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Acupuncture

Overview

Published: 05/05/2010

by Rockwall Colonics

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What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is the most well known part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Chinese medicine also includes herbology, body work, exercise, diet therapy, and other modalities to improve health and well-being. Acupuncture involves the Insertion of slender needles into specific points on the body to help unblock stuck energy, which in turn improves vitality and helps the body to heal itself. How does acupuncture work? That depends on who you ask. According to TCM theory, acupuncture stimulates the body's innate ability to heal itself by promoting the balanced flow of energy. Qi or the body's vital energy is said to flow through energy pathways called Channels or meridians throughout the body. Excess or deficient energy in these channels may result in illness or disease. Acupuncture restores health by Promoting a balanced flow of Qi through the channels. According to Western scientific observation, acupuncture has been shown to have a number of well-documented effects including the release of endorphins and eckanephlins (neurochemicals that decrease stress and diminish pain). Acupuncture also has well-documented effects on all the systems of the body (endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, digestion, and so on). Please refer to the Links page for some of these published research. What does an acupuncture treatment involve? Typically, most treatments involve the insertion of anywhere from a few to a dozen or more needles into specific points on the surface of the body. They are generally left in place for 20 to 30 minutes. Are treatments uncomfortable or painful? Often needles will generate a feeling called the Qi sensation. It is generally experienced as a dull or heavy sensation. It can be twang or zingy but should not be painful per se. Each point has its own "personality," and one can compare the Qi sensation to musical notes. Where some may be high-pitched and electric, others tend to be lower and heavier. Although it's hard to describe, patients do not find it unpleasant. How long does an acupuncture treatment session take? Allow an hour and a half for the initial session, which includes an intake evaluation. Follow-up sessions generally take one hour. Are there any side effects to acupuncture? The most commonly noted side effect is relaxation and a sense of inner peace and well-being. Very rarely a point may bruise or have a little swelling. How safe is acupuncture? Acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced by a licensed professional. Are the needles clean? Yes. We use only sterilize disposable needles. What should I expect at my first acupuncture treatment? Visiting an acupuncturist is not unlike visiting any other health professional, in that you will filling out our medical history forms to fill out about your medical history, a consent form, and, if you have insurance coverage, maybe additional insurance paperwork. During the interview you will be asked questions relating to the nature of your health status. What sets an acupuncture exam apart from traditional exams is the examination of the tongue and pulse, which is unique to Chinese medicine and reveals information about your overall state of health. Is acupuncture covered by health insurance? Acupuncture is covered by more and more insurance plans all the time, including those of HMOs, PPOs, workers' compensation, and personal injury. Call your insurance company directly to see if acupuncture is a covered benefit and what deductibles, co-payments, and/or limits may apply. How do I prepare for an office visit/treatment? It is a good idea to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. It's also a good idea not to eat a heavy meal right before a treatment or to come in on a totally empty stomach. After a session, we recommend that you try and not engage in any stressful activity if possible, to allow the treatment to settle in and to receive the maximum benefit. How many treatments are necessary to benefit from acupuncture? This varies from person to person and condition to condition. Some people get complete relief from a single session, while more commonly a series of treatments may be necessary to get results. Patients who are not getting noticeable results after four or five treatments may need to try another approach. What types of conditions can benefit from acupuncture? Some conditions which can benefit from acupuncture are: Allergies/Asthma Anxiety/Depression Arthritis Back Pain Bladder/Kidney Problems Constipation/Diarrhea Colds/Flu Cough/Bronchitis Dizziness Drug Addiction/Smoking Fatigue Gynecological Disorders Headache/Migraine High Blood Pressure Knee Pain Neck Pain or Stiffness PMS Sciatica Sexual Dysfunction Shoulder Pain Stress/Tension Tendonitis Vision Problems Weight Loss