Acupuncture Q & A
1.What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is an important element of Traditional ChineseMedicine (TCM), which has been practiced in China for more than 3,000 years and is still commonly used worldwide. This therapeutic method treats diseases and promotes the natural healing ability of the body by gentle insertion of hair-size, refined acupuncture needles at certain points along the acupuncture meridians in the body.
2.What are points and meridians? Based on TCM theory, energy (known as Qi) travelsthrough meridians in the body like rivers. It runs and nourishes the tissues and organs. Disease occurs when the circulation of Qi is halted, whether by injury, heat, cold or other influences. Ancient Chinese physicians discovered that stimulation of certain points along the meridians by acupuncture needles can redirect the flow of Qi and help cure diseases, prevent illnesses, and restore harmony. There are more than 300 acupuncture points that are commonly used.
3.What conditions can be treated with Acupuncture? The World Health Organization(WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of common illnesses including:
• Digestive: Abdominal pain, Constipation, Diarrhea, Hyperacidity, Indigestion
• Emotional: Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Nervousness, Neurosis
• Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat: Poor vision, Tinnitis, Toothache, TMJ, Sinusitis
• Gynecological: Infertility, Menopause symptoms, PMS
• Musculoskeletal: Arthritis, Muscle cramping, Muscle pain & weakness, Neck & Back pain,Fibromyalgia
• Neurological: Headaches, Migraines, Parkinson’s disease, Postoperative pain, Sciatica pain,Stroke
• Respiratory: Asthma, Bronchitis, Common cold, Smoking cessation
• Others: Addiction, Chronic fatigue, Immune system problems, Pain control
• Sports Injury: Pre and post orthopaedic surgery care, full sports injury rehabilitation
• Weight Loss: Full nutritional guidance and analysis
4. Is Acupuncture safe? Acupuncture administered by a qualified professional is extremely safe. Drugs and surgery can cause negative side effects and can also be quite expensive. Acupuncture is a cost-effective alternative treatment that has proven itself effective and safe over the course of centuries. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, and the needles that we use are all sterile and disposable for one-time use only.
5. Is Acupuncture painful? All needles are very fine and flexible. You may experience a sense of heaviness, numbness, or electric stimulation along the acupuncture channels. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing. Some individuals may feel slight pain and discomfort.
6. How does Acupuncture work? Although modern medicine cannot yet completely explain how acupuncture works, more and more research has been conducted that confirms the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy. The stimulation of the acupuncture points on the body can cause the following:
• neuro-chemical and hormonal changes
• muscular, vascular and skin changes by increasing circulation
• decrease in inflammation & relief from pain
• relief of muscle spasms
• increase in T-cell count to stimulate the immune system
7. Is Acupuncture covered by insurance? In the Washington DC and Maryland area, most health insurance plans offer acupuncture benefits. You can find out the details of your coverage for acupuncture treatment by checking your insurance benefit booklet or calling a member service representative.
8. Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work? Acupuncture has been found to work very well for horses, dogs, oxen, and cats, most of who probably don’t “believe” in acupuncture. It is always beneficial to have confidence in your practitioners, but faith in a particular technique is not required to obtain results.
9.How should I prepare for an Acupuncture appointment? You should not eat a large meal, nor should you be fasting before your appointments. You should also not have alcohol, tobacco, or do any vigorous exercise prior to a treatment. Comfortable, loose clothing, and minimal make up are recommended. Please avoid the use of perfumes, colognes, or strongly scented cosmetics out of courtesy for other patients.
10.What should I expect for an Acupuncture appointment? For the initial visit, you will be asked to fill out a personal information and health history intake form. Your practitioner will discuss your health condition with you. Besides your complaints, the conversation may also involve your life-style, dietary habits, sleeping patterns, emotional status, and etc. Then, your practitioner will examine you using TCM diagnostic techniques, like pulse taking and tongue readings. Some western physical examination methods may also be used. Acupuncture treatments are usually given following the examination on the same day. Patients will be asked to stay and relax for 40- 60 minutes during the treatment, depending on the patient’s condition.
11. How will I feel after Acupuncture? Patients will usually feel relaxed and calm. Occasionally, you may feel a little tired, drowsy, or light headed for a short period of time. Some patients may experience a slight increase in symptoms before improvements begin. You should have a rest, drink plenty of water, and avoid vigorous exercise after your acupuncture treatments.
12. How many treatments will I need? The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary from person to person depending on the condition being treated, age, overall health condition, and one’s response to acupuncture. Generally, acute problems require more frequent treatments, but for a shorter period of time, whereas chronic conditions will need a series of treatments for a longer period.
If you are interested in finding out more about your symptoms and what acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can do for you, contact us today.