Many of our current patients admit today that they were once skeptical, wary or even scared of acupuncture. As a matter of fact, most people are uncomfortable with needles, and wonder what acupuncture could do for them.
To ease our patients and to dismiss many common misconceptions about our practice, we have found that information could do a lot. Hence we have put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions hoping it would help you visit us soon.
Q: Why should I see an acupuncturist when I can go to a doctor for my (back pain…headaches…irritable bowel syndrome…menstrual pain…stress…etc.) instead?
A: Acupuncture will not replace Western medicine for certain things like severe trauma, but it does have a place in the treatment of many ailments associated with modern lifestyles and the general decline of our bodies due to aging. Chinese medicine offers a holistic alternative to surgery and pills as well as a different way of thinking about health. Chinese medicine views the body as a whole and considers the effect of the mind and spirit on it, while Western medicine tends to separate and focus on specific parts of the body. Chinese medicine is a gentle and minimally invasive therapy.
Q: Isn't acupuncture one of those "airy fairy" New Age treatments?
A: Acupuncture does have what some would consider "New Age" aspects like its emphasis on spiritual and emotional well-being, but it is not as "new" as many would think. Chinese medicine is based on thousands of years of observation and the recording of its results. Unlike Western medicine which separates the spirit, emotions and body, Chinese medicine holds that all three must be healthy in order for optimal health to be attained.
Q: Do acupuncture needles hurt?
A: Acupuncture is a relatively pain free procedure meant to give you relief from pain, not to inflict more. Most of the time patients say they don't even feel the needle go in. Most patients find acupuncture extremely relaxing and eagerly look forward to their treatments.
Often the practitioner will try to get a particular sensation in the acupuncture point or meridian called "da qi." This is often experienced as a dull, achy or heavy sensation.
Occcasionally there is a slight sting upon inserting or stimulating the needle. Should this happen, the needle is repositioned or withdrawn and painlessly reinserted.
Q: Does the Holistic Health Center use sterile, disposable needles?
A: Yes, always. We use pre-sterilized, single use needles made of stainless steel to ensure your comfort and safety.
Q: What types of illness or injuries can acupuncture help?
A: Acupuncture treats a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to pain, infertility, menstrual pain, stress, sports injuries, migraines, asthma, post operative pain, allergies, TMJ, chronic illness, women's health, constipation, depression, sciatica, nausea, anxiety, addiction and many other chronic conditions.
Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a continuous flow of energy (called Chi or Qi) throughout the body. Blocage of the energy flow is the cause of illness or pain. Stimulating the acupuncture points gets the energy flowing, thereby relieving pain or illness. It's a different way of looking at healing than Western medicine, so some may find it a bit confusing. Your acupuncturist will be happy to explain how acupuncture works in more detail during your initial treatment.
There has been much research on acupuncture and its effects on the body. Studies have shown that acupuncture alleviates pain by causing the release of endorphins (the body's natural pain killers). Other studies have revealed that acupuncture stimulates certain areas of the brain's cortex to help in pain control as well as regulate organ systems. However, this does not fully explain the positive effects of acupuncture since we are using a different paradigm in Chinese medicine.
Q: What is an acupuncture treatment like?
A: Most of our patients tell us that they find their acupuncture treatments to be very relaxing and look forward to their treatments. Your first acupuncture treatment begins with a thorough intake and evaluation of your current condition, often including observation of the tongue and palpation of the pulse.
You will then be shown to a warm, comfortable room where you can change in privacy. After lying on the soft padded table, covered by a warm towel, your acupuncturist will knock and enter the room. Your acupuncturist will then go over the procedures they have planned and will begin with your consent, explaining what is happening every step of the way.