Frequently Asked Questions
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical therapy developed over 2000 years ago in Asia. Acupuncture stimulates specific points beneath the skin by the insertion of acupuncture needles. This process restores the balance of the body’s energy, also knows as “Qi” (pronounced chee). Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Moxibustion are some of the essential elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Will it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin made from silver alloy typically stainless steel. You may feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. You may feel different sensations including slight soreness, numbness, warmth, or pressure. These energetic sensations differ from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and comforting.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world’s population! The needles are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.
What should I expect for my first treatment?
After the first treatment has been administered, depending on the ailment being treated, many experiences may occur. Immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms may be experienced. Some patients experience a sudden burst of energy while others may feel relaxed. Many people experience a calming satisfaction. Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do occur. These are no cause for alarm, and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The reabsorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the needle in place.
How long do the treatments take?
In most situations treatments take between 20 and 30 minutes but can last longer in certain scenarios. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient. Of course, prior to a follow-up treatment there is a 10 to 15 minute progress evaluation.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Many conditions may be treated. General pain relief and control for arthritis, cervical spondylopathy, knee pain, hand and foot pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, lower back and neck pain, tendonitis, ect. Other conditions such as circulatory problems with high or low blood pressure, cold hands and feet. Some nervous system imbalances can also be treated such as anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, depression, asthma, allergies and sinus problems; digestive disorders like Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common ailments treated include headaches and migraines; treatments to help stop smoking, and many more conditions.
What should I do before I receive an acupuncture treatment?
Eat something light. Avoid treatment when extremely hungry, full, tired, upset, or under the influence of recreational drugs or shortly after sex. Practice good hygeine. Wear loose clothing if possible.
How does acupuncture work?
In traditional Chinese Medicine, there exists a meridian system through the human body. In this system, invisible passageways for energy are called meridians. There are certain points on the body (more than 360) that connect with certain organs and bodily functions. Point Groups on the body that apply to a specific organ or function are found along the same meridian. In a healthy, normal functioning body, the energy in these meridians flow freely resulting in a balanced system. When the flow of energy is interrupted from causes such as stress or injury, this energy is reduced throwing your “Qi” off balance. By performing acupuncture using the points associated with the particular meridian involved, this Qi or balance is restored.
Western scientists and doctors have their theories as well, but none of them separately encompasses everything acupuncture can do. Their theories: 1. Gate Control–Acupuncture activates specific receptors that inhibit pain signals; 2. Neurotransmitters–Acupuncture stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that affect the immune system; 3. Autonomic Nervous System–Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and several opioids, affecting the autonomic nervous system and reducing pain; 4. Blood Chemistry–Acupuncture can both raise and lower peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward homeostasis; 5.Vascular Interstitial–Acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body, which speeds healing by allowing the the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissue.
Are the needles clean?
Acupuncture needles are FDA approved. These needles are pre-sterilized and individually wrapped. After the needles are used, they are disposed.
How many treatments will I need?
Since every person is unique in their own condition, the numbers of treatments will vary. The nature, severity and history of each patient’s problem, as well as the individual himself or herself, are all factors that are involved in how many treatments will be necessary.
Are needles the only equipment involved?
Acupuncturist may use several techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, electric stimulation, and point stimulation to help with the patient’s treatment.
Will it conflict with my other medications?
Acupuncture will not conflict with your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments, not to replace them. You should discuss this issue with your family physician and your Acupuncture Physician.