There are a wide array of conditions that can be treated by a licensed Acupuncturist. Some are illness, some diseases, some disorders and some symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented that acupuncture successfully treats:
How will I feel after Acupuncture?
Does it hurt?
How many sessions will I need? Are the results permanent?
Why is it that a form of healing that has been around for almost 3000 years is only recently becoming so popular? Why is it that record numbers of patient are flocking to acupuncture clinics all over the world to seek relief? Why are the American and British Medical Associations recommending acupuncture to treat and cure a wide array of conditions and actually placing licensed acupuncturists in hospitals? Why has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decreed that acupuncture needles are as respectable a medical tool as a syringe or scalpel? The answer is simple, acupuncture works! It is the oldest and safest form of therapy that the Chinese and other Eastern peoples have been using to restore, promote and maintain good health.
The Chinese view their Acupuncturist as we view our Medical Doctors. As we in the Western medical mind set receive medications, the Eastern culture receives therapy in the form of fine needles inserted at specific points in the body. More than 12 million Americans have already turned to acupuncture, and the proof of its effectiveness is overwhelming. A recent study polled 28,000 patients who received acupuncture for various conditions. Some of the results of the study are as follows:
Describe a typical session. How long does a session take to perform?
What is Acupuncture and how does it work?
The total time for a first visit is approximately 1 hour. About 30 minutes is spent taking a full history of your medical condition as well as a non-invasive physical of the area. During this time, you will have the opportunity to speak at length about your health concerns. The following 30 minutes will consist of your treatment. This visit is very important because a thorough history will be taken and various aspects will be taken into consideration. Your doctor is not only concerned with the pain or condition you present with, but is also concerned about factors that may be playing a key role in your ailment. These factors include your current medications, your diet, your level of physical activity, your stress level and your overall lifestyle.
After all of this information has been discussed, your doctor will have a better idea as to where the problem may stem from. Your treatment is based on these findings, as well as other findings your doctor may acquire from further testing, such as pulse readings, facial examination, muscle/nerve testing, etc.
Loose, comfortable clothing should be worn, and if the area involves your arms or legs, shorts and sleeveless shirts are recommended.
What conditions can be treated by acupuncture? Who can benefit from acupuncture?
Are there any side effects?
How can Acupuncture help my immune system and overall health?
The only reported side-effect that I have encountered is a feeling of warmth both during and after a session. A patient may feel heat, almost similar to a fever or hot-flash sensation. This is brought about by the increase in circulation and energy (Qi) that acupuncture produces. At times, acupuncture will cause the release of toxins in the body, which will also cause this sensation.
rarely a needle will leave a small bruise in the region where it was inserted. Persons taking blood thinners, such as Coumadin, may find this to be the case.
Usually patients feel relaxed and calm. Occasionally you may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the treatment has been particularly strong.
Acupuncture, although often seen as miraculous in its effect, can take time to work. If a patient presents for treatment at the early onset of pain or discomfort (what we call an acute condition), relief can be found in as little as 2 or 3 sessions. If however, the patient were to wait longer (now becoming what we call a chronic condition), more sessions will be needed. This course is often 10-15 if the case is difficult. The body needs time to adjust, to build energy and to recuperate. Conditions that are detected earlier and that are more acute in nature will tend to heal quicker than those which have been present for long periods of time. Treatment frequency is usually between 2-4 times per week.
If the problem is acute and there has not been any tissue damage. Usually the results are permanent. For chronic problems, the symptoms may return from time to time. In cases like these, a few additional sessions may be needed. It may require 3-4 sessions per year (usually 1 every 4 months, directly related to the changing of the seasons to boost your immunity). It is important to keep in mind that when trying acupuncture, you must be willing to give it time to be effective. This may mean the entire course of treatment that your physician has laid out for you. If you receive treatment for a condition that may require a total of 12 sessions, and after 2 or 3 you decide you do not think it is working for you and discontinue, you may not have given the therapy a chance to work for you. Everybody heals at different rates.
Acupuncture has traditionally been used as a preventative medicine, and for health maintenance. Recent research has verified that acupuncture stimulates immune function, which increases resistance to bacterial and viral infections.
Why is this a concern to you? Lets take a few examples of common ailments and the traditional prescriptive treatments offered.
Example #1: Inflammation of muscles, tendon injuries, sprains & strains, sciatica, bursitis
Example #2: Throat or Sinus Infections
Example #3: Allergies
With acupuncture as an option to prevent and treat these conditions...without the side effects that can potentially cause your performances to suffer...it would be wise to look to acupuncture as an alternative to improve your health. Acupuncture truly is the ancient art of restoring health...naturally.
Cost: $45.00 per session
Is it safe? Are the needles sterile?
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This is the most frequently asked question at my clinic, yet I cannot answer it with a simple "yes" or "no." Some patients will not feel any discomfort or sensitivity to the needles. Some will feel more sensitivity when the needles are inserted due to the imbalance or blockage of energy (Qi) in that particular area. Remember that the sensitivity you may feel lasts only a few seconds. I would best compare the discomfort, if any, to that of plucking a hair off of your arm or leg. Overall, the acupuncture experience is one that is very relaxing and enjoyable. Sessions are so relaxing, in fact, that I would estimate 25 to 30% of my patients who receive acupuncture come in only for its calming effect. While many receive massages for stress relief, others look to acupuncture for total body relaxation, and report the best night's sleep they have ever had.
Many patients may feel uncomfortable about having needles used or have a phobia of needles. For these patients, there is another option. A patient can receive electrical acupuncture instead of the traditional needle acupuncture. In this form, a point is stimulated via an electrical device which stimulates the meridian. The patient feels a current in that location and each point is stimulated between 30 to 60 seconds. This is still a highly effective technique of acupuncture based on the same principles of acupuncture.
Acupuncture is completely safe. Since acupuncture does not involve the use of drugs, you avoid the risk of side effects and dependency. In fact, many patients find the need for certain medications can often be lessened or eliminated over time as a result of treatments.
Only the finest needles are used and are used only once. Each area is first cleansed with a disposable alcohol swab. Only high quality, single-use, disposable needles are used. They are individually wrapped and disposed of after each session. Another disposable alcohol wipes swab is used after removing each needle for each area for further sanitary purposes. The needles are disposed of in a Sharp's container and we have our needles disposed of by a certified Biohazardous waste company. Because of this process, there is no chance of infection.
Many patients who want an alternative to taking medication use acupuncture. Persons with allergies or adverse reactions to medications, those who are pregnant and unable to take medications, or those who just simply do not want to put medications into their bodies look at acupuncture as a natural alternative. It is a 100% safe, holistic approach to healthcare.
Acupuncture is an important part of Chinese medicine. With a recognized history of almost 3000 years, it is still used extensively around the world. Acupuncture affects the physiological functioning of the body by insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. Acupuncture is a primary healthcare in itself, and it is used to treat minor to severe problems ranging from colds and flus, sports related injuries, chronic fatigue and asthma, just to name a few. Acupuncture is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
To the Chinese, there is a continuous circulation of energy in the body known as Qi (pronounced chi). Illness in the body is caused by the derangement of this circulation. Where energy fails to circulate as it should, vital organs may suffer from a deficiency or a disturbing excess of the life-force. Acupuncture can redirect or normalize the flow of energy by stimulating specific points on the body and stimulating meridians. There are over 1000 Acupoints on the human body. The Chinese have compared the flow of Qi through the meridian system to water irrigating the land: feeding, nourishing and sustaining the substance through which it flows. The first medical account of acupuncture was "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine" which dates from about 300 BC. This text outlines the principles of acupuncture on balance, yin and yang (or the positive/negative, male/female relationship of the body), the meridian network along which acupuncture pints are located as well as details of pathology and physiology which provide the foundation for acupuncture today.
There is overwhelming evidence from studies that acupuncture reduces pain by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain killers produced by our body) and other substances by the nervous system. It has been proven that acupuncture also stimulates the nervous system to release ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), a chemical that aids in fighting inflammation; prostaglandins, which help wounds heal faster; and other substances that promote nerve regeneration. It is for reasons like this why so many patients who suffer from arthritis find relief with acupuncture. Many look to acupuncture for its pain killing and anti-inflammatory results without the use of medications that can cause damage to your liver, kidneys and stomach lining.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling