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Some Common Questions About Acupuncture Are Answered Below
Call us at 856-751-8908 if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. It is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive method to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy for thousands of years.
Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body which reside on channels or meridians; these are pathways in both the exterior and interior of the body. These points, when needled, can stimulate as well as regulate the way energy flows and therefore improve the way the body functions overall. It basically is a way to stimulate the body’s own incredibly strong natural defense/immune, healing and repair abilities. It can also promote feelings of well-being and improved emotional health. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What Will My Acupuncturist Do?
Once you have decided to come for treatment, we will schedule your first appointment which will be 2 hours long. If you are in our office for the treatment of an internal illness or issue such as infertility, during the first hour I will review your primary reason (or Chief Complaint) for coming and then I will gather all the details of any medical diagnosis or treatments or procedures you have already received for that specific condition. Then I will take approximately 45 minutes to ask you questions about every other aspect of your current state of health and emotional and physical well-being. The answers to all those questions along with the medical information you provide will present a picture of your overall health and any underlying imbalance that may exist in your body which is causing your chief complaint. Other problems that are discussed represent that your body is not functioning as well as it should and they are part of the imbalance. All the little as well as bigger health problems that you are experiencing are symptoms or signs of something not functioning properly in your body. Together they make a pattern that shows the state of balance or the state of imbalance in your body. When I treat you, I will be treating the pattern of imbalance that exists which will improve the functioning of your entire body including your chief complaint.
After the intake process is completed and we are done talking, you will receive your first acupuncture treatment. All follow-up appointments will be one hour long.
What To Expect During Treatment
Before I start your first acupuncture treatment I will also look at your tongue and take your pulse. Gathering this information adds a little more information about what is going on inside your body and enables me to more effectively diagnose any pattern of imbalance to the flow of Qi that exists in your body and may have contributed to your health problems. I can then create your treatment plan.
Once I determine the pattern of imbalance that exists in your body, I will place very thin, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points along different channels of Qi flow. This is very safe and painless and can unblock the obstructions and balance the flow of Qi where it has become blocked or unbalanced. Once this is done, the circulation of Qi should improve throughout your body and will start bringing your body back into proper balance and therefore improved overall functioning. This can reduce or eliminate pain as well strengthen as the body’s ability to heal itself and restore balance and harmony. This should ultimately lead to the correction of any dysfunctions and lead to optimal health and feelings of well-being.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a safe, effective and drug-free therapy that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.
What Is Qi?
Qi (pronounced “Chee”) and the flow of blood affects the healthy functioning of all of the organ systems in the human body. In the text book – Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, translated by Nigel Wiseman and Andrew Ellis, it is stated, “The ancient Chinese perceived the existence of qi and believed it to be the basic substance by which all movements and mutations [changes] of all phenomena in the universe arise. In the context of medicine, it is believed to be a fundamental constituent of the body. The movements and mutations of qi explain all physiologic activity.” When pure Qi and blood are circulating freely throughout the interior of the body, every part of our body should be able to function optimally. Defensive Qi primarily circulates just below the exterior surface of our body and protects us from outside pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. It is the force behind our immune system.
How Does Qi Move?
Qi moves along pathways called meridians or channels. There are fourteen main channels of energy flow inside the body. Each of these is connected to a specific organ and glands inside the body.
Where Qi flows smoothly without interruption or stagnation and when it flows in the correct amount and in the proper direction within the channels, it stimulates and restores the very powerful natural healing, repair and immune systems which already exist in our body and also increases feelings of calm and relaxation in the body.
How Is Qi Disrupted?
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam that is built across a stream or small river by beavers or a blockage that accumulates over a period of time. Sometimes it can happen fast from a type of trauma or physical accident. When Qi becomes blocked or stagnated in one part of the body quickly or over time, the flow of blood may also be affected. The part of the body that is above the blockage will have too much or excess Qi and blood and the part of the body that is located below the blockage gets a reduced amount or becomes deficient of Qi and sometimes blood. This blockage of the flow is detrimental to a person’s health.
Physical and/or emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, physical injuries or extremes in any type of activity are among the many things that can have a detrimental effect on the quantity, quality and flow of Qi in our body.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body’s own defense and repair systems easily bounce back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is chronic (meaning 3 months or longer) or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, dysfunction and pain can set in.
How Does Acupuncture Help For Infertility?
Acupuncture and herbal formulas have been used for over 2,000 years to treat some but not all causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture and herbs will not work to address tubal adhesions or blockages which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
However individuals with other fertility issues will benefit from acupuncture because it can increase blood flow to the uterus, stimulate the endocrine system, reduce the negative effects of stress on the reproductive system by relaxing both the mind and body, improve sleep, decrease anxiety and improve circulation overall throughout the body .
When Should Acupuncture Treatment Begin For Infertility?
For women going through fertility treatments with Medical Specialists or taking fertility drugs, I strongly recommend getting at least 10-12 treatments beginning 6-8 weeks prior to the next fertility cycle beginning. Women trying to get pregnant naturally must expect a minimum of 3-6 months of treatments and I strongly recommend taking a break and not trying to get pregnant at all during the first one or two months of that time. Age and general health will play a role in deciding exactly how long the “break period” should be.
Is Acupuncture Safe For Children?
Yes, but…Acupuncture is not necessary for treatment of nor should it be done on children less than 7 years old. Children under 7 generally are able to respond well to acupressure alone and in fact, much more readily than adults. It is believed that in a generally healthy child under the age of 7 the Qi is still so pure and strong and superficial that it is easily reached and the flow is easily corrected. For children 7 and older it is permitted and in some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, I can use a ball pointed electrical stimulation device that will put a focused but light pressure and gentle tingling electrical stimulation on the acupoint.
Why Do They Want To Look At My Tongue?
The tongue is like a window into the interior health of your body and a map to the possible location of health concerns in your body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. I will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue. Together with the answers to the many questions I will ask you during the first appointment about your health it will help me to determine what type of imbalance exists in your body.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of total treatments varies depending on the type of condition being treated.
For women going through fertility treatments with Medical Specialists or taking fertility drugs, I strongly recommend getting at least 10-12 treatments over a 6-8 week period, women trying to get pregnant naturally must expect a minimum of 3-6 months of treatments.
For all other conditions; the number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience relief very quickly; others may take weeks or even months to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum 6-8 treatments to see significant changes
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. I will suggest two treatments per week to start and then reduce it to fewer as the treatment progresses, eventually you may want to come for monthly visits for health maintenance or quarterly for seasonal “tune ups”.
How Should I Prepare?
- Write down and bring any questions you have. I am here to help you.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points. Shorts that fit loosely on your legs and a short sleeved shirt or tank top for neck and/or shoulder issues are best.
- Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or improvements/changes in the frequency and type of physical or mental/emotional conditions.
How Safe Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is no 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 a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state. I have a BS in Natural Resources from Ohio State University and a 4 year Masters of Science Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from PCOM in San Diego, CA. I am licensed to practice Acupuncture in New Jersey.
What Can Acupuncturists Treat?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that I have experience in treating successfully:
- Female Infertility
- Migraine and Tension/Stress Headaches
- Menopause symptoms and discomfort
- Menstrual Irregularities and Pain
- Low Back pain/Sciatica, Neck, Knee, Elbow, Wrist pain
- Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Constipation & Diarrhea or IBS
- Bell’s Palsy
There are many other conditions acupuncture may be able to treat effectively. If you are experiencing an issue or problem with anything not listed above, please call me and I will be very happy to tell you whether or not I think I can help you. My promise to you is that I will always be very honest and conservative with any predictions of success.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Everybody’s reaction is different. In any treatment there are some points that you may not even realize have been needled and some points in which you may feel a slight sharp sensation. 99 percent of the time the sharp sensation will last literally only one second. Sometimes it may last 2-3 seconds.
Is Acupuncture Ever Covered By Insurance?
Every insurance policy is different. Not many employer provided insurance policies currently cover acupuncture for infertility or other internal dysfunctions or pathologies. More will cover acupuncture for pain or injury but not a large percentage of policies include acupuncture coverage. It’s really up to the employer and sometimes employees as to which health procedures are covered and what kind of health providers are approved. In any event, I am not in any Networks and do not take direct payments from insurance providers, so I can never tell anyone whether or not they have acupuncture coverage or what type of coverage they may have.
If you find out you do have acupuncture coverage and you have it for the specific issue for which you wish to get treatment, then you will need to make sure you can go “out of network” and that you can pay the acupuncturist directly and then submit a bill for reimbursement later. I can provide you an insurance “Superbill” to submit with all the current Diagnosis and Treatment codes necessary for reimbursement.
If you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) and it is funded, acupuncture is considered a “Covered Expense” and you can pay for your acupuncture treatments using your FSA Card. It will save you some money. The amount of savings depends on the tax bracket you are currently in.