An article just came out on LA Times that talks about the calming effects of acupuncture for patients having to go through dental work. The study found that within 5 minutes of a few needle insertion in the head, the anxiety scale of patients dropped more than 50 percent! This is true in my non-dental clinical experience because day in and day out I see stressed, anxious, or wound-up patients coming in, and within minutes of my needle insertion, most of my patients' anxious energy levels drop significantly. One minute they are engaged in a lively conversation, then the next, their eyes are shut and they are profoundly relaxed. So if you have never tried acupuncture before and suffer from anxiety, insomnia, not being able to shut off your mind, or stress-related disorders like IBS (irritable bowel disorders), PMS and more, try it! You'll be amazed how peaceful you'll feel lying on the treatment table with needles in you.
Since acupuncture has been shown to improve immune function, it is also very effective in pre- and post-surgery care (both dental and otherwise). It prepares the body before surgery to be in the best possible shape given its circumstances so that there will be minimal surgical complications and requirement for pain killers. And by doing acupuncture post surgery, healing time, scar therapy and infection rates can be reduced significantly.
And the author of the article is correct in guessing that acupuncturists require extensive training to become licensed in the US, particularly in the state of California. Unlike dentists who use acupuncture and require only a minimum of 80 total hours of acupuncture training (50 hours in didactic instructions and 30 hours in clinical training) Licensed Acupuncturists in the state of California require a minimum of almost 4000 total hours of training (minimum 3000 hours in didactic instructions and 800 hours in clinical training) plus passing the country's most rigorous licensing exam conducted by the state's acupuncture board. So rest assured, when you're getting care by a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California, you are seeing one of the finest in the nation.