AOM FAQs

 


Q: What is Acupuncture?

A: Acupuncture is a traditional Oriental Medical Therapy using very fine and thin stainless steel needles into the body at specific points, which have been empirically proven effective in the treatment of specific disorders. These points have been mapped out by the East (in the country of China and Korea) over a period of 5,000 years. Recently, these locations were confirmed by electromagnetic research.


Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: Since people are unique, treatments can vary from different courses. However, clinic supervisor(s) can suggest several general treatment guidelines. Acute conditions that are short in duration may only require 2-3 treatments to have a curative effect. Chronic conditions that are years in duration take longer to resolve. A general rule is that for every year a person has had a problem, you need a month of weekly treatments. That doesn't mean you won't have any benefit from a couple of treatments, it just generally means it may take more time to correct the underlying cause of the problem. For example, if a person came in for lower back pain treatment and the person has had the pain for 10 years, the pain relief could be obtained within a couple of treatments. If the person discontinues treatment, since they felt better, the pain may come back. If the person continues treatment to correct the underlying weakness, that caused the pain to manifest in the first place, the pain may never return.


Q: Are the needles clean?

A: Yes. The clinic only uses pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and single-use disposable needles. Thus assuring there is no transmission of communicable disease from patient to patient. The certification of Acupuncturists includes a Clean Needle Test as part of every national board exam in America.


Q: Does it hurt?

A: In general, acupuncture is painless. However, if the correct stimulus of the needles has been obtained, the patient should feel some heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or up and down the affected energy pathway or meridian. In any case, if there is any discomfort it is usually mild.


Q: Is Acupuncture Safe?

A: If performed by a license and qualified conscientious practitioner, yes. Licensed Acupuncturists know the human anatomy well and insert needles in a safe manner. The instruments used to penetrate the skin are either pre-sterilized and disposable after a single use, or disinfected and sterilized in an autoclave, as surgical and dental instruments are, after each use.
The practitioner is well aware of the concern over infectious diseases and takes every measure to insure cleanliness as all health care professionals do.
Bleeding rarely occurs, unless done so on purpose in specific situations. Even then the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.


Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: That is a big question! Traditionally, acupuncture is based on ancient Eastern of the flow of Qi (vital energy) through discrete channels (meridians) which transverse the body similarly, but not identically to, the nervous and blood circulatory systems. According to this theory, acupuncture regulates this flow of Qi by shunting it to those areas where it is deficient and releasing it from where it is in excess. Acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body. In Chinese there is a famous dictum, "There is no pain if there is free flow; if there is pain, there is no free flow." Essentially, acupuncture promotes the free and balanced flow of Qi and blood in the body.


Q: How do I decide if Acupuncture is for me?

A:Some key things to keep in mind when choosing a particular mode of treatment are the frequency or the length of the treatment and the cost. Acupuncture can be very effective with just one treatment, but in many chronic disorders that involve a patient's constitution, several consecutive treatments may be necessary. How many and how often can be worked out between you and your acupuncturist.

Finally, whether you can or not have acupuncture done depends on how you feel. If you fear needles, perhaps Acupressure, Tui Na, cupping, earballs, or herbs would work better for you. All of these can be done at an acupuncture appointment.


Q: How should I prepare for an appointment?

A:

  • Prepare a list of questions you may have, your acupuncturist is there to help and answer your questions.
  • Make an appointment through via internet or by telephone. Walk-ins are welcome.
  • Avoid eating large meals before or after your visit. Also, try to refrain from overexertion, drug, or alcohol for up to 6 hours after your visit.
  • After your treatment, avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax. A warm bath or shower is helpful. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water.
  • Between visits, make note of any changes in your body that may have occurred. For instance, the alleviation of pain or pain moving to a different area, changes in the frequency and/or type of problem. This information will be important to share with your acupuncturist.

Q: What can I expect during my visit?

A: During your initial exam a full health history will be taken, with questions regarding your health, lifestyle, and other information necessary for diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will check your pulse, look at your tongue, and conduct the appropriate physical exam. This information is then organized according to the theories and philosophies of Chinese medicine in order to diagnose your specific concerns and any underlying factors that may affect your health. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. The initial visit ranges from 30 to 90 minutes.

During the acupuncture treatment, you may feel energized or a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may feel a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling, or a dull ache. Sometimes people will experience the sensation of energy spreading out from the needle. This is called the "Qi" sensation. All these reactions are a good sign the treatment is working!


Q: Why do they want to look at my tongue?

A: The tongue is a map of your body, reflecting the general health or your organ and meridian systems. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, and coating of your tongue.


Q: Why do they want to feel my pulse?

A: There are 12 main positions on your wrists that your acupuncturist will feel. Each position corresponds to an organ and meridian system. Your acupuncturist will be looking for 28 pulse qualities that reflect the balance of Qi and your general state of health. If there are any imbalances they will appear in your pulse.


Q: Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

A: Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. The herbs can strengthen your body or clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever, or acute pain. Herbs can be used daily.

Sometimes your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment. The acupuncturist will do this in order to build up your internal strength so your body can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.


Q: What is Acupuncture useful for?

A: Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Here are a few imbalances acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been effective at treating:

  • Addiction - drugs, alcohol, smoking
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common Cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental Pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive Trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional Problems
  • Eye Problems
  • Facial Paralysis/Palsy/Tics
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility Problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccups
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - IBS
  • Low Back Pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder - SAD
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Sore Throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist Pain