What is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?
Oriental Medicine has been practiced for more than 2,000 years and includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, tui Na massage, and Oriental nutrition. It is a system of medicine that categorizes body patterns into specific types of diagnoses with corresponding treatment plans. It has gained worldwide acceptance and recognition as an effective medical treatment. Over 15 million Americans have turned to it, making it the complementary treatment of choice for Americans everywhere.
Acupuncture, or “needle therapy” (zhenjiu) as it is called in Chinese, is an ancient form of medicine which is gaining more and more popularity in this country for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. During a treatment, solid, hair thin needles are inserted at specific points on the body. In Chinese these points are called “neural nodes” (jie) and the stimulation of these nodes affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties.
Will it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin made from silver alloy typically stainless steel. You may feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. You may feel different sensations including slight soreness, numbness, warmth, or pressure, these energetic sensations differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and comforting.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world's population. The needles are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.
What should I expect from my first treatment?
Your first appointment will be 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the initial intake covers your main complaints, medical history, nutritional habits, pulse and tongue diagnosis. Usually a treatment is given, unless you require emergent care. Wearing comfortable and loose fitted clothing and eating before your treatment is best.
After the treatment has been administered, depending on the ailment being treated, many experiences may occur. Immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms may be experienced. Some people experience a sudden burst of energy, while others may feel relaxed and calm. Small localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do occur. These are no cause for alarm and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The re-absorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the needle in place.
How long do the treatments take?
In most situations, treatments take between 20 and 30 minutes but can last longer in certain scenarios. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient and the skill of the acupuncturist. Be aware that on some days visits may take longer due to the number of clients being treated.
How does acupuncture work?
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, energy flows through the body via 12 primary meridians and 8 extra channels. To strengthen the flow of energy, or remove blockages in the meridians, acupuncturists insert a few disposable tiny, sterile, flexible needles just under the skin at certain specific points (called acupoints) along these channels. These acupoints are associated with specific body function, and when stimulated, they trigger the immunity system to provide almost instantaneous pain relief and cessation of symptoms ailing the patient. For example, if you are suffering from migraines, a few carefully selected points might be stimulated on your ear, scalp, hands, feet, wrist or ankle. TCM practitioners believe that acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system to nurture a natural healing response without having to directly treat the site of injury.
How many treatments will I need?
Since every person is unique in their own condition, the numbers of treatments will vary. The nature, severity, and history of each person's problem, will determine the numbers of treatments.
Will it conflict with my other medications?
Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. 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.
Are the needles clean?
Acupuncture needles are FDA approved. These needles are pre-sterilized and individually wrapped. After the needles are used, they are disposed.