What is it?
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. These points have been mapped by the Chinese for over two thousand years and have recently been confirmed by electromagnetic research.
What problems can be treated?
As stated on the World Health Organization's web site:
- Ear, nose and throat disorders, such as toothaches, pain after tooth extraction, ear aches, sinus inflammation, nasal inflammation or dryness.
- Respiratory disorders, such as uncomplicated bronchial asthma in children or adults.
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as digestive tract problems, hiccups, inflammation of the stomach, chronic duodenal ulcers, inflammation of the colon, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery caused by certain bacteria.
- Eye disorders such as inflammation of the conjunctiva or central retina, nearsightedness (in children), and uncomplicated cataracts.
- Nervous system and muscular disorder such as headaches, migraines, certain facial paralysis or nerve pain, partial weakness after a stroke, inflammation of nerve endings, bed wetting, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, and osteoarthritis.
How deep do the needles go?
That depends on the nature of the problem. The location of the points selected, the patient's size, age, and constitution. Usually, needles are inserted from 1/4 to 1 inch in depth.
Does it hurt?
The patient will feel some cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up and down the effected meridian, or pathway. While some Western cultures categorize acupuncture sensations as pain, the Chinese word for acupuncture is butong, which translates to painless. Any discomfort is mild and therapeutic in feeling in nature.
Are the needles clean?
Absolutely. We are professionals and our practice is conducted at the highest level. Needles used are individually wrapped, sterile, and are disposed of after use.
How does it work?
Modern Western medicine cannot explain how acupuncture works. Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (Energy) and Xue (Blood) through distinct meridians or pathways that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do. According to ancient theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from where it is in excess. In this way, acupuncture restores the natural harmonious balance of the body.
What criteria should one use to choose an acupuncturist?
Patients should ask where the practitioner trained, how long their training was, how long they have been in practice, and what experience they have had treating your specific ailment.
Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated healthcare profession in about half the states in the US. Practitioners are also certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturist.
Is there anything I need to do before receiving treatment?
Yes, if you follow the suggestions below, you will get the maximum benefits from your treatment:
- Maintain good hygiene to reduce the possibility of infection.
- Do not wear jewelry.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses, and avoid wearing tight stockings. Avoid treatment when hungry, tired, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex
What should I be doing while receiving treatment?
Relax. Ask any questions as they come up. Do not change position or move suddenly, and try not to be too tense. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, tell your practitioner. If you find the treatment uncomfortable or painful at any time, tell your practitioner and they can make the proper adjustments or withdraw treatment.
What should I expect after treatment?
You may notice a spot of blood or a bruise at one or more of the needle sites. These should not be harmful, but talk to your practitioner if you are concerned. Patients often experience the most dramatic results after their first treatment. Some experience total or partial relief of their condition; this relief may last or eventually return. Generally, you should expect to feel better.