1.What Is Acupuncture？
Acupuncture is a complete medical system originating in China more than 3000 years ago. It applies Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory to diagnose and treat illnesses, preventing disease and improving well-being by inserting acupuncture needles at critical points through the body. Due to its proven effectiveness and non-side-effect advantages, it has been becoming more and more popular throughout the world.
2.How Acupuncture Works？
Actually, science is still not able to find out how acupuncture works for us. TCM is really an experienced based medical practices pooled together by Chinese people of generations.
I would like to give a traditional explanation about how acupuncture works.
In TCM, there exists meridian (channel) systems through the human body and more than 360 acu-points located at these meridians. These meridians connect all our tissue, muscles and organs together as a whole. They are the pathways of the Qi and blood. Qi (or Vital energy) pushes blood flow through these meridians and acu-points to ensure their metabolism and functions are working properly.
When the Qi and blood are weak or obstructed for some reason, the function of related tissue, muscles and organs will be impaired, and thus, the discomfort, pain, and weakness will be induced. So, keeping the meridians unblocked is the way of ensuring our body’s self-healing ability.
By inserting and manipulating acupuncture needles into acu-points to the release Qi flow, or to stimulate the Qi of organs, acupuncture can reduce pain and harmonize the relationship between the organs to improve your body’s functioning.
3.Benefits of Acupuncture
Since acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing ability, many conditions can be corrected or improved.
In China, acupuncture is not only used for chronic pain management or as an analgesic, it’s also applied widely in all kind of ways, such as beauty industry, weight loss, the treatment of tumors, paralysis, gynecological diseases, infertility, mental disorders, sub-health, postoperative rehabilitation and etc. Recently detoxification treatments using acupuncture have been recognized as a valid form of therapy for substance abuse.
Acupuncture is an excellent alternative therapy for health care. It is a wonderful part of TCM which is a comprehensive system of preventive health care and health maintenance.
4.What Conditions Are Commonly Treated by Acupuncture?
According to my clinic experience, the following conditions can be treated by acupuncture most effectively.
It is well proven that acupuncture can treat many types of pain conditions such as Arthritis, Cervical Spondylopathy, Knee Pain, Hand and Foot Pain, Sciatica, Shoulder Pain, Tennis Elbow, Lower Back and Neck Pain, Tendonitis, Gynecological Pain, Abdominal Pain, Hypochondriac Pain, Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Herniation, Postherpetic Neuralgia and etc. Most of them have received satisfying treatment results. I have some patients who suffered injury due to car or sports accidents. They are also very pleased with acupuncture treatment outcome.
2>.Neurological Disorders. Such as Headache, Migraines, Hemiparalysis, Facial Paralysis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Dementia & Parkinson , etc. Definitely, acupuncture can give them remarkable improvement of their condition.
3>.Other Conditions. I have successfully treated other diseases and conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, UTI, Prostatitis and colitis, etc..
5.How Acupuncture Feels?
Prior to their first treatment, many people do not believe that acupuncture can be painless. Different sensations such as numbness, distending, ache, warmth and pressure may be felt. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and relaxing.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the size of a thick hair. They are solid and nothing is injected through them. Over the centuries, refined needle insertion techniques have been developed, which enable the skilled acupuncture practitioner to place a needle with little or no sensation.
A lot of doctors said that needle-sensitive patients always have a good clinic outcome. If you have a real fear of needles, discuss it with your acupuncturist. An appropriate treatment strategy can always be agreed upon.
6.Is Acupuncture Needle Safe?
Yes! Because now acupuncture is carried out with sterile and disposable needles approved by FDA.
7.How Many Sessions Do I Need For Treatment?
Since each person is unique, the number of treatments needed will vary. Among the determining factors are the types of conditions, ie, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual. Again, you should discuss your treatment program with your acupuncturist.
8.How Many Needles Should Be Used In Each Treatment?
First, it depends on how many symptoms and conditions are treated during one session. Too many needles can consume the energy of patient and cause fatigue that hinders treatment. So do not try to treat as many symptoms or conditions as possible.
Secondly, depending on the methods the acupuncturist chooses. They may use finer and more needles to treat a complicated condition.
9.How Often Should I Have Acupuncture Treatment?
It entirely depends on the physical condition of each individual. I usually suggest two to three sessions a week for the first two weeks. After reviewing the progress of treatment, I render it one to two sessions a week for the following treatments. And, being aware of your life style is necessary in maintaining your treatment outcome.
10.How Long Each Session Takes?
Normally, one session should take about 30 mins, which equals the time needed for the Qi to run a cycle in meridian lines.
It also depends on comprehensive factors, such as individual physical condition, the kind of diseases and needling methods. Some of the acupuncture methods for certain kinds of diseases may need more than 3 cycles, above 1.5--2 hours, some methods only need 2 minutes.
Generally speaking, the outcome of acupuncture treatment relies on a combination of experience of practitioner and patient’s physical condition, etc.
11.Should I Stop Other Medications?
You should discuss this issue with your physician.
12.In Which Cases, Acupuncture Is Inadvisable?
A patient should never take acupuncture therapy under the following conditions:
When the patient is too hot, when his or her pulse is greatly disturbed, when he or she is drunk or angry, when he or she is hungry or too full, when he or she is overtired, out of breath, or when he or she is full of great fear.
It is preferable not to have acupuncture treatment at all during pregnancy.
13.Does Medical Insurance Cover Acupuncture Treatment?
I can not give you a "yes" or "no" answer. That depends on which state you live, who is your medical insurance company and what type health insurance plan you have enrolled.
In some states like New Mexico, California, Maryland, etc., most of health insurance companies offer medical insurance programs that cover acupuncture treatment, even for Chinese herb formula.
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