What is Acupuncture?
The insertion of hair-thin, stainless steel needles (now, only used one time and disposed of in bio-hazard containers) to affect change in the body by increasing neuro-response, removing blockages and occasionally increasing endorphin release (the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals) all aiding in healing and optimal function.
What is Acupuncture Good For?
The World Health Organization (WHO) published an official report listing approximately 45 symptoms, conditions and diseases that have been shown in controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture. Following is the list of conditions shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
- Knee pain
- Peri-arthritis of the shoulder
- Facial pain
- Dental pain
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Induction of labor
- Breech birth presentation
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Postoperative pain
- Essential hypertension
- Primary hypotension
- Renal colic
- Radiation/chemo reactions
- Allergic rhinitis,
- Hay fever
- Biliary colic
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Primary dysmenorrhea
- Acute epigastralgia
- Peptic ulcer
The report also contains three other very important lists of conditions:
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of Acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which Acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult.
- Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which Acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment.
Is Acupuncture Good For Anxiety?
YES, it is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety, along with nutrition/diet work and addressing any other underlying roots. In fact, when anxiety is treated with Acupuncture, Supplements/Diet and Counseling, more than 9 out of 10 people will report not having anything other than what is deemed “normal” anxiety (feeling anxious in situations where one should feel anxious).
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
There are different responses to this based on the style of Acupuncture, the Practitioner’s skill-level and/or their “heavy-handedness.” The Patient’s sensitivity level plays a large part in this as well, but having said all this, the majority of Patients will tell you that you will feel certain points, but it is less about being painful as it is more about feeling a “spark” or “charge” and then maybe an awareness or fullness in the area needled, but mostly feeling little to nothing.
I will add that many of my Patients drift off into a mild (sometimes deep) state of relaxation or sleep. One does not do these things if they are uncomfortable in any respect.
What are the side effects or concerns that come with Acupuncture treatments?
There are no real “side effects” from acupuncture other than feeling groggy if you are one of the many who experience the endorphin effect (body’s natural pain relieving neurotransmitters/chemicals flooding the body after needling), but there are some unwanted effects that may happen: minor bleeding, bruising, stiffness at needling sites, etc. These effects are short-term and do not occur often.
Approximately one in 10,000 will experience “needle sickness” as it is referred to, and it is a malaise or feeling nauseated for a short period of time. It is often aligned with someone getting needled when dehydrated or in an otherwise extreme-immune challenged or emotional state of mind. In 21 years, I have had this happen 4 times and seen it happen to one of my friends. In all cases, the Patients rebounded inside of two hours, two within 15 minutes.
Two of my Patients went on to completely recover from their health issues, as did my friend, and two quit treatment.
This incidence rate is FAR less severe and far less frequent than the dangerous or unwanted effects from Pharmaceuticals and/or surgical procedures.
If you can write a paper for or against Muscle-Testing, why do you use it in your Practice?
The short answer is that I know how to use it and have seen so many Patients respond so well to the systems and answers we’ve received from doing it. It is non-invasive, safe and an inexpensive way to add to our collection of information about the Patient in question. I do not use it, alone, to make decisions about Patients, but as a validation tool, or one to point out what may have been missed…or added in error. Please see the Resources and Links Page for more information.
Why do some People get one or a few Acupuncture Treatments while others get dozens or more?
It is important to realize that we don’t treat conditions or diseases; we treat people. Also, I want to be very clear that two people can share the same diagnostic label from a Western Medicine perspective, but have different underlying causes! This is the danger of diagnosing via a collection of symptoms.
For example: Take two people with “Sciatica,” and the same presentation of radiating pain (radiculopathy) down the right leg to the back of the knee. One Patient has what we refer to as an excess condition, which may be muscle tension from poor ergonomics while working causing the soft and/or connective tissue to clamp down on the sciatic nerve. Relieve the tension and correct the ergonomic issue and that person is free from pain and thus, the diagnosis of sciatica.
The second Patient, let’s say, has the same muscle tension, but has had it for years and it has spun off into a deficiency (weakness) condition causing structural deficiencies that lead to the sciatic nerve being impinged. We could also say that there are compensatory issues leading to other symptoms like wandering pain or pain in other areas. This Patient may be in a pattern that takes months or longer to correct, fully. Their treatment plan will often involve nutrition, exercises and different kinds of physical care. This may also involve referrals to other Practitioners.
What Does Acupuncture Cost?
The short answer is “it depends.” The long answer is that the average Private Acupuncture session will cost about $75. Depending on the area and demographic of that Practitioner, you may see session prices as high as $175 and as low as $50.
Community Acupuncture is done in a group setting and is a scaled-down version. If one has financial limitations and a simpler case, this is a cost-effective option that runs from $15-$50.
Some Acupuncturists will offer packages. If a Patient commits to care and pays up front, the visit cost is reduced. There are also Care Plans, Monthly Memberships and the like which are ways of making it less expensive for Patients, but increasing an Acupuncturists ability to connect with more people and maintain them as Patients, not just getting them well and waiting until they have a problem before they come back.