1) What is acupuncture and oriental medicine?
Acupuncture is a complex system of diagnosis that views the person as a whole. Acupuncture is practiced based on discerning the "pattern of disharmony" and treating accordingly. CJ Acupunture utilizes other modalities such as herbal medicine, Moxibustion, Cupping, physical exercise, nutrition, breathing exercise, massage, Chiropractic and more. Acupuncture is the insertion of hair-fine needles into the skin and body tissues. They are inserted into any one or more of a number of acupuncture points (there are over 350 acupuncture points in the human body) for the purpose of stimulating a physiological response. The response solicited by the acupuncture point treatment is focused on balancing the body's systems which will in turn aid the body in functioning properly. Acupuncture does not hurt, The sensation created by the insertion of each needle should only be one of heaviness. Often this heaviness may be felt over regions of the body which are connected to each other by what we refer to as Meridians. These are the "roadways" through which your body's energy flows. Acupuncture is a primary health care modality that has been around for at least 2000 years and is used widely throughout the world. Acupuncture is considered safe and effective.
2) What to expect from acupuncture treatment?
According to the NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, there have been many studies on acupuncture's potential usefulness, but results have been mixed because of complexities with study design and size, as well as difficulties with choosing and using placebos or sham acupuncture. However, promising results have emerged, showing efficacy of acupuncture, for example, in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations-such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma-in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. An NCCAM-funded study recently showed that acupuncture provides pain relief, improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, and serves as an effective complement to standard care. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.
3) What about insurance coverage?
Acupuncture is one of the CAM therapies that are more commonly covered by insurance. However, you should check with your insurer before you start treatment to see whether acupuncture will be covered for your condition and, if so, to what extent. Some insurance plans require preauthorization for acupuncture.
4) How widely is acupuncture used in the United States?
In the past two decades, acupuncture has grown in popularity in the United States. The report from a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997 stated that acupuncture is being "widely" practiced-by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners-for relief or prevention of pain and for various other health conditions. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey-the largest and most comprehensive survey of complementary and alternative medicine use by American adults to date-an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults had ever used acupuncture, and an estimated 2.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the previous year.
5) What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Improper needle placement, movement of the patient, or a defect in the needle can cause soreness and pain during treatment. This is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner.
6) Is acupuncture safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. CJ Acupuncture uses the finest pre-sterilized single use needles.
7) What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
Many people may be unfamiliar with what exactly takes place in an acupuncture session. Wondering what happens during treatment, how many visits may be needed and whether health insurance covers it are all common concerns. In a typical first visit, a practitioner will take a detailed health history, fully investigate your chief complaint and provide acupuncture for you. This may take up to an hour but is necessary to create an individualized treatment plan that takes into account your present physical, emotional, and nutritional condition, while focusing on your main health concern. Return visits to an acupuncturist may also introduce the option of Chinese herbal, or nutritional therapy. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles (the width of two human hairs) into specific anatomical points. Chinese herbal therapy or nutritional therapy reinforces acupuncture in a natural way without side-effects. The two are often used together to strengthen the effects of treatment and to achieve longer-lasting results in a shorter amount of time.
8) How does it work?
Acupuncture is a therapy that uses the insertion of tiny thread-like needles to specific points on the body along meridians (energy channels of the body) that cross the body. As long as the energy flows freely through these pathways, health is maintained. When the flow of energy is disturbed for any reason, there is disruption in health, resulting in pain or illness. By stimulating appropriate acupuncture points along these meridians, the energy is regulated, and health is restored.
9) Does it hurt?
Acupuncture in general is not painful. The needles are extremely thin (about the width of 2 human hairs), solid, disposable and flexible. Sensations that patients normally experience are a dull ache or tingling which is associated with the movement of energy stimulated by the insertion of the needles. This is a desired affect and should not feel painful. Once the needles are in, you usually don't feel anything. As a matter of fact, some people find acupuncture so relaxing that they fall asleep during
treatment and enjoy a well-deserved nap.
10) How many visits will I need?
The number of visits you will need depends on several factors. One is how long you have had your current condition. Acute conditions, like a cold or flu will generally only require one or two treatments. Conditions that are more recent, like sudden pain from an injury or seasonal allergies may require 3 or 4 treatments before symptoms are reduced. Chronic conditions like PMS, asthma, back pain or other problems that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes.