WHAT KIND OF AILMENTS IS ACUPUNCTURE USED TO TREAT?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. The WHO lists the following more common conditions treatable by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.
- Upper Respiratory Tract: Acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, common cold, acute tonsillitis
- Respiratory System: Acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma (most effective in children and in patients without complicating diseases)
- Disorders of the Eye: Acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, myopia (in children), cataract (without complications)
- Disorders of the Mouth: Toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, acute and chronic pharyngitis
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Spasms of esophagus and cardia, hiccough, gastroptosis, acute and chronic gastritis, gastric hyperacidity, chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief), acute duodenal ulcer (without complications), acute and chronic colitis, acute bacillary dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, paralytic ileus
- Neurological and Musculoskeletal Disorders: Headache and migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy (early stage, i.e. within three to six months), pareses following a stroke, peripheral neuropathies, sequelae of poliomyelitis (early stage, i.e., within six months), Meniere's disease, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, nocturnal enuresis, intercostal neuralgia, cervicobrachial syndrome, "frozen shoulder," "tennis elbow," sciatica, low back pain, osteoarthritis
IS ACUPUNCTURE USED TO TREAT ANY OTHER KINDS OF AILMENTS?
Pain-related conditions are the most common reasons for seeking treatment. However, people are seeking help for a number of other conditions, with good results. These include:
- Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders: Sinusitis, sore throat, hay fever, earache, nerve deafness, ringing in the ears, dizziness, poor eyesight
- Circulatory Disorders: High blood pressure, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, anemia
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colon, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, ulcers, gastritis, abdominal bloating, hemorrhoids
- Gynecological and Genitourinary Disorders: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS); irregular, heavy or painful menstruation; endometriosis; menopause; fibroids; chronic bladder infection; complications in pregnancy; morning sickness; kidney stones; impotence; infertility (men and women); sexual dysfunction
- Immune Disorders: Candida, chronic fatigue, HIV and AIDS, Epstein Barr virus, allergies, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), hepatitis
- Addictions: Smoking, drugs, alcohol, food
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders: Anxiety, insomnia, depression, stress
- Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders: Arthritis, neuralgia, sciatica, back pain, bursitis, tendonitis, stiff neck, Bell's palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, headaches and migraines, stroke, cerebral palsy, polio, sprains, muscle spasms, shingles
- Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, colds and flu
- Miscellaneous: Chemotherapy/radiation side effects, diabetes, dermatological disorders, weight control
DO ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES HURT?
Much finer than hypodermic needles used for injections and blood tests, there is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. While some feel nothing at all, others experience a brief moment of discomfort, sometimes followed by a mild sensation of aching, tingling or heaviness. The needles are left in place for 20 to 60 minutes. Most people find the experience relaxing, even falling asleep at times during sessions.
ARE ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES STERILE?
Yes. Licensed acupuncturists only use individually packaged, sterilized, disposable needles, and are required to be certified in Clean Needle Techniques.
ARE THERE RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS TO ACUPUNCTURE?
The acupuncture needle is a FDA-approved medical device. While acupuncture is a highly safe form of physical medicine, there are a few risks. These include bruising, fainting, muscle spasms, bleeding, nerve damage (extremely rare) and punctured organs (extremely rare).
WHAT TO EXPECT ON MY FIRST VISIT?
For your initial consultation, we take time to assess your general health. You will be asked about your current symptoms as well as your health concerns and goals. It is also important to discuss your medical history and that of your family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. The purpose is to identify what needs to be addressed in order to target your specific complaints, and to boost your overall health and vitality.
Stimulation of specific areas affects the functioning of various organs. However, those areas may not be close to the part of the body where you are experiencing a problem. For example, if you suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted into your foot or hand. There are 365 specific acupuncture points on the body, and an unlimited number of non-specific points. An experienced acupuncturist will use a selection of these for each session. Often during the course of a few sessions, different points will be selected as the your symptoms change.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE TREATMENT?
You should be aware that the acupuncturist may need to access points on your torso, arms and legs. It also helps to be in a calm state. Try to arrive 5 or 10 minutes before your appointment to give yourself a chance to relax. Try to avoid the following:
- Eating a big meal within one hour of your appointment
- Fasting for more than six hours before your appointment
- Alcohol, tobacco, food or drinks that color your tongue (such as coffee) immediately prior to treatment or just following a treatment
- Vigorous exercise or sexual activity within the hour before treatment
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
Length, number and frequency of sessions vary. For most conditions, a series of several sessions is necessary to achieve the maximum benefit. After an initial consultation, we will provide you with a treatment plan that includes the techniques to be used, as well as the frequency and duration of treatment.
A typical series of sessions consists of 4 to 8 visits, once or twice a week, with sessions lasting 60 to 75 minutes each. Acute conditions, such as sprains, generally require less time and frequency, whereas more chronic or severe ailments may require more sessions. Appointments are scheduled further and further apart after the optimal response has been achieved. Some people experience great benefits from weekly or monthly sessions.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
We do not take insurance, though FSA and HSA can be used for payment. We can additionally provide a submittable "Super Bill" for you to receive reimbursement from your carrier after you have paid our treatment fees.
WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
We accept cash, checks, credit or debit cards. FSA and HSA cards are also able to be used for payment.