Acupuncturist and Homeopathy Consultant
ACUPUNCTURE AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is derived from the Latin word” Acus” meaning NEEDLE and “Puncture” meaning TO PENETRATE
Acupuncture is a complete medical science originated in China more than 300 years ago. It applies traditional Chinese medicine theory to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being by inserting acupuncture needles at critical points through human body. Due to its proven effectiveness, it has been becoming more and more popular throughout the world.
How Acupuncture Works?
There are two kinds of explanations about how acupuncture works .In traditional Chinese medicine, there exists meridian system through human body and more than 360 acupoints are located at these meridians. Qi, or a stream of energy, flows through these meridians and acupoints to support tissue, muscles and organs. When the Qi is obstructed in certain critical points, or acupoints, the function of tissue, muscles and organs will be impaired.
By inserting acupuncture needles into acupoints helps the release of Qi flow and corrects Qi imbalances at the organ level to improve your energy and internal processing.
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.
Acupuncture treatment helps one 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.
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.
Headache & Migraines
Many patients have suffer from headache or migraine for many years. Before accepting acupuncture treatment, they try almost everything. However, none of these approaches really work. After having acupuncture treatment, they felt remarkable improvement of their condition.
What factors determine the response of a patient to acupuncture?
The response of a patient to acupuncture is dependent on the severity of the illness and the length of time the patient has been suffering. Other factors which play an important role are the general health, constitutional type, emotional balance, diet, lifestyle, and any other medication that the patient is currently taking or in past.
How Acupuncture Feels?
Prior to their first treatment, many people do not believe that acupuncture can be painless. Different sensations such as soreness, numbness, distending, warmth and pressure may be felt, but the energetic sensation differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and relaxing.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the size of a thick hair. They are solid and nothing is injected through them. Over the centuries, refined needle insertion techniques have been developed which enable the skilled acupuncture practitioner to place a needle with little or no sensation.
If you have a real fear of needles, discuss it with your acupuncturist. An appropriate treatment strategy can always be agreed upon.
Are acupuncture needles safe?
Yes! Because now acupuncture is carried out with sterile and disposable needles approved by FDA.
How many sessions do I need for treatment?
Since each person is unique, the number of treatments required 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.
How many needles should be used in each treatment?
Normally six to eight needles are used during acupuncture treatment. If two or more symptoms or conditions are treated during one session, ten or more needles may be used.
How long each session takes?
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 , 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.
Should I stop other medications?
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.
In which cases, acupuncture is inadvisable?
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.
What factors affect the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment?
The whole efficacy of acupuncture treatment depends on the ability to improve the free flow of Qi (the life force, vitality, or the energy that keeps us alive according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine) in the body. If it is blocked, the progress will be slow or even non-existent. In conditions of severe depletion, the patient’s constitution must be built for acupuncture to have an effect. Refusal to make recommended changes the diet or lifestyle will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment
How quickly can acupuncture treat an illness?
It is difficult to specify as to how much time will be required for the treatment. The response varies in each individual. Acupuncture’s speed depends on Qi. The duration of treatment also depends on the duration of illness (more time for chronic illnesses).
Does acupuncture cure a problem or provide temporary relief?
Acupuncture cures many diseases as Recommended by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)
Low back pain
Cataract (without complications)
Disorders of the Mouth Cavity
Pain after tooth extraction
Spasm of the oesophagus and cardia
Acute and chronic gastritis
Chronic duodenal ulcer
Acute and chronic colitis
Acute bacterial dysentery
However, in conditions where there are severe pathological changes, symptomatic relief can be given and the patient has to take regular treatment after discussion with the physician.
Can acupuncture be used along with other modes of treatment?
Acupuncture is effective when used singly but after proper discussion with the acupuncturist other modes of treatment can be used simultaneously.
Does acupuncture has any side effects?
Acupuncture does not have any side effects.
Is the insertion of needles painful?
It is generally believed that acupuncture needling is painful. However, when treatment is given patients realize that the needling is painless. Different sensations like warmth, pressure, soreness, numbness may be felt. But these sensations differ from the pain. Acupuncture needles are very fine about the size of a thick hair. They are solid and nothing is injected through them. Over the years, needle insertion techniques have been refined enabling the acupuncturist to needle with little or no pain.
Is there any bleeding with acupuncture?
Normally, there is no bleeding with acupuncture unless the needle site is very close to a small vein. However, the bleeding can be easily stopped by pressure.
How often are the needles changed in acupuncture treatment?
Most practitioners use disposable needles. When reusing the needles, stringent sterilisation procedures are required to be carried out.
What is preventive acupuncture?
Acupuncture can spot the start of the trouble before it actually begins by identifying the tendencies that could develop into an illness. Treatment at this stage ensures prevention of the disease.
What are intra-dermal needles?
Intra-dermal needles are small, flat needles which are placed at various ear acupoints to give continuous stimulation to the related internal organs.
What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is an integral part of acupuncture therapy where mild heat is given at acupoints. It is a very effective tonification treatment in deficiency disorders.
What is cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy involves the use of special types of cups at acupoints by creating vacuum. This is very effective to treat chronic back aches, neck pain, shoulder pain and arthritis.