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About Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As a holistic system, this medicine treats the whole person. Treatment addresses not only the presenting symptoms, but also the underlying constitution or condition responsible for these symptoms to develop. This system has been refined over the course of 4000 years, and it has been combined with conventional medicine to benefit the patients maximally. Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. Fine acupuncture needles accessing through the energy pathways (meridians), re-establish the delicate body balance by regulating the body’s enzymes, hormones, blood and energy channels. Recently, electromagnetic researches have confirmed acupoint locations.

When is acupuncture used?
Acupuncture is known as an effective treatment for the relief of pain. It benefits chronic and degenerative disorders by improving body functions. Many patients seek acupuncture as the last resort after exhausted the conventional remedies. Patients could be self-referred or referred by physicians and others who are knowledgeable about the favorable results of acupuncture. Acupuncture and Chinese herbology is effective in improving many health conditions. What conditions will benefit from acupuncture treatment? The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized acupuncture as an effective treatment for over 43 commonly encountered clinical disorders: Digestive: Abdominal pain, Constipation, Diarrhea, Hyperacidity, Indigestion Emotional: Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Nervousness, Neurosis Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat: Cataracts, Gingivitis, Poor vision, Tinnitus, Toothache Gynecological: Infertility, Menopausal symptoms, Premenstrual syndrome Miscellaneous: Addiction control, Athletic performance, Blood pressure regulation, Chronic fatigue, Immune system tonification, Stress reduction Musculoskeletal: Arthritis, Back pain, Muscle cramping, Muscle pain/weakness, Neck pain, Sciatica Neurological: Headaches, Migraines, Neurogenic, Bladder dysfunction, Parkinson's disease, Postoperative pain, Stroke Respiratory: Asthma, Bronchitis, Common cold, Sinusitis, Smoking cessation, Tonsillitis

Does acupuncture hurt?
Very fine, sterile and disposable, stainless needles are inserted into the skin and muscles to varying depths. Most patients find insertion of needles is painless. A feeling of the “Qi” (flow of energy) is often experienced. How this “feels” will be different for every person. Many describe the feeling of the Qi as distention, pressure, heaviness, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian or energy pathway. The feeling of the Qi indicates a desired effect. Needles are left in place for 15-40 minutes, depending on the condition being treated.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Usually not. Occasionally, the original symptoms may worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. However, these should not cause concern, as they are well tolerated by majority of the patients and in most of the time it simply indicates that the acupuncture is beginning to work.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of the treatments depends on the nature of illness/syndrome, duration, severity. One or two treatments per week are suggested. A course of treatment consists of 10-15 visits. Some conditions respond with fewer treatments, and others will need more time. Some chronic degenerative conditions may require a long course of acupuncture to consolidate the treatment effect.

Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?
The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from the treatment:
•Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection.
•Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stocking.
•Avoid following conditions before the treatment: excessively fatigued, hungry, full, weak, emotional nervous or upset, severe thirsty, sweating, bleeding or diarrhea, shortly after sex or strenuous exercise.

Is Acupuncture covered by health insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, others do not. Each health policy should be reviewed individually to determine acupuncture benefits.

@2006 OMD Acupuncture & herbal Care