Acupuncture 101

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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical therapy that was developed over 2000 years ago in Asia. It stimulates specific points beneath the skin by the insertion of very thin “fine hair like needles”. This process restores the balance of the body’s energy, also known as “Qi” (pronounced chi). It also helps the free flow of blood and electrical energy within the 14 major meridians (Channel pathways the Chinese mapped within the body).  Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tai Chi, and cupping 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 most probably will feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. What you might feel are different sensations including slight soreness, heaviness, numbness, tingling, warmth, or pressure. These energetic sensations differs from person to person. 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 aliment 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 feel very calm and relaxed after a treatment. It is an uncommon occurrence for some minor localized bleeding or bruises to occur under the skin, but it can occur in some people and are no cause for alarm. Also 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 30 and 45 minutes in total but can last longer in certain scenarios. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of each person.

 

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 Crohns 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.

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.

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. Usually 6 to 10 treatments is what is recommended at first to see how a person reacts and we can see how quickly a person responds to treatment.

Will it conflict with my other medications? 

Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments NOT TO REPLACE THEM. You should discuss this issue with your physician and acupuncturist.

 

Online Journals

http://www.AAAOMonline.org – American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

http://www.rallycongress.com/aaaomPlease Support HR646, the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act of 2009

http://www.AcuFinder.com – Connec

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