What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient technique that originated from China over 3000 years ago and is the fastest growing method of health care in America today. Acupuncture works to restore and balance the body's vital energy (qi or chi) through the use of needles at specific points. In a healthy person the energy flows smoothly. However, if the energy is out of balance or blocked, illness or disease results.
Acupuncture is a relatively painless, natural technique. It consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of sterile, disposable, small, hair-width needles placed at precise strategic points on the body. While many acupuncture patients are initially wary about their first treatment, they soon discover that the experience is quite pleasurable and pain-free. Acupuncture has been proven to stimulate and release opiate-like hormones and induce a state of relaxation, balance and healing.
What to Expect From Your Acupuncture Treatment
The acupuncturist will begin by taking a complete health history. The practitioner will then do a comprehensive intake and exam, which will consist of asking numerous questions about your general health and primary complaint. An acupuncturist's physical exam includes a detailed examination and analysis of the pulse and tongue, as well as abdominal palpation and facial diagnosis. When the acupuncturist has arrived at a working diagnosis, the needles will be inserted and left in for 15-20 minutes. Ten to 20 needles may be inserted, although most times fewer are used, depending on the condition. The practitioner may also burn dried mugwort around and near the acu-points. This procedure is called moxibustion and it is used to warm and move the energy.
Once all the needles are placed, the patient will relax in the treatment room for 15-20 minutes. After the acupuncture treatment is over, Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed if needed.
What problems - conditions can Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can influence the promotion of health and well-being, prevent illness and treat various medical conditions. Acupuncture, often known as the pain controller, has a broader definition in the hands of an experienced practitioner. Used alone or with other treatment, acupuncture is very effective.
Acupuncture can be used in the treatment of many medical problems such as: Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections. Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea. Neurological and muscular disorder: headaches, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis. Urinary, menstrual and reproductive problems.
Will I need a lot of treatments?
How much treatment needed varies from person to person. For instance, a person with a complex condition may need one or two treatments a week for several months; whereas, a person with an acute condition usually needs just a few visits. For health maintenance, four treatments a year may be all that is recommended.
What are the side effects from the treatment?
There usually aren't any side effects from acupuncture treatments. As energy is released, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and the healing process begins. However, sometimes the original symptoms may worsen for a couple of days, or there may be a change in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered These are not anything to be concerned about, as they do not last very long and are just indications that the acupuncture is working.
It is normal to experience deep relaxation or even mild disorientation within the first or second treatment. These sensations will subside before the treatment ends or shortly thereafter.
Will the needles hurt?
Acupuncture needles are smooth and are not painful because they are about the thickness of a hair, as regular injection needles are ten times the size of them.
There is no need to worry about the risk of getting an infection. Your practitioner will be using disposable needles.
Does Acupuncture really work?
Yes, acupuncture does really work. Acupuncture has been known to treat people more successfully than any other health modalities combined It is used today in many countries such as Asia, the Soviet Union, and Europe. More and more patients and physicians are turning to acupuncture for treatment.
Other treatments can be done at the same time as Acupuncture treatments such as: chiropractic adjustments, homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is very important to let your acupuncturist know what your daily routines are, so that he/she can help you get the most from your treatments.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Acupuncture has been successfully performed on animals. The animal patients obviously do not understand or believe in this or any other process of healing.
A positive attitude is helpful in any form of treatment including acupuncture. A negative attitude can hinder the effects of any form of treatments. If you are not sure if you really believe that acupuncture will work for you, it is called a neutral attitude. A neutral attitude will not affect the treatments.
Is there anything I should or should not do on the day of my treatment?
On the day of your treatment, the value of your treatment may enhance if you do not engage in sexual activities, over exercise, eat large meals before treatment, consume substance abuses such as drugs and alcohol. However, you may still continue to take any prescription drugs as prescribed by your physician. All of these factors may interfere with the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatments.
Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
More and more insurance companies are covering Acupuncture. Check your policy or email us and we will check it for you. Many groups of Acupuncturists are working to inform insurance companies and others the important need for acupuncture as a medical treatment. Before selecting a health insurance, you should check to see if acupuncture is a benefit on their plan.