Q & A for acupuncture
- What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture (from Lat. acus, “needle” (noun), and pungere, “prick” (verb)) or in Standard Mandarin, zhēn jiǔ (lit: needle – moxibustion) is a technique of inserting and manipulating filiform needles into “acupuncture points” on the body with the aim of restoring health and well-being, e.g. treating pain and diseases.
Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese medicine ([TCM]TCM ARTICLES). Different types of acupuncture (Classical Chinese, Japanese, and Korean acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.
In China, the practice of acupuncture can perhaps be traced as far back as the stone age, with the Bian shi, or sharpened stones. Stone acupuncture needles dating back to 3000 B.C. have been found by archeologists in Inner Mongolia.
Clearer evidence exists from the 1st millennium BCE, and archeological evidence has been identified with the period of the Han dynasty (202 BC?220 AD). Forms of it are also described in the literature of traditional Korean medicine where it is called chimsul. It is also important in Kampo, the traditional medicine system of Japan.
- Does Acupuncture hurt?
Western medicine proposes that acupuncture produces its effects by controlling the nervous system, thus stimulating the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body.
In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by altering the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, thus affecting parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions. These are immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.
- How often do I have to come?
Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually three times a week for the first two weeks, twice a week for a month or so, and once a week after that. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently.
Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.
- How safety are needles?
We use acupuncture needles that are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People’s acupuncture experiences are different, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Incorrect needle placement, patient movement, or needle defects can cause soreness and pain during treatment.
This is why it’s important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncturist
- What should I expect during my first visit?
During your first visit, Dr. Zhou will ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior.
He will want to obtain a complete picture of your needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Inform the Dr. Zhou about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have. Please download and complete these initial health history forms. By completing these forms you will save & maximize time when you come in for your first visit.
- How long are treatments?
Treatments are between 45 minutes and 1 hour long.
The first treatment may last as long as 1 and a half hours.
- How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required depends on the severity of your condition and how long you’ve had the illness.
In China, after the first initial consultation and examination you would receive a series of daily treatments over the course of two to four weeks (of course in China acupuncture is widely mainstream and 100% covered by insurance). In order to increase the accumulated effects of treatment and increase your bodies healing capacity, we recommend that you initially receive 2-4 treatments a week.
Generally speaking a half dozen to a dozen treatments will stabilize your condition. This depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of the complaint. Generally from dozen to 20 treatments are adequate for the majority of chronic disorders. Some acute conditions may only require several treatments and some degenerative conditions may require as many as 40 or more treatments. However, the patient has the right to expect that their major complaint will be addressed and treated in a direct and timely manner. The frequency of treatments will become less as your body starts to heal itself. We strongly recommend correcting the root of your problem not the symptoms. To maximize your optimal health we also suggest adding into your budget regular treatments every couple of weeks. You are in charge of your quality of life!
- Does health insurance cover acupuncture?
You should review your health insurance policy to determine if acupuncture treatments are covered.
If not, you may want to contact your insurance provider and encourage them make provisions for acupuncture treatments.
- How can I prepare for my session?
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions.
It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
- Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?
Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Please call us at (608) 236-9000 or send us an email. We’re here to help you.