WHAT IS ACCUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a complete health care treatment system. It us used for the relief of pain and the treatment of disease. It is a technique of inserting and manipulating tiny (hair like) filiform needles into specific "acupuncture points" located in special pathways over the surface of the body. Each acupuncture point has a specific treatment purpose. The successful rebalancing of the bodies electrical energy systems is what restores health and eliminates pain.
IS YOUR ACUPUNCTURIST LICENSED OR CERTIFIED?
You need to ask.
To be a LICENSED Acupuncture Physician,you must enroll in a 3-year, 2,700-3,000 hour state accredited course. The curriculum includes all the components of traditional and modern acupuncture including diagnosis, treatment, techniques and herbs. Upon graduating you must take an independent national board exam. Upon passing the national board, you can then take a particular state board. Dr. Bass is a fully licensed Board Certified Acupuncture Physician and a Board Certified Licensed Chiropractor
To be a CERTIFIED Acupuncturist, a healthcare practitioner (MD, DO, DC) takes an abridged 100 to 300 hours of acupuncture treatment techniques to learn insertion technique and basic theory. Commonly referred to as "cook book" acupuncture, there is little attention paid to the detailed diagnostic components that traditional acupuncture is based on.
Acupuncture points are access point into the body's electrical grid. Balancing the grid reduces pain and restores normal body function.
Originating in China some 5000 years ago, acupuncture is major component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Different types of acupuncture (Classical Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Korean acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
In classic Chinese Acupuncture, our bodies contain an internal electrical energy (Qi) system that controls everything. The system functions within a very precise grid pattern that keeps the energy moving in cycles that are essential for proper body health and function. The pattern of these grids are often referred to as channels or meridians. These energy channels or meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up.
The meridians are influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions and reestablish the regular flow of energy (qi).
Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in all our systems. This includes digestion, blood flow, nervous system and others.
One scientific explanations states that acupuncture needling stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals (endorphins) 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.
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 THE SCOPE OF TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE?
- Promotion of health and well-being,
- Prevention of illness,
- Treatment of various medical conditions.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders:gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
If you have questions about a specific illness or disorder not listed above, you can usually have your questions answered by acupuncturists.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, two to three treatments each week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually 10 sessions is a reasonable average.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The needle is smooth (not hollow with the cutting edges of a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. Our office uses single-use-disposable acupuncture needles.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Very effective. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and Europe. Its use is rapidly growing in the United States. Acupuncture treatments can be combined with other techniques such as conventional western medicine,osteopathic or chiropractic, homeopathic and others. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.
DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?
No. Veterinary Acupuncture confirms this. What do the animals know? They simply respond to the therapy. However, as is true with all therapies, a positive attitude toward wellness is beneficial in the treatment-recovery process. A neutral attitude ("I don't know if I really believe in this.") will not stop the results.
ARE THERE ANY "DO'S AND DONT'S" FOR ME TO REMEMBER ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT?
Yes. To enhance the value of 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.
- 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