Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points which effect particular organ systems throughout the body. In sports medicine we use the understanding of anatomy and treat the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments by increasing blood flow , reducing inflamation, releasing muscle spasm and de-activating trigger points
How does it work?
In Western Medical terminology acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system which will help the body heal itself. Acupuncture when used for injuries is especially good at releasing muscle spams and de- activating trigger points in the muscles which often are a cause of chronic pain. With acupuncture we are able to go deeper into the muscles to release spasm using needles and electric stimulation . Many times this leads to faster results than in other modalities used in health care.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For recent problems such as a muscle spasn, headaches injuries and mild stress, very few treatments are needed. Usually treatment once or twice a week for just a few weeks is sufficient. For long standing problems such as allergies, acid reflux, weight gain, severe anxiety and stress treatments are needed for longer periods of time. A usual course of treatment is 10-12 visits and then we re -evaluate progress. Long standing problems take several courses of treatment.
DO THE NEEDLES HURT?
The needles are very thin and hurt very little when done by a competent acupuncturist. Their are times when you will feel a pinch as the needle is inserted
DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?
Well consider this, Western Doctors are now performing Acupuncture and have formed the Medical Acupuncture Society. They are putting all this money into studies on Acupuncture because they see how well it works and how many people are responding to treatments all over the world! . The Western Medicine model has trained Doctors to feel that waiting in a medical office for 2 hrs for an appointment and then being seen by the Doctor for 6 minutes and being given a handful of prescriptions is somehow called HEALTH CARE! If you are seeking Acupuncture treatments it is best to seek out a Licensed Acupuncturist who has studied this medicine in depth, not as a certificate course, Licensing laws are very strict and a Master Degree education in Traditional Chinese Medicine is required to sit for the board exams.
Is Chinese Medicine better than Western Medicine?
Their is no answer to this question. Both forms of Medicine have value and certain people seem to do better with different forms of medicine. Our bodies are all the same, yet we react differently to the same medicines and the same Medical systems. Two people can take the same Drug and have a totally different experience, one person may feel great taking an anti depressant and another can feel horrible taking the same medicine. The same goes for health care systems, one person may respond great to a drug and another may do way better with acupuncture treatments or herbs. You are an individual, you may need to try a few different forms of medicine or therapy to find what best helps your condition. Many patients find that combining western medicine with acupuncture enables them to lower the dosages on their meds and lessens the side effects of their meds. Eventually many patients are medication free. We respect all medicine as long as the practicioner uses it to benefit the patient. We refer to Doctors who are passionate about their medical practice and they refer back to us. Acupuncture is an excellent choice in treating many illness and pain syndromes.You may also have a great Chiropractor or MD or Physical Therapist but you may still need something more, and Acupuncture works very well when combined with any of the other methods
IS IT ALL JUST POSiTiVE THINKING THAT MAKES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture is used on horses, animals, children, etc, they don't believe in the treatments because they like the fascination of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is science. To attain a license you need to have a Masters Degree of education in the Science of Acupuncture, as well as passing a state boards license exam. It is no fad or hobby to become acupuncturist. Their are certain people and even certain schools that have turned acupuncture into some esoteric idea which cannot be explained in modern science however this is based on them following mistranslation from the classics on this medicine. The medicine has survived for thousands of years because it is scientific and it works. Anytime we balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, reduce inflamation, increase circulation, and reduce areas of tension their will be better health, and acupuncture does all of the above.
ARE THERE ANY "DO'S AND DONT'S" FOR ME ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT?
Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
- Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
- Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
- Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
- Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture reatments.
- Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem
IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?
Many insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy.