Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
What is Acupuncture?
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated thousands of years ago. It is one aspect of Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of extremely fine needles into selected locations on the body that have been shown to be effective for a particular illness. Recent research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.
There are many aspects of Oriental Medicine. The most common are acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, electro-magnetic stimulation, herbs, nutrition, and massage.
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Acupuncture when practiced by a licensed professional is very safe. Like most acupuncturists, we use sterile, disposable, one-time use needles. Oriental medicine is drug-free and so avoids the side effects of western pharmaceuticals.
Side effects from acupuncture are rare but may include: bruising, drowsiness, lightheadedness, or soreness. All of these are temporary and short-lived. The cause of the last three: drowsiness, lightheadedness, and soreness may be related to the adjustment in the channels.
Yes, there are different types of acupuncture. Here we practice both Japanese and Chinese Acupuncture. The core theory is the same for both types of acupuncture. The biggest difference you would probably notice as a patient is a needling style. Japanese Acupuncture usually uses finer and fewer needles. There is no right or wrong style. The appropriate style for you is determined based on the reason for your visit, your medical history, and your sensitivity to the needles.
Acupuncture needles are considerably finer than needles used for injections. Some acupuncture needles are not much bigger than a strand of hair. Some needles you may not feel at all. Other needles may elicit various sensations ranging from an electric feeling to a feeling of heaviness and warmth. Most people find acupuncture centering and relaxing. Many people fall asleep during a treatment.
The number of treatments needed varies considerably depending on a number of factors, including the condition being treated, the age of the patient, the patient's overall health, and how long the condition has existed. In general, most problems can be resolved in under 10 treatments. Often you can reduce the number of treatments by following suggestions given which may include:
- stretching and/or exercises
- dietary modifications
- herbal and/or vitamin supplements
- breathing techniques
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How Does Acupuncture Work?
That's the million-dollar question. The answer you get often depends on who you ask. The traditional theory believes health is restored by moving and balancing qi (which you can loosely translate as energy) in the channels. Some in the West believe qi is a small current that carries information in the body. There is another theory in the west that believes nerves are being stimulated. It is true that a number of acupuncture points do lie over major nerve beds. Others look at blood chemistry and point out that acupuncture points can be used to increase the body's production of its' own opiates. These opiates have a pain-relieving function as well as playing a calming and mood-elevating role. There is a group of researchers who are now looking at how needles affect activity in the brain. In one study, they needed a point in the foot related to vision and cat scanned the optical center of the brain. They found out that this area lit up, the way it would if you flashed a bright light in someone's eyes.
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What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization recognizes Acupuncture as being an effective treatment for many of today's ailments. The following is a partial list of the most common conditions treatable by Acupuncture:
Musculo-Skeletal Disorders: Low back pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, and Frozen Shoulder
Psychoemotional Disorders: Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Irritability, and Insomnia
Neurological Disorders: Headaches, Migraines, Dizziness, Post Stroke Paralysis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Neuropathies, Fascial Palsy, Meniere's Disease, Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction, and Sequelae of Poliomyelitis
Gynecological Disorders: Infertility, Menopausal Symptoms, Endometriosis, Premenstrual Syndrome, Irregular Menstruation, and Hormonal Disturbances
Gastro-Intestinal Disorders: Constipation, Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Indigestion, Acid Reflux, Colitis, Hiccough, Ulcers, and Food Allergies
Circulatory Disorders: High Blood Pressure, Angina, Poor Circulation
Upper Respiratory Tract: Sinusitis, Rhinitis, Common Cold, Tonsilitis, Toothaches, Earaches, Sore Throat, Allergies
Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema
Uro-Genital Disorders: Incontinence, Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction, Cystitis, Prostatitis
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