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Acupuncture Questions & Answers

 Today's Blog will be discussing and detailing some commonly asked questions regarding acupuncture.  In our last blogs, we have discussed What Chinese Medicine is, the basic principles underlying Chinese/Oriental Medicine, Chinese Medical diagnosis and finally, what acupuncture is.  Now, we get to review the answers to some very common questions asked about acupuncture like: Is acupuncture painful? Is it safe?  Are there different styles? What does if feel like? How many treatments will I need?  What to expect after a treatment?

 

Read on to learn more about acupuncture!

 

 

 

Is Acupuncture Painful?

Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow, range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight heaviness or aching moving up and down the channels/meridians, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles have been in place for a while or are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are typically not much thicker than a strand of hair, do not draw blood and are solid, not hollow. Many people find acupuncture very relaxing.

 

 

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When performed by a competently trained, license professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. All licensed acupuncturists today use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles, so there is virtually no chance of infection of contagion.

 

Are there different styles of acupuncture?

 

Acupuncture originated in China, but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe and America. In different countries, different styles have developed based on differing opinions as to theory and technique. Patients should talk to their practitioner about his or her particular style and choose the style that will best suit their constitution and preference.

 

What criteria should I use in choosing an acupuncturist?

Prospective patients should ask about where the practitioner trained and for how long he or she has been in practice, and most importantly, what experience the practitioner has had in treating your specific ailment. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in over 40 states in the U. S. In addition, the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies both acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners. Acupuncturists who have passed the NCCAOM exams are entitled to add Dipl. Ac (Diplomat of Acupuncture) or Dipl. O.M. (Diplomat in Oriental Medicine ~ includes certifications in both acupuncture & Chinese Herbal medicine) after their name. Please refer to our blog named, “The Importance of a Licensed Acupuncturists & NCCAOM Certified Diplomat In Oriental Medicine”.

 

What should I know about the proposed treatments?

Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in Oriental medical terms, as well as, translate that into terminology that can be easily understood, and then proceed with explaining what treatment he/she is recommending. Your practitioner will explain to you the benefits and risks of the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician.

 

Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?

 

The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:

  1. Wear loose fitting clothing. Women should not wear one piece dresses and should avoid wearing stockings. If however, these suggestions are not convenient, the practitioner will provide a treatment gown if needed.
  2. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex

 

Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

  1. RELAX. There is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you may have along the way, so that you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment. However, try to limit your conversation as this will ultimately detract from the treatment.
  2. Do not change your position or move suddenly while the needles are being retained. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner so that he/she may accommodate you accordingly.


What can I expect after treatment?

The positive effects of acupuncture begin right away at your first visit. Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms, however, this relief tends to be somewhat temporary in the beginning stages of treatment, with initial improvements potentially sliding back within a few hours or days following your first few visits. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain & or discomfort diminish over the next couple of days. As we progress through your course of treatment, the amount of symptomatic relief and the time period of increased wellness following each treatment will become more pronounced, until your body holds the changes on its own. It is important to be consistent with frequent visits at the beginning of care in order to build momentum and hold the gains we make from visit to visit.


How many treatments will I need?

This question is always answered on a case-by-case basis. However, most patients require 3-6 weeks of 1-2 visits per week to make significant changes, followed by weekly to bi-weekly visits for another 4-8 weeks to maintain the gains and improvements made. While some acute, less severe conditions can be resolved quickly (ie: 4-6 treatments), chronic conditions that have persisted for years may require several courses of treatments (ie: 20 or more) over a longer period of time to completely resolve, as well as, “maintenance” or "tune-up" visits after symptoms reside in order to consolidate the gains made and prevent relapse. During your initial consultation, we will discuss a proper treatment plan with you.

 

However, each person is unique and will be treated with an individualized treatment plan. No two conditions or people respond exactly the same. The length of treatment/number of treatments needed depends on the type, severity, and duration of the condition, and the patient’s physical state at the time of treatment. Both the examination and your response to your first few treatments will give us an idea of the course of treatments that will be needed . Each time you come in we will reassess your progress and treatment plan. The best therapeutic results are attained by following the treatment plan and recommendations. It is important to complete the course of therapy for best and longest lasting results.

 

Ongoing treatments for health maintenance are designed and aimed to prevent disease and promote health and longevity, as well as, vitality and a better quality of life. It can improve your body’s threshold to handle life’s everyday stressors and the imbalances created by the common day lifestyle.

 

Please Review the “Steps of Care” discussed in our blog named, “Steps of Care - The Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treatment Process”, to familiarize yourself with the treatment process.

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