What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture medical treatment showing numerical zonesAcupuncture is the ancient Chinese method of healing. Herbal therapies may be combined with acupuncture treatment. By combining Western knowledge and techniques, acupuncture has become an acceptable and sought after treatment for many disorders including neck and back pain.

What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture is the Chinese art of healing. It involves inserting fine, sterile, disposable needles into specific body parts. Acupuncture stimulates the body's immune and healing systems.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Patients experience acupuncture differently. For most patients, acupuncture is painless. Discomfort can be caused by improper needle placement or a defective needle. Treatment energizes some patients and relaxes others.

What disorders does acupuncture treat?
According to the World Health Organization, there are 47 specific disorders treatable by acupuncture. Conditions treated include neck and back pain, headache, arthritis, and sports injuries.

Is acupuncture safe?
When practiced properly, acupuncture is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration requires qualified practitioners to use sterile non-toxic needles.

What are the needles like?
Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, sterile, individually packaged, and disposable. The needles are disposed of according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

How many visits are needed for effective treatment?
The number of visits depends on the disorder and the patient's general health. An acute disorder may only need one or two treatments. Chronic conditions require more. Two to 12 treatments is a common acupuncture prescription.

What are other acupuncture techniques?
Other acupuncture techniques include moxabustion (application of heat), Chinese massage (Tui Na), exercise, diet, herbs, and cupping (where a cup is applied to the skin, and the pressure in the cup is decreased, drawing the skin and muscles up into the cup).

Where do herbal medicines originate?
Herbal medicine comes from plants, animals, and minerals. Most herbs used in the United States come from plants. About 80-85% of traditional Chinese herbs are indigenous only to China.

What forms do herbs come in?
Herbs may be taken as tea, pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts.

How do herbs work?
Herbs are used to nourish deficiencies or sedate excesses in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), herbs are the primary method of treatment.

Why should I try acupuncture?
If you've tried other methods of treatment and they have not worked, or if you are looking for an alternative method of treatment that does not require prescription medications, acupuncture may be right for you.

How do I choose a qualified acupuncturist?
The Department of Professional Regulation has set forth strict certification standards. Choose a licensed and experienced practitioner with an understanding of Eastern and Western medical philosophies. Check the practitioner's training and professional affiliations.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance plans reimburse for acupuncture. Ask your insurance provider if they reimburse for treatment by a licensed acupuncturist.

Updated on: 08/16/16
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