The virtues attributed to complementary therapies such as holistic and patient-centered approaches and stimulus for self-healing have been increasingly valued and could theoretically attenuate the current prevailing excessive social medicalization. Among such therapies, acupuncture has been highlighted due to its progressive institutionalization and acceptance. The objective of the current study was to analyze the experience of acupuncture patients in the Brazilian Unified National Health System and its relationship to their care, in light of social medicalization in terms of the constitutive aspects, representations, and users' explanatory models. Thirty patients were interviewed, selected from primary and secondary care services in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Important therapeutic results were observed in the principal complaints, sleep, disposition, emotional status, and decreased use of medication. Users' explanatory models and self-care were modified very little, or not at all, by acupuncture treatment. However, the study showed expanded and less iatrogenic care, especially in the primary care setting, in which there was little supply of other associated practices from Chinese medicine.