What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this non-invasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.
An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile, single-use needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s energy and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What will my acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where energy has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from thirty to ninety minutes.
Why does my acupuncturist want to feel my pulse?
There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
Why does my acupuncturist want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks, and coating on your tongue.
Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build, and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever, or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.
Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.
How should I prepare?
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
- Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.
- Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs, or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
- Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, with extremely limited side effects. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
How are acupuncturists educated?
Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass either a state and/or a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice Chinese medicine.