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Acupuncture is an ancient
technique of helping the body to promote natural healing and to improve
functioning. This is done by skilled practitioner inserting very fine solid needles,
applying heat, cupping or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture theory is
base on the meridian systems. The classical Chinese explanation is that energy
runs in regular patterns through the body and over its surface through the
channels. 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, which
bring imbalance of the body.
The meridians can be
influenced by stimulating the acupuncture points (which located on the
meridians); the stimulation of the acupuncture points 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.
The modern scientific
explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous
system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These
chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the
release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture
results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting
physical and emotional well-being.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person, which depends on the history, severity of the disease and as well as your body constitution and how you response to the needling stimulation. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required. For
health care, just several times a year.
People experience acupuncture
needling differently. As the acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and
are made from stainless steel, so most people feel no pain at all, some of them
feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in
place, there is no pain felt.
The point of acupuncture
needle is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle), so insertion
through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of
bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.
We only use disposable needles.
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Usually not. As energy
is redirected in the body, healing begins to take place. It is quite common
with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation
immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never
require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome. Very occasionally the
original symptoms worsen for a few days, this should not always cause concern,
as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. Occasionally
the acupuncture site maybe bruised, but it will disappear soon.
Does acupuncture really work?
Yes. 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, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Acupuncture is used
successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do
not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive
attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received,
just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other
treatment. A neutral attitude ("I don't know if I really believe in
this.") will not block the treatment results.
Are there any "Do's and Don'ts" for me on the day of a treatment?
Yes. To enhance the
value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
- Do not scrape or brush the tongue (Acupuncturist can
make diagnosis from see the tongue coating)
- Do not drink coffee, brown or other colored drinks 2
hours before the treatment (it may color the tongue coating)
- Do not get the treatment while feel hungry, this may
bring light headed or dizziness during treatment.
- Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately
before or after your treatment.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages within 4 hours
before or after the treatment.
- Continue to take any prescription medicines as
directed by your regular doctor.
Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?
Some insurance companies
currently cover acupuncture costs. Each health policy must be reviewed to
determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are
recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services.
What type of conditions are treated?
Visit our Treatment
page for a list of conditions.
What is Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine
is the main treatment method within Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chinese
herbal medicine is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a
disease diagnosis. The patient receives a custom written herbal prescription
designed to treat their individual pattern as well as the symptom or disease.
How are herbal medicines taken?
There are herbal pills,
tinctures, and powdered extracts. Some of the practitioner suggest drinking a
tea prepared by boiling the selected herbs.
Does herbal medicine have side effects?
Most of the components
of herbal medicine have very low side effects. When they are prescribed
according to a correct TCM pattern diagnosis, they should have very few, if
any, side effects…only beneficial healing results. There are a few traditional
Chinese herbs that have been found toxic through research and treatments
stopped by the FDA. If you have any further questions, please discuss with your
If you have any further questions
that were not addressed in this web site, please discuss with your
practitioners. You also can call to have a consultation by phone or in person.
I met Dr. Liu (Le-o) a couple of years ago when a bulging disk resulted in muscle spasms and crippling leg pain. A co-worker suggested I give acupuncture a try - after all, what did I have to lose?
At the time, Dr. Liu was still located at AOMA (he remains on faculty there). I hobbled in, filled out an extensive questionnaire regarding both my mental and physical health. After one hour with Dr. Liu, I was able to stand up straight and walk more normally (and without pain) than I had in days. It was amazing.
These days I see him for tweaks and more maintenance type issues (stress headaches, tightness in my low back), but he is definitely on speed dial should my back issues kick into high gear again.
Beth K. Austin, TX (From Yelp.com)