Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that uses the body’s energy or Qi (chee) to treat conditions such as pain, dizziness, nausea, chronic conditions, post-stroke paralysis, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. Acupuncture uses very fine, sterile, single-use needles placed in specific locations around the body to manipulate that energy. There are acupuncture points all over the body, including the face and scalp. Where you will have needles placed will depend on your signs and symptoms. Other modalities used in treatment can include electrostimulation, gua sha, cupping, and “7 Star” needling.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
The acupuncture treatments themselves typically do not hurt. Occasionally you will feel a pinching sensation as the needles are inserted. With the needles in place, you may feel pressure, tingling, or aching. This is the Qi in the body and is a desired response. It is not expected to be uncomfortable or painful. If you do experience any pain or discomfort, advise your practitioner immediately, as your needles may need to be adjusted.
Are There Any Side Effects to Acupuncture?
After an acupuncture treatment you will be advised to rest and drink extra water. Most people feel very relaxed and energized after an acupuncture treatment. On occasion you may experience a small bruise where a needle was inserted. If you experience any pain, large bruises, swelling, difficulty breathing, or dizziness after an acupuncture treatment, advise your practitioner or doctor immediately.
What is an Acupuncturist Allowed to Do?
An acupuncturist is allowed to engage in the practice of acupuncture, electroacupuncture, perform or prescribe the use of oriental massage, acupressure, moxibustion, cupping, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets, nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements to promote, maintain, and restore health pursuant to Business & Professions Code Section 4937.
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine, also known as herbology is one of the primary modalities within the scope of Eastern medicine. Herbology includes treatment with substances such as plants, roots, minerals and more. Like acupuncture, Herbology has evolved as an integral part of Eastern medicine and is used to re-harmonize imbalances in the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines herbal medicines to include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products that contain as active ingredients parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations. Chinese formulas are comprised of herbs designed for each individual patient. This special formulation is crucial because these formulas must be delicately composed for the purpose of achieving balance in each disharmonious state of being. Even small deviations in dosage or herb composition can change the entire focus of the formula and therefore, the results.
Can Children Be Treated With Acupuncture?
Children of all ages are treated and respond well to acupuncture and herbal treatment. In addition, young children of those apprehensive of the use of acupuncture needles may be treated without needles using Asian bodywork and/or electrical probes. In addition, herbal formulas are usually prescribed to enhance the acupuncture treatments and to provide further care between treatments as well.
Should I Consult With My Physician Regarding Getting Acupuncture And Oriental Medicine Treatment?
It is advisable to always inform your physician about any treatment that you are seeking and it is also very important to have a list of medications and supplements that you are taking available during your first consultation with your acupuncturist. Some physicians will also refer acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners to patients. Just remember to make sure that these practitioners are certified by the NCCAOM and licensed in your state to practice acupuncture.