your financial situation or healthcare coverage.


Medical Acupuncture service is located on the first floor of Boston Children's at Waltham.  For patient convenience, directions to the Waltham location and to the Medical Service waiting area are mailed to patients prior to their first scheduled appointment.  There is ample free parking at our Waltham location.

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This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

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