Acupuncture FAQs

Acupuncture

How is Acupuncture effective?

There are a number of theories regarding how acupuncture works. One theory is that acupuncture enhances the immune system. This is good for everyone, because it can serve as a preventive medicine. A second theory is that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins which are the body’s main natural pain killer. Another theory is that acupuncture regulates neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin and noradrenaline. These neurotransmitters play a role in treating depression as well as appetite control. A fourth theory is that acupuncture increases blood circulation and effects the blood vessels to dilate or constrict. Blood flow is what nourishes the body and allows for proper function of all bodily systems. These theories explain how acupuncture can treat many different conditions, promotes balance, and address, the whole body, not only symptoms.

Can I use acupuncture at the same time as medical treatment?

Absolutely. Oriental medicine is a great combination with western medicine. As your acupuncturist, I would coordinate your care with your doctor and inform your doctor of your acupuncture treatment and progress.

What can I expect from the initial visit?

During the initial visit a complete medical history will be taken and you will receive an initial treatment. The total session will last about 1 ½ hours.

What can I expect from the second treatment?

We will discuss briefly how you are feeling emotionally and physically, and then you will receive a longer treatment, even though the session will last about an hour.

Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Acupuncture needles are not like medical needles. Acupuncture treatment does not feel like medical shots or having blood drawn. Acupuncture needles are solid and very thin and you may not feel anything when they are inserted. Some patients feel a small poke and then a sensation of warmth or a tingling sensation as their energy balance is restored. Each treatment is a unique experience.

How often do I need treatment?

For a chronic condition, treatment usually continues once a week for 6 to 10 weeks. My goal is to alleviate your pain for longer periods of time between treatments so eventually you may go a month or more between treatments. Acute conditions may require more frequent sessions. With the change of season, it is always good to have a treatment to assist your body with environmental changes.

What do I do on the day of treatment?

You are strongly encouraged to eat a healthy, not heavy, meal and relax, you are going to have a great day!

What training is required of an Acupuncturist?

Many acupuncturists have already had a bachelor degree or masters in a previous field of education. However one needs the minimum 60 hours of college credit, to attend a school endorsed by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, 1800 hours of acupuncture training, and 450 hours in herbal therapies. An acupuncture student must pass a practicum before graduating. An acupuncturist takes a comprehensive national board exam proving his or her competence in biomedicine, acupuncture foundation, acupuncture, and herbology. In Texas, acupuncturists must also pass an ethics exam to practice acupuncture in the state. Practicing acupuncturists must continue actively learning about acupuncture in order to maintain their license.

Who else can practice acupuncture?

A chiropractor with 100 hours and no test of their skills can practice acupuncture. A medical doctor and osteopath have no minimum training requirement to practice acupuncture. Neither a chiropractor, medical doctor, nor an osteopath have the extensive understanding of Traditional Chinese medicine that a trained acupuncturist has.

General Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the oldest form of medicine in the world. In Chinese medicine, qi, pronounced “chee”, is the energy of vitality. Qi is continually transforming, as all living things are. An acupuncturist’s purpose is to recognize the state of qi in his or her patient and facilitate movement of qi throughout the patient’s body, aligning and improving the patient’s metal and physical health and sense of well being. I work to prevent and alleviate symptoms of pain and suffering by removing qi blockages and stagnation, eliminating excess qi and rectifying qi deficiencies, restoring the energetic balance of the body and mind.

Each patient may have similar symptoms, but the source of each patient’s symptoms is unique, and as an acupuncturist, I will treat each patient’s symptoms differently, according to the symptom’s source. There is an important understanding in Chinese medicine that the mind and body are connected, so acupuncturists are committed to treating the whole person, not just physical discomfort. Because I consider acupuncture patients’ mental and physical health, I am able to introduce strategies and offer remedies that not only reduce present discomfort, but also prevent some symptoms from occurring.

What does acupuncture treat?

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) endorse acupuncture as beneficial for many conditions including the following:

Muscular skeletal: arthritis, muscle cramps, disc problems, sciatica, shoulder, neck, wrist pain, sport injuries, legs, knees and feet, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia

Digestive disorders: abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, hyperacidity, indigestion, gas and bloating

Emotional: anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, trauma, hypertension, stress, depression

GYN: Infertility, menopausal, premenstrual, impotence, PMS

Neurological: Headaches, migraines, stroke residuals, facial pain, post operative pain

Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, common cold, allergies

Other benefits: addiction control, increased energy, immune enhancement, deep relaxation and other applications

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