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Acupuncture is a practice of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the insertion of hair-thin needles at specific points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a subtle energy called Qi (pronounced “chee” flows throughout our internal organs and cells, and is responsible for our physical and mental well-being. When our body’s Qi becomes blocked or is undernourished, illness will manifest. The insertion of acupuncture needles restores and supplements the normal flow of Qi to heal illnesses and promote overall health and balance.
There is little to no sensation involved in the insertion of an acupuncture needle! Most patients report feeling no sensation at all when the needles are inserted. If you’ve ever plucked a hair from your body, you’ve already had the experience of what an acupuncture needle can feel like to a “sensitive” individual. Acupuncture needles are barely thicker than a hair and once the needles are inserted, most patients report they are pleasantly surprised by how relaxing the treatment process is.
Since acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing ability, many conditions can be corrected or improved. Also, it is being recognized that acupuncture is a comprehensive system of preventive health care and health maintenance. The effectiveness of acupuncture extends far beyond the conception that it is only useful for chronic pain management or as an analgesic. It has been discovered by many athletes that acupuncture treatment helps them to reach optimum performance levels. Recently acupuncture detoxification treatments have been recognized as a valid form of therapy for chemical dependency problems such as drinking, drug and smoking. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as an excellent alternative for health care.
According to my clinic experience, the following conditions can be treated by acupuncture most effectively.
Pain Relieve and Control
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, etc. More than half of my patients who suffered from different pains visited my office. Most of them have received satisfied treatment results. I have some patients who suffered injury due to car or sports accidents. They are also very pleased with acupuncture treatment.
Headache & Migraines
Many of my patients have suffered from headache or migraine for many years. Before accepting acupuncture treatment, they have tried almost everything. However, none of these approaches really work. After having acupuncture treatment, they felt remarkable improvement of their condition.
It usually takes three to five sessions of acupuncture treatment to have smokers to quit.
I have successfully treated other diseases and conditions such as Anxiety and Depression, Facial Paralysis, Insomnia, Neuralgia, Stroke Rehabilitation, TMJ, Whiplash, etc.
Yes! Because now acupuncture is carried out with sterile and disposable needles approved by FDA.
Since each person is unique, the number of treatments needed will vary. Among the determining factors are the type of condition, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual. Again, you should discuss your treatment program with your acupuncturist.
According to my experience, six to eight needles are used during acupuncture treatment at most of times. If two or more symptoms or conditions are treated during one session, ten or more needles may be used. For instance, a patient has being suffered from both back pain and headache for a while. The patient can be treated for both in each session instead of treating only one symptom in one session. However, do not try to treat as many symptoms or conditions as possible.
If an acupuncturist does not have enough experience, he or she should just treat one symptom or condition in each treatment.
Some acupuncturists insert as many as thirty or more needles in one treatment. This may mean that by using many needles the chances of inserting some of needles precisely at acupoints may be increased. In fact, this approach may set the treatment effect out of control and cause fatigue that hinders treatment, rather than beneficial relaxation.
I usually render it 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 weeks. However, it entirely depends on the physical condition of each individual.
Normally, each session takes 20 to 30 minutes. It depends on the sensitivity of each individual and the kind of diseases and conditions.
In general speaking, the quality of acupuncture treatment relies on the experience and skill of an acupuncturist. They are combination of diagnosis of symptom, accuracy of acupoints, timing, the depth and angle of insertion, techniques of manipulation, etc.
No. You should continue to follow your current physician's instructions. Please remember that acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician's treatments not to replace them. You should discuss this issue with your physician and acupuncturist.
A patient should never be needled 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 has eaten too much; 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.