5 misconceptions about acupuncture

Not sure if acupuncture is for you? San Diego licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Devon Vernetti, DAOM, debunks 5 common misconceptions about acupuncture treatments.


While the use of acupuncture is growing increasingly in the United States, there are still several myths that keep people from seeking treatment.  As acupuncturists, it is our job to educate the public by encouraging an open and honest conversation about our medicine and how it can help you. Here are the top 5 misconceptions I hear about acupuncture:

#1 Acupuncture Hurts

We all remember having to visit the pediatrician and have our vaccination shots. Mom was anxious, a stranger was touching us and boom, a painful shot in the thigh.  Acupuncture is different. Yes, we do use needles but they are close to the size of a piece of hair.

These fine needles are painlessly placed into the skin releasing endorphins. This endorphin release can be accompanied a sensation of "da qi" or a strong, achy sensation that activates the brain’s way of deeply relaxing the body causing the patient to have a pleasant experience. 

#2 Acupuncture only works for pain

Most of the research produced in the United States is focused on the use of acupuncture for pain relief and management. In fact, the newest medical guidelines recommend patients seek out alternative therapies over opioid prescriptions. However, the World Health Organization recognizes over 100 conditions in which acupuncture is effective including gynecological, digestive, respiratory and more

#3 Acupuncture interferes with conventional medical treatments

It does not. In fact, acupuncture has been proven to be an effective adjunct therapy to western medical treatments including reducing patient reliance on pain medications, increasing success rates of IVF treatments and as a safe replacement for antidepressants and hormone replacement therapy when under the supervision a western medical professional.  Acupuncture also serves as an effective complimentary therapy to traditional cancer treatments.

 #4 Acupuncture is only for adults

This is my favorite myth to debunk. Acupuncture is for everyone! I work with infants to teens. The overuse of antibiotic to treat our children’s immunity is a real problem and one that western medicine is now starting to acknowledge. Acupuncture with “taps” or tiny needles quickly inserted in the skin can help conditions such as colic, constipation, side effects of vaccination, colds, flus and more

#5 I tried acupuncture and nothing happened

Acupuncture is not a miracle remedy. Treatments in acupuncture are cumulative requiring weekly dedication in the beginning until significant progress has been made. We are looking to solve the root of the problem and not just mask the symptoms.  We want to empower the patient to understand the factors that affect their health and have the tools to make changes to correct their individual imbalances.


Dr. Devon Vernetti, DAOM, is a licensed acupuncturist at Your Healthy Spine, San Diego. To learn more about her and her practice visit www.acupuncturebydevon.com.