- Is there a difference between a medical doctor or chiropractor that performs acupuncture and a licensed acupuncturist?
Yes! Medical doctors and chiropractors that perform acupuncture receive approximately 200-300 hours worth of training to become certified to practice acupuncture. The depth of their knowledge of Chinese medicine and acupuncture includes acupuncture point location and basic needling skills.
Licensed acupuncturists spend 4 years or approximately 3,000+ hours worth of training in acupuncture. Licensed acupuncturist are dedicated to the medicine and the fundamental beliefs of the medicine. They are taught not only to know acupuncture points but also to diagnose using Western and Chinese medicine methods and how to carefully use information gathered from the patient to create an individualized treatment plan catered to each specific patient.
A doctor from China said it best "a medical doctor certified to practice acupuncture after only 200 hours has only begun to scratch the surface of Chinese Medicine. A stick by itself is fairly safe, but in the wrong hands even a stick has potential to cause harm."
- Are acupuncture needles like getting a shot at the doctor's office?
Patients who have received inoculations or other medical injections from a hypodermic needle are sometimes fearful that acupuncture treatments will be as painful. But such is not the case. Medical hypodermic needles are stiff, hollow, and thick for forcing liquid into the patient's flesh, usually an uncomfortable, if not painful procedure. Acupuncture needles are the exact opposite. They are fine, flexible, thin needles, no bigger around than a human hair or a piece of thread.
- What are needle treatments like? Are they painful?
Acupuncture needles are fine and flexible, no bigger around than a human hair or a piece of thread. When inserted by a skilled acupuncturist, the slender needle produces little or no sensation at all. When the needle makes contact with Qi, the energy, most patients experience a slight tingling sensation. First time patients are usually amazed at how comfortable they are during treatment.
- Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?
Yes. The government requires acupuncturists to follow very strict sterilization procedures. In addition, pre-sterilized acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure compliance with the law.
- What is involved in acupuncture diagnosis?
From its ancient beginnings to this day, acupuncture diagnostic procedures center on finding blockages and imbalances of Qi. The following procedures have proved reliable for acupuncturists since its founding: - Pulse diagnosis: An intricate expert evaluation of the pulses reveal excesses, deficiences, imbalances and what organs are involved. - Observation of the patient: Noting color and condition of the tongue, texture and condition of the skin, hair, and voice. Answers here confirm many health issues. - Interviewing the patient: Seeking a history of the illness, the patient's feelings, lifestyle and diet. All of those, as well as emotional problems may contribute to imbalances in the body. - Physical examination: Feeling for tender acupoints is a reliable diagnostic tool because certain acupoints are related to specific areas and functions of the body.
- Is acupuncture practiced in American medical institutions?
Acupuncture is universally accepted. It is being utilized in more and more hospitals, wellness centers, pain management centers, doctor's offices (chiropractic, dental, medical, veterinary), and rehabilitation centers, where acupuncturists are a welcome and valuable part of the team.
- Are acupuncture's results due to hypnotic suggestion?
Any form of therapy carries the potential of a positive psychosomatic (mind-body) response. However, the highly successful use of acupuncture in veterinary medicine demonstrates that hypnotic suggestion plays no role in acupuncture healing. It is important to keep in mind, though, that Chinese Medicine is guided by a fundamental belief in the whole body concept of health which involves the inseparable relationships of the body, spirit, emotions, mind.
- Can acupuncture help relieve pain?
Chronic pain, more than any other complaint, brings people to acupuncture. Patient complaints may include pain anywhere in the body as well as headache, pain in the back, neck, arm, shoulder, leg...all persistent reminders that something is wrong. Many people suffering with chronic pain have been taking pain medications--sometimes for years--but have never gained permanent relief. Also most health care professionals agree that pain medications, even when they relieve pain, seldom address the underlying cause. Much of acupuncture's reputation, however, stands on its potency for relieving pain while addressing the underlying cause.
- Can acupuncture help that "stressed-out" feeling?
Most people already know that the demands of modern life leave many people feeling stressed-out and anxious because, it seems, there is always more and more to do and less and less time to do it. But there's often far more to daily stress than negative feelings. Acupuncturists see that such pressure cooker living contributes to a host of chronic illnesses and conditions. Here's why: Too much stress tends to affect the balance in the body which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, headaches, depression and many other stress-related conditions. So acupuncturists recommend periodic acupuncture care to bring the body back into balance and keep it this way. This helps replace feelings of stress with a sense of well-being, something everyone desires.