FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What can Acupuncture treat?
A: Acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:
• promotion of health and well-being
• prevention of illness
• treatment of various medical condition
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. According to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes for Health, and clinical experience, Acupuncture is useful in the treatment of:
Chronic and Acute Pain—Injuries, headaches, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia
Neurological Disorders—Post-stroke recovery, Bell's Palsy and Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders, neuropathy
Upper Respiratory Disorders—Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu
Digestive Disorders—Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers
Urinary, Menstrual, and Reproductive Disorders —Cystitis, menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility (male and female), menopausal symptoms
Immune Function—Recurrent infections, supportive treatment for cancer and AIDS patients
Addictions—Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs
Eye and Ear Disorders —Tinnitus, Meniere's disease
Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia—Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension, stress and emotional conditions
Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points known to be effective in resolving different health problems. Modern Western science can not yet explain how acupuncture works, and yet it has been shown empirically effective over thousands of years to restore health. As acupuncture grows in popularity, an increasing number of scientific studies are underway to provide evidence of its effectiveness and elucidate its mechanisms in Western scientific terms. In Oriental Medicine it is said that there is a subtle energy that vitalizes the body and is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncture adjusts the flow of this vital energy, clearing areas where its flow is impeded, reducing it where it is in excess, and drawing it into areas where it is insufficient. In this way, acupuncture reestablishes balance throughout the body, and through this balance, the body is able to heal itself.
Q: Who can benefit from acupuncture treatment?
A: Acupuncture is beneficial to people of all ages and all stages of wellness or disease. At any stage of life the human body is able to move towards a state of greater balance and harmony, providing improved health and well-being. People suffering from a wide range of disorders can gain relief from their suffering very readily using acupuncture. Many people receive acupuncture treatment as a way to ensure that their body will continue to maintain good health and balance. It is absolutely not necessary to wait until you have a complaint before receiving acupuncture treatment. One of the great strengths of this approach is its ability to ward off disease by resolving the effects of everyday stress that pulls the body gradually out of balance. A symptom generally arises as a last-stage effect of a long term accumulation of stresses and imbalances in the body. Western Medicine is satisfied by the removal of symptoms. In Oriental Medicine, elimination of the symptom is just one piece of the overall approach. The greater value is in using acupuncture to bring the body to optimal wellness and keeping it there.
Q: Can children be treated with acupuncture?
A: Children are often treated with acupuncture, massage and herbs. Many children are comfortable with acupuncture needles, which are very fine and painlessly inserted. In the treatment of children a small number of needles are used. Children respond very well to Oriental Medicine and it can help them through the common childhood illnesses in a way that supports their ongoing growth and health.
Q: Is acupuncture good for the elderly?
A: Using acupuncture, elderly patients are able to gain tremendous support, increased vitality, and reduction or elimination of unwanted symptoms. Very often elderly patients experience not being taken seriously when presenting with physical or mental/emotional conditions that are common at this stage of life. They are told it is normal to have these conditions as we age. Using acupuncture, many of these so-called “normal” conditions can be alleviated in the elderly. A body at any age can be brought to greater balance and harmony, and this is no less true as we grow older.
Q: Can pregnant women receive acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine?
A: Acupuncture and herbs have been used for over 2,000 years to treat pregnant women. There are a number of acupuncture points and selected herbs that are contraindicated during pregnancy. As long as you work with a qualified practitioner, acupuncture and herbs can help relieve various symptoms occurring during pregnancy, including morning sickness, and provide benefit to the developing fetus. Lactating mothers can also take herbal medicine safely. In fact, small babies are sometimes treated with herbs by supplying those herbs to the mother, who then makes them available to the baby through her breast milk.
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: When performed by a licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. All needles used are sterile, disposable and used only once. There is virtually no chance of infection occurring as a result of acupuncture treatment. The needles are generally inserted from one quarter to one half inch in depth and retained in position for 15-30 minutes. Needles never touch the organs but work within the superficial layers of skin and musculature of the body. Blood vessels are flexible and tend to move aside when the fine needles are inserted. In some cases a small blood vessel may be punctured and a small bruise may appear for a few days after treatment. Occasionally, patients experience a slight light- headedness immediately after treatment which resolves within minutes.
Q: It is painful?
A: Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, and their insertion is virtually painless. In many cases you will not even know that the needles are in place. Once the needles are inserted, they are manipulated gently and at this time there may be a characteristic sensation of tingling, heaviness, or movement of energy along the meridian. Trigger point release is a special form of needling that involves the stimulation of muscles in spasm to release. It is extremely effective in clearing muscle tension, whether from stress or injury. The sensations associated with this type of needling are unique and more pronounced. A trigger point is a tight band within a muscle and it is stimulated to cause the muscle to relax. In the process, the muscle will “twitch” as it’s releasing. This is a very unusual sensation and it can be momentarily painful. The muscle will also have a characteristic “soreness” for about 24 hours after trigger point release. I will always consult with you before utilizing this form of needling, to explain its benefits and why I’m recommending it for you.