FOSSTON CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC
DR. GABE WIENER
Providing Total Body Health Care...
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Acupuncture FAQ

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture began to become better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery.

The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points (called acupoints) on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

How safe is Acupuncture? No one has ever died from acupuncture applied by a trained and licensed practitioner. Not a bad track record when you consider that the medicine is guesstimated to be more than 2,500 years old. Needles generally cause no bleeding or pain, and the needles used are disposable. Acupuncturists are trained in exact location, angle as well as depth of insertion of the acupuncture needle to avoid any injuries.

Are there any side effects to Acupuncture? One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that, other than an occasional bruise, there are no side effects.

Does Acupuncture hurt? This is the most common question asked about acupuncture because many people associate needles with pain. Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted. After insertion, the practitioner will bring the needle to the appropriate depth. You will then usually feel a very unique sensation called Qi (pronounced “chi”) that can vary from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different. Should you experience any discomfort, inform the practitioner, and they will adjust the needles accordingly.

Where do the needles go? This depends on the condition being treated. Although the acupoints are located throughout the entire body, usually the needles are placed on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, and ears.

What are the acupoints? The acupoints are the areas along a meridian where the energy comes together and rises to the surface of the body. It can therefore be more easily accessed and redirected with the use of a needle.

What are the meridians? There are 12 major meridians in the body. Each of these is like a highway transporting energy and blood to its respective internal organ (Liver, Heart, Lung, Spleen, Kidney, etc.). When the energy in a meridian is not moving properly, it can, in turn, affect the proper functioning of the organs and cause imbalances throughout the body.

Are the needles sterile or are they reused? Needles are individually wrapped and sterilized by the manufacturer. They are opened only when they are ready to be used, and afterwards, each needle is disposed of in a medical waste container. Needles are used only once.

What can I expect during a treatment? During your first consultation, the practitioner will collect a complete history and detailed evaluation of your condition. They will ask questions relating to many different aspects of your life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. An acupuncture treatment can take 15-30 minutes.

How often do I have to come? Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually twice a week for the first two weeks, and once a week thereafter. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.

Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant? Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.