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When you face nearly any health issue – ranging from allergies to pain to the symptoms of cancer – acupuncture can help. It is known to improve more than 200 health conditions and to help prevent disease.

Our acupuncturists are all licensed and certified and practice in a number of holistic and primary care clinics across Allina Health.

Learn more

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin, sterile needles into specific points on your body.

Part of an ancient medical system called Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture stimulates the bodies natural healing mechanisms and promotes well-being.

Acupuncture seeks to remove blocked or interrupted Chi, also known as your body's energy, to release the blockage and provide an optimal balance.

What to expect from your acupuncture treatment

An acupuncturist will talk with you about your health condition, concerns or goals, and create a treatment plan.

The acupuncturist will gently insert fine, sterile acupuncture needles through your skin to specific points on your body based on your condition.

When the needles are placed, you may feel heaviness, tingling, warmth or other sensations at the acupuncture points or other areas of your body. 

The needles are usually left in place for 20 to 30 minutes. At the end of the session, you often feel relaxed and peaceful.

More about acupuncture

Your safety is our utmost concern.
We offer acupuncture in a medical setting. Our acupuncturists are all certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. They are licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice at Allina Health. They have completed at least 3,000 hours of training.

It’s important to be patient.
The effects of acupuncture are cumulative. Sometimes lasting change happens only after repeated visits, especially for long-term, chronic problems.

Some people only need two or three sessions to feel better, but many people require four to six sessions to see a noticeable improvement. Your acupuncturist can give you an estimate of how long it should take to feel a difference. 

Check with your insurance first.
Many insurance plans now have acupuncture benefits for certain health issues. It’s important to contact your insurer to confirm it is covered. Medicare Part B now covers acupuncture for chronic low back pain. An acupuncture order from a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant is required for Allina Health’s acupuncturists to bill Medicare to treat chronic low back pain.

Conditions treated by acupuncture

Acupuncture is used to treat many conditions and symptoms, including:

  • chronic low back pain
  • cancer symptoms and treatment side effects
  • infertility
  • menopause
  • nausea
  • pain
  • restless leg syndrome
  • short- or long-term illness
  • sleep issues
  • smoking cessation
  • sports injuries
  • stress and anxiety
  • other medical conditions

Related links

Source: Penny George Institute for Health and Healing
Reviewed by: Michael Egan, LAc, MaOM, DiplOM

First published: 3/7/2017
Last reviewed: 8/3/2021