Q & A - Acupuncture FAQ
These questions and answers about acupuncture are from the pamphlet: "Doctor: What's This Acupuncture All About?" which is property of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. For more information, click: www.medicalacupuncture.org/acu_info/articles/aboutacupuncture.html
ACUPUNCTURE: WHAT IS IT?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles at very precise acupuncture points. Sometimes heat or electrical stimulation is applied to the needles to enhance the effect of the treatment.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
WHAT IS MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?
Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in western (traditional) medicine who also has had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice.
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?
MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE IS A SYSTEM THAT CAN INFLUENCE THREE AREAS OF HEALTH CARE:
Promotion of health and well-being.
Prevention of illness.
Treatment of various medical conditions.
Though acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner, it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be used alone or in combination with other treatment forms in many medical disorders.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
You may need as few as one treatment for a minor, acute problem such as a headache or infection but serious or very complex problems, or problems that have existed for a long time, may require a series of treatments over weeks or months. The number of treatments depends on the condition being treated and your response to treatment,
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENTS?
Usually not. Occasionally, the original symptoms worsen slightly before getting better but this usually is a sign that your condition will eventually respond to treatment. There is occasionally very slight bleeding or minor bruising. It is possible that you might observe minor changes in appetite, sleep, bowel and bladder patterns, or your emotional state after receiving an acupuncture treatment. These are temporary responses.
WHAT ARE ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?
Most people feel only minimal pain, if any, as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in place, there is usually no pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid, stainless steel. Insertion is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. To prevent infection,
Dr. uses only single-use, sterile, disposable acupuncture needles.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?
Yes. Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and is widely in use throughout the world today. It is recognized to be helpful in treating a wide variety of medical and emotional problems.
DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?
No. It has been used on animals and "dis-believers" with much success. Positive attitude can be helpful in all aspects of health and wellness but a neutral or even negative attitude will not prevent acupuncture from working.
IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?
Some insurances DO cover acupuncture treatments but most don't. In general, we do not bill insurance for acupuncture treatments but we will provide you with a receipt which you may use to seek reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Payment is expected at the time service is rendered. Please call us to discuss fees and our financial policy.