If you’ve been feeling like you’re on pins and needles lately, Campus Health Services has a solution for you: more pins and needles.
Campus Health Services began offering acupuncture sessions through the physical therapy clinics three weeks ago as a partnership between UNC and Triangle Acupuncture Clinic. This service consists of a 30-minute session that costs $50 per student and is offered from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays through making an appointment. Sessions are held in a group setting with up to five students per session.
“Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain — chronic pain, acute pain, stress and anxiety, and it’s been known to reduce inflammatory factors,” said Danny Lopez, an acupuncturist of Triangle Acupuncture Clinic. “For college students, it helps with stress, insomnia, digestive issues as well. Stress is just the main contributor for so many things that can cause more complicated issues.”
Campus Health Services Executive Director Ken Pittman said the decision to include acupuncture in their offered services was based off of many students expressing their satisfaction with the practice.
“Many of our international students particularly had used acupuncture during the course of their lives,” Pittman said. “So while it’s not Western medicine, it’s something that they had found beneficial, and it was important to them.”
As of Oct. 1, Pittman said Campus Health Services has treated about 20 acupuncture patients. Patients can be students, faculty or staff members at UNC.
Lopez said many students tend to be wary of acupuncture because they assume it will be painful, but it’s not.
“For most patients, they don’t even feel the needle go in,” Lopez said. “So what the patient first feels is the guide tube being placed on their skin, and then they feel a quick firm tap. That’s the needle going in. At that point, that’s when the patient doesn’t even feel anything.”
The acupuncture sessions are held in a section of the physical therapy wing on the ground floor of Campus Health Services, which is only accessible through the pharmacy entrance on the west side of the building after 6 p.m. Lopez said this area has a “cozy” and “relaxed” feel so that the patients can be put at ease during their session.
“The needles are used one time only, and each comes with a guide tube,” Lopez said. “We’ll get them on the table, let the needles rest for about 30 minutes, then rotate back around and remove them.”
Appointments for acupuncture can be made through the Campus Health Services Healthy Heels Portal, and the $50 charge for the appointment will go on the student’s ConnectCarolina account.