Why Acupuncture? Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other forms of care to speed healing and rehabilitation after an emotional trauma, health crisis or pain syndrome. In some cases acupuncture can provide resolution of symptoms effectively enough to prevent the need for surgical intervention.
Did you know? Recent fMRI studies have show how specific areas of the brain are triggered during acupuncture, along with various neurochemicals that are released. As more research sheds light on the effectiveness of acupuncture - for pain management, depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and other hormone related conditions like painful periods, menopause, and infertility - both insurance companies and the overall public are seeking non-drug approaches for their healthcare needs.
Preventative Care Acupuncture is also a great method of health prevention. Many healthcare studies have shown that patients in hospital and clinical settings increase recovery time and reduce the dependency for pain medications with the use of integrative or complementary care.
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective therapeutic approach, and has named over forty conditions which respond favorably to acupuncture, including:
Pain syndromes: migraines, headaches, sciatica, low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and stiffness, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, automobile and sports injuries, joint pain, strains and sprains.
How do Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine work to treat common disorders? Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points, with sterile one-time use needles, that promote a desired physiological response in the body. These treatment principles may also be achieved through other modalities including herbal therapies and bodywork.
How long are the needles left in? An in-depth intake with which the practitioner can make a diagnosis and treatment plan. Acupuncture needles are commonly left in for 30 minutes with the overall treatment session lasting 60 minutes.
Scope of Practice Also Includes Additional Modalities In addition to acupuncture, your treatment plan may also include:
Electro-stimulation- mild electrical current attached to two needles in the body. Typically used to stimulate nerves and reduce pain.
Cupping- the use of fire and glass cups to create a suction cup on the skin. The cups aid in pulling toxins to the surface so that the lymphatics can move them out of the body.
Moxibustion- the burning of the herb mugwort over points on the body to help add warmth and increase circulation to desired areas of the body.
Tui’na- bodywork techniques used increase circulation and alleviate pain. Also commonly used to boost immunity and expel pathogens as well as aid in digestion and range of motion. May involve traction and acupressure.
How should I prepare for my treatment?
avoid acupuncture directly following or before strenuous activity
eat at most, two hours prior to treatment
drink plenty of water before AND after
make sure you’ve used the rest room before needling
wear comfortable clothing
turn off your cell phone
notify your practitioner if you have a history of fainting or needle sickness, ear seeds can be used in place of needles
What you can expect during acupuncture? Acupuncture points are situated in all areas of the body. Sometimes the appropriate points are far removed from the area of your pain. Your acupuncture practitioner will tell you the general site of the planned treatment. It is not uncommon for some people feel relaxed, while others feel energized after an acupuncture treatment.
How frequent should I receive acupuncture? Frequency of treatment can also vary and is customized to your healthcare needs. Once a problem has been resolved. a patient may choose to continue with periodic health maintenance treatments once per month or once per season. The time span of a treatment plan may also vary depending on the condition being treated.
Research Acupuncture was developed over time and is based on empirical evidence and clinical practice. Today, there is a large body of scientific research using randomized and controlled studies to gain a wider understanding as to the specific bio-mechanisms at work during acupuncture treatments.
The benefits of acupuncture are sometimes difficult to measure, but many people find it helpful as a means to control a variety of painful conditions. Since acupuncture has few side effects, it may be worth a try if you're having trouble controlling pain with more-conventional methods.
Is Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Regulated? As you have no doubt realized, the practice of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine involves a lot more than just the insertion of acupuncture needles. To become a competent and qualified Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine practitioner in the United States requires three to four years of full time post-graduate study at an accredited educational institution.
Just like your M.D., your Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine practitioner must adhere to rules that ensure that his or her licensing and training is up-to-date.
Some fast facts about regulation:
Most states require national board certification for TCM practitioners. Ironically, most states allow conventional medical doctors and chiropractors to practice acupuncture with little or no formal training.
Practitioners must complete at least three years full-time schooling before they can become eligible for the national board certification. (This is offered by the Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
According to the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, all but a few states have regulations in place concerning the practice of acupuncture. This usually includes licensing requirements for non-MD practitioners and specifications on scope of practice for MDs and other health professionals..
Most of these states require national board certification as a prerequisite for state certification or licensure.
What certification do providers get? The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides national board certification for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine practitioners.
NCCAOM is a non-profit organization established in 1982 to promote nationally recognized standards of competency and safety for the practice of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Oriental bodywork.
To be eligible to take the NCCAOM exam, an applicant must have successfully completed a formal education in acupuncture or Oriental medicine through an accredited school (although apprenticeship can allow for eligibility in certain cases). See the table for education requirements.
Type of Certification Requirements Acupuncture: Must complete an accredited course of study that can document at least 1,905 hours (about 3 years full-time schooling) of didactic and clinic education.
Acupuncture and Oriential Medicine: Must complete at least 2,625 hours (about 4 years of full-time study) of didactic and clinic coursework in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. In most states this level of education is considered equivalent to a masters level program.
What MY Patients Are Saying
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