Q. What does acupuncture feel like? Is it painful?
A. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a thick hair. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practitioner is performed with a minimum of discomfort. However, if the practitioner has obtained the correct stimulus of the needle, the patient should feel a dull ache, heaviness, distention, tingling, or electrical sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian. These sensations are the presence and movement of Qi. Despite these sensations, most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatments.
Q. What are the main objectives of treatment?
A. There are three main objectives:
- Relieve pain and other symptoms.
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Restore balance and harmony of the Qi in the body, making for a unified, healthy person.
Q. How long are the treatments?
A. The first visit will take one and a half hours. Each visit thereafter will take between 30 minutes and one hour.
Q. How many treatments are necessary and how often?
A. Because each patient's health problems and response to treatment are unique, the number and frequency of treatments vary. In general, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions. For a patient with a disease of the internal organs, the trunk of the body, or an old, chronic injury, the recommendation is two or three treatments per week for two to three weeks.
Q. What can I expect from an acupuncture treatment?
A. Each acupuncture visit will start with a brief discussion of your condition with the acupuncturist. You will then be asked to lay down on a massage table for the acupuncture treatment. Many patients experience good results from the first treatment.
Q. Is acupuncture safe?
A. In the hands of a licensed acupuncturist, your safety is assured. Acupuncture needles come sterilized, individually wrapped, and are disposed of after one use. There is no possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.
Q. What brought acupuncture to the United States?
A. In the early 1970's, American newspaper reporters covering President Richard Nixon's visit to China discovered a "miraculous" healing art virtually unknown in the U.S. The method immediately caught the American imagination. According to news reports, instead of using chemical anesthetics, Chinese acupuncturists were able to block the pain of surgery using only tiny acupuncture needles inserted into the patients. Even more astonishing, it was said that these simple acupuncture techniques in combination with herbs, relieved a wide variety of human illnesses, and had worked reliably as the only form of medicine in China for thousands of years.
This publicity brought acupuncture into great demand by Americans, many of them seeking a last resort remedy for serious afflictions. At that time, there were few trained acupuncturists in this country and the demand for treatment was impossible to meet. Today, more than 60 colleges throughout North America graduate some 1000 new acupuncturists each year.
Q. Is my privacy protected?
Q. Is acupuncture practiced in American medical institutions?
A. Acupuncture has become universally accepted. It's being utilized in more and more hospitals, wellness centers, pain management centers, clinics (chiropractic, dental, medical, veterinary), and rehabilitation centers.
Q. What do the initials after an acupuncturist's name stand for?
A. Acupuncturist's may have different initials depending on where their schooling took place, what type of program they studied in, and what state they are licensed to practice in.
Some examples of initials and their meanings:
Ac.D Acupuncture Doctor (Canada)
C.A. Certified Acupuncturist
L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncurist
M.Ac. Masters in Acupuncture
M.S.A.O.M. Masters in Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
O.M.D. Oriental Medicine Doctor (China)