Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Thousands of years ago, the Chinese developed acupuncture as a holistic treatment focused on the body’s flow of energy, or Qi. Today, this ancient treatment is practiced worldwide, with enormous success in both maintaining health and fighting disease.
Q: Is there a significant difference in having a medical doctor as the acupuncturist?
A. As one of our patients put it, "For me, I would not have had the benefit of arthritis pain relief through acupuncture if the provider was not a medical doctor as well. The depth and breadth of the knowledge, experience, and credentials of the medical doctor ensure that my healthcare is truly holistic."
~ Holistic Health patient from Crestivew Hills, KY
Q: How does acupuncture work to fight illness?
A: Practitioners use hair-thin flexible needles to activate the body’s acupuncture points or “energy centers.” Acupuncture is based on the idea that illness erupts from an imbalance in the body’s energy flow. The Chinese discovered that these imbalances could be corrected by engaging acupuncture points, thus alleviating symptoms. Current research suggests that acupuncture points are closely related to the nervous system.
Q: How does acupuncture focus on this Qi, or energy flow?
A: Qi circulates through 12 energy lines, or meridians, on the body - each associated with a different organ system. Acupuncture is based on the idea that disease begins with imbalances in the flow of qi through a meridian. Acupuncturists insert needles into specific points along meridian lines to restore balance to the Qi. All needles used in the practice are steel, FDA-approved, sterile and disposable. Research has shown that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for many conditions, including:
- Digestive, neurological and muscular disorders
- Chronic pain, fibromyalgia and migraines
- Nicotine addiction
- Weight management
- Chemotherapy side effects
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Nausea /Vomiting
- Immune system compromise
Q: What happens during a treatment session?
A: Initial sessions last about 90 minutes, with follow-up treatments taking about an hour. The acupuncturist may ask questions about your personal health history and discuss which areas of the body the needles will be inserted.
Patients lie on comfortable treatment tables, while the acupuncturist prepares the sites of insertion with rubbing alcohol. Patients may feel heaviness or a slight ache at the insertion point, and needles are sometimes gently moved or stimulated with electricity after placement. Once the needles are inserted, the patient relaxes for 30 minutes or less, before the needles are removed.
Q: Are there other specialized uses for acupuncture?
A: Yes, auricular acupuncture is used for smoking detoxification and weight management. It is effective for curbing cravings, hastening detoxification from nicotine or carbohydrates and managing restlessness and irritability related to detoxification.
Additionally, acupuncture facial rejuvenation is used to increase collagen production, decrease bags under the eyes, sagging jowls and larger wrinkles. It also eliminates fine lines on the face, moisturizes the skin and improves facial circulation.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: The number of treatments needed varies among patients, each of whom has a unique Qi flow and treatment response. In China, 10 sessions constitute one treatment course, but symptoms of shorter duration often take fewer treatments.
At St. Elizabeth Holistic Health Center, your practitioner will continually assess how you are responding to treatment. After three or four sessions, however, our practitioners often have a better idea how your body will respond to treatment overall.
It is critical to stick to consistent treatment frequencies to keep the body moving toward balance. When your body has reached a state of balance, you may require only occasional maintenance treatments to stay healthy.
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