Faq’s

If there is something more you’d like to learn about the practice of acupuncture, you’ve turned to the right place!

 


 

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient system of Chinese medicine involving the insertion of fine, hair thin needles into the body at certain points shown to be effective in treating specific health problems. These acupoints have been identified by the Chinese over a period of more than two thousand years. Recent research using electromagnetic detection methods has confirmed the location of these points.

What health problems can be treated by acupuncture?

See “Conditions Treated

How does acupuncture work?

Recent research published by Dr. Kathleen Hui (Human Brain Mapping) involving the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI) has shown that acupuncture has an effect on the body’s limbic system, the emotional core of the human nervous system. The limbic area of the brain is an area of central brain connections regulating emotion and pain. It has close connections to areas of the brain that regulate neurohormones. Other western doctors theorize that acupuncture changes a living organism?s magnetic polarity or stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins or other naturally occurring chemicals and hormones that affect pain perception, mood, and health. According to ancient Chinese theory illness results from imbalances or blockages in a person?s energy (Qi) channels. Energy (Qi) travels through 12 main paired meridians and 2 extra channels similar to a highway network in our bodies. Acupuncture stimulates the movement of Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from areas where it is in excess. Thus it restores the energetic balance of the body by eliminating the blockage(s). It has been said, the body tends to get sick first on an energetic level before an illness manifests itself in the organs. Acupuncture can be looked upon as a good preventive maintenance measure for good health.

Are there different types / styles of acupuncture?

Yes, there are, including: Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, French meridian, trigger point, five element, American, as well as Traditional Chinese. These vary from depth of needling, to using local versus distal points, to using few needles versus many needles depending upon differing opinions and theories.

How deep are the needles inserted?

Usually, needles are inserted anywhere from 3mm to 100mm in depth. The depth of insertion depends upon the nature of the problem, the location of the points, the patient’s age, size, and constitution, and upon the acupuncturist’s style.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Initially, there could be a slight pinch at the insertion of the needle but this is usually mild or not even evident. Hands and feet tend to be more sensitive. The patient could feel some heaviness, cramping, distension, tingling, or electrical sensation either around the needle or traveling up and down the affected meridian, or energy pathway. Most people will feel very relaxed experiencing an endorphin release in their bodies, leaving them with a feeling of overall wellness.

Are the needles clean?

Most acupuncturists in America today use sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. These needles are properly discarded after use.

What should I know about the proposed treatment(s) for myself?

Your practitioner will explain about the treatment he or she is recommending and about the nature of your problem. Your practitioner will also tell you about the benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through them or by referral to another practitioner or physician.

 How many treatments will I need?

This depends on how long you’ve had the particular ailment, the severity, and the nature of your complaint. Acute conditions may need only a single treatment while chronic conditions may require a series of four to sixteen or more treatments to resolve. Some degenerative conditions may require numerous treatments over a longer period of time.

What should I do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?

The following suggestions will help you get the most benefits from your treatment. 1. Follow good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection. 2. Do not wear jewelry, perfumes, or colognes. 3. Wear loose clothing. Avoid wearing tight stockings. Bringing a pair of shorts and a tee shirt to change into is appropriate. Gowns will be supplied if necessary. 4. Avoid treatment when hungry or full, excessively fatigued, emotionally upset, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or shortly after sex.

What should I do while receiving an acupuncture treatment?

  1. Relax as much as possible, there is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you may have at any point so you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment.
  2. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner. Do not change your position or move suddenly as this can move or dislodge a needle.
  3. Some people may experience shortness of breath, faintness, dizziness, nausea, or cold sweat during a treatment. This usually occurs if you are nervous or have not eaten anything prior to treatment. Inform your practitioner immediately so they can readjust or withdraw the needles to stop the treatment. Also let your practitioner know if you feel an increasing amount of pain or burning sensation during the treatment.
  4. If you find your treatment unbearable at any point, be sure to tell your practitioner so that they can make the proper adjustments or stop the treatment.

How long does the treatment take?

The amount of time the needles are left in a patient can vary from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Generally, they remain in a patient for about 15-20 minutes. Then, If further procedures are needed, e.g., cupping, guasha, massage – the whole treatment can run from 45 minutes to one hour.
 

What should I expect after a treatment?

You may notice a drop of blood at one or more of the needle sites after removal of the needles along with the development of a small bruise. However, this is not always the case. These should not be harmful, but please talk to your practitioner if you are concerned. Following the first treatment patients often experience the most dramatic results. Some patients will experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief can last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice a gradual diminishing of pain over the next couple of days. You may even feel worse after treatment – then feel much better after a day or so. This is known as the healing crisis. Generally, though you should expect to feel better. You may have more questions, such as: Is there something I can do at home for my condition? What signs of improvement should I look for and after how long? Should I change anything in my lifestyle to help my condition? What should I eat? Do I need to continue taking my present medication? Should I continue seeing my medical doctor? Any questions you have should be discussed with your practitioner.
 

How should one go about choosing an acupuncturist?

Patients should ask about where the practitioner trained, was it from an accredited school, how long the training was, how long they have been in practice, and what experience the practitioner has had in treating the patient’s specific problem. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated healthcare profession in New Jersey. In states not requiring a license patients should ask their practitioner if they are certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Passing this exam entitles acupuncturists to add Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) after their name.

 

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