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Q: What is acupuncture?

A: Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese method of healing. In the West, acupuncture comprises several different therapies (including cupping and moxibustion); however, it primarily consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in treatment of specific health problems. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years, and there are more than a thousand known acupoints. In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.


Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: According to Chinese Medicine, all disease is based on blood flow. All the healing powers of the body are in the blood: oxygen, your body’s natural anti-inflammatory medicine, nutrients, hormones, etc. What happens if the blood flow is inadequate? A kink in a hose will prevent it from giving water to a plant. Likewise, obstructions in circulation prevent the body’s naturally produced hormones and nutrients from reaching critical sites for healing. These obstructions are caused by inflammation, scar tissue, environmental toxins life’s stressors, chronic anxiety, etc. Acupuncture allows for the reintroduction of blood to areas of the body where there is a lack of circulation and removes blockages that obstruct its flow. The body heals itself as life-giving nutrients are delivered to all areas of the body. In Chinese, there is a saying, “If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain.” Acupuncture promotes and reestablishes the free flow of blood.


Q: Is acupuncture safe?

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


Q: Does it hurt?

A: Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and their insertion is practically painless. The sensation is not comparable to receiving an ordinary injection. In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. In others, there may be some tingling, warmth, or heaviness moving up and down the body. Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment.


Q; How many treatments will I need?

A: The number of treatments depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of 5-10 treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. To help reduce the number of treatments, your practitioner may suggest wellness coaching, dietary modification techniques, self-massage, and/ or Chinese herbal medicine, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.


Q: What criteria should I use in choosing an acupuncturist?

A: Prospective patients should ask about where the practitioner trained and how long he or she has been in practice, and, most importantly, what the practitioner specializes in. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession. Requirements include the completion of 3000 plus hours of didactic and practical training culminating in the completion of a Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine. This training includes the following fields of study: Oriental medical theory, Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and biomedical sciences.


Q: What should I know about the proposed treatments?

A: Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in Oriental medical terms and the course of treatment he or she recommends. Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician.


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

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

1. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one piece dresses. Avoid wearing stockings.

2. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex.


Q. Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

1. There is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that you can get the most benefit.

2. Do not change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.


Q: What can I expect after treatments?

A: Patients often experience dramatic results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate, total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain diminish over the next

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