Q: What does acupuncture feel like?
Most People Feel No or Minimal Pain
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Improper needle placement, movement of the patient, or a defect in the needle can cause soreness and pain during treatment.4 This is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner.
Q: What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world.
It is important to inform all of your health care providers about any treatment that you are using or considering, including acupuncture. Ask about the treatment procedures that will be used and their likelihood of success for your condition or disease. Be an informed consumer and find out what scientific studies have been done on the effectiveness of acupuncture for your health condition.
If you decide to use acupuncture, choose the practitioner with care. Also, check with your insurer to see if the services will be covered.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture began to become better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery.
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
Q: What conditions and diseases Acupuncture and Oriental medicine/Eastern Medicine can treat?
There are no bounds to what Oriental medicine can treat; however, there are more effective methods of modern medicine to treat severe trauma and many life-threatening conditions.
The nature of Oriental Medicine allows it to treat a wide variety of conditions, including pain, headaches, digestive problems, menstrual cramps, sports and work-related injuries, among many others. However, it generally can be used as the treatment of choice for sprains and strains, allergies, poor digestion, menstrual problems, menopause, headaches, neck and back pain, fatigue, stress, and other minor and self-limiting illnesses. Oriental Medicine is also a wonderful adjunct for speeding recovery from major trauma, surgery, and strokes, treating the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, enhancing the effectiveness of alcohol and substance abuse recovery programs. California Occupational Survey
In 1996, an occupational survey was conducted under contract to the California State Acupuncture Committee in order to update the content of the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam. This survey identified well over one hundred conditions or categories of conditions treated. The following is a top twenty-five condition the Licensed Acupuncturists treated. 25 Commonly Treated Conditions.
- Anxiety & Depression
- Arthritis, Tendinitis, & Joint pain
- Asthma & Allergies
- Auto Injuries
- Bladder and Kidney Infections
- Cardiac Palpitations (Irregular Heartbeat)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Common Cold & Influenza
- Degenerative Disk Disorders
- Diet, Nutrition, & Weight Control
- Headaches & Migraines
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Indigestion, Gas, Bloating, Constipation
- Menopause Symptoms
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- Orthopedic Conditions
- Pain – other kinds
- PMS & Menstrual Irregularity
- Sports Injuries
- Tension / Stress Syndromes
- Work Injuries
Q: How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is one of the key components of the system of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
In the TCM system of medicine, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. Among the major assumptions in TCM are that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state” and that disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that connect with them.
Pre-clinical studies have documented acupuncture’s effects, but they have not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works within the framework of the Western system of medicine that is commonly practiced in the United States. It is proposed that acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and, thus, affecting the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
Overall, most patients begin to notice changes within the first 3-5 acupuncture treatments and significant improvements within 6-12 treatments. With acupuncture, the effectiveness of each treatment typically builds upon the previous one. Depending on the nature of the health concern and the individual response, a patient may require anywhere from six to twenty-five treatments or more to achieve the goal of the treatment plan. Acute conditions tend to resolve more quickly with an intensive series of treatments. Whereas, chronic conditions may require a longer and more consistent series of treatments. The number of required treatments will also be determined the severity and cause of the health concern. Once significant changes have been made, maintenance treatments may or may not be required. Depending on the particular condition and the patient’s age, this may result in a treatment every one to three months to prevent a relapse of symptoms.
317 North El Camino Real, Suite 104, Encinitas, CA 92024