Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a powerful method of healing developed in China at least 2,000 years ago. Established as one of the most important components of Chinese medicine, it promotes natural healing and improved physical and emotional well-being. Today, acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves inserting very fine metallic needles into precise acupuncture points that are manipulated by the hands or electrical stimulation.
2. Which conditions can be treated with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?
According to the National Institutes of Health, acupuncture may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of adult post-operative and chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting, post-operative dental pain, addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, stress, and anxiety. Our experience suggests that some people do quite well with acupuncture while others less so. For most conditions, patients generally know within the first few visits if it is helpful for them.
3. Are there any side effects or complications?
Acupuncture is an extremely safe method of treatment, and as such, side effects and complications are extremely rare when treated by an experienced, licensed practitioner. However, a small number of patients do have reactions to the procedure which may include nausea, lightheadedness and fainting. As in any matter pertaining to health, any concerns should be discussed with the practitioner prior to treatment and following treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness.
4. Can children receive acupuncture?
Children of all ages are treated and respond well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment. In addition, young children of those apprehensive of the use of acupuncture needles may be treated without needles using Asian bodywork and/or electrical probes. In addition, herbal formulas are usually prescribed to enhance the acupuncture treatments and to provide further care between treatments as well.
5. Does acupuncture hurt?
Most patients have stated that there is little or no pain as very fine, sterile, disposable needles are used. Treatments are available without the use of needles through Asian Bodywork Therapy.
6. What is Cupping?
In the ancient China, cupping was called " horn method". While cupping, one or many jars are attached to the skin surface to treat pain and some other disorders. It cause local congestion through the negative pressure. Sometimes the jars are put along specific meridians or around the pain area. The cupping has the function of warming and promoting the free flow of Qi ( chi ) along meridians, dispelling cold dampness, diminishing swellings and pains. The cupping method is mainly used to treat Bi
syndrome caused by wind dampness, such as pain of the low back, shoulders, and leg, gastrointestinal disorders such as stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea, and the lung disease such as cough and asthma.
7. How does Acupuncture work?
It is no secret that the body has energy. We receive energy through the food we eat and the air we breathe. We expend energy when we exercise, work, and study. This energy that is within us flows through meridians. When this flow is impeded, whether through scar tissue growing by an incision or a knot in a muscle, the body becomes unbalanced. It’s like a river that had a rock thrown into it. If the rock is big enough, it will cause a block in the flow of water. One end of the river will be dammed up and flooding, while the other side of the river will be dry. This same analogy applies to energy flow through our meridians – on one side we will have energy building up and overflowing, while the rest of the meridian will be deficient.
Acupuncture works to release the blockage, open the channel back up, and allow the flow of energy to return to normal. When the energy is flowing normally through the meridians, the body will be in balance again.
Scientifically speaking, there are many theories about why acupuncture works. The most common idea is that nerves are stimulated to release endorphins, which are “feel-good” hormones, allowing a person to feel less stressed and be pain-free after acupuncture. However, once the endorphins stop being released, the "good feeling" is supposed to go away. With acupuncture, the results can last for days, weeks, months and years. So, there is more to it than just nerve stimulation and endorphin/neurotransmitter release.
8. Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
The good news is that yes, many insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist.
9. How is Acupuncture different from other modalities/therapies?
Most forms of therapy, whether it's chiropractic care, physiotherapy, massage, or allopathic care, focus on only the physical, visible symptoms that cause problems for patients. Acupuncture, on the other hand, deals not only with the physical problems, but with the energetic problems. I have heard many times from patients that their x-rays and ultrasounds comes back negative for any physical problem, but that they still feel pain or odd sensations. This is due to an energetic blockage in the meridian. If this nagging sensation were to continue, it could certainly develop into a physical problem, but it is best if these problems are treated early on, naturally, so that they don't progress into physical ailments.
10. Do you treat pregnant women?
Yes. We get lots of referrals from midwives and obstetricians because acupuncture is effective for many pregnancy-related conditions. Also, there's a rumor that women who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy tend to have calm babies.
11. In what way are acupuncture needles used?
One-use pre-sterilized disposable acupuncture specific needles are used. Stringent codes of sterilization and hygiene are always adhered to.
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