In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions, and massage. It is important that your acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so that you get the most benefit from all your treatments.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
Health benefits of Acupuncture include:
- promotion of health and well-being
- prevention of illness
- treatment of various medical conditions
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatments. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
- Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a few treatments for an acute condition, whereas a series of 5- 10 treatments may be needed for chronic conditions. To help reduce the number of treatments, dietary modifications, exercise regimes, and/or herbal remedies may be recommended.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are hair thin, stainless steel, and disposable. Their insertion is practically painless, nothing like receiving an ordinary injection or blood draw. In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. In others, there may be a tingling, warming, or heavy sensation which indications the movement of Qi, or energy to that point. Most people find the process very relaxing and many fall asleep during a session.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER A TREATMENT?
Patients often experience dramatic results after one treatment. Some patients experience more subtle changes. Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem. Generally, you should expect to feel better.
IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Certified Acupuncturists in KY are not covered by insurance. However, it is recommended that you call your health care provider and ask if your plan does cover Acupuncture. If so, paperwork will be given to you to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement.