7 Common Questions About Acupuncture

-by Fatima (Shekoufeh) Hozouri, DTCM, RAc

1- Is acupuncture painful?acupuncture-1

Acupuncture is not painful. You may feel a minimal sensation when a very fine sterile needle passes through the skin. Some sensations that are totally common during acupuncture include feelings of heaviness, heat and pressure, though not to the extent of being uncomfortable. A vast majority of patients fall asleep during their treatments!

2- How many treatments are necessary?

It really depends on each individual. Most acute issues resolve in five to ten treatments, while more treatments are needed for chronic conditions. Benefits of acupuncture are cumulative. In most cases, patients start to feel a difference after their third treatment; however, in many cases, I’ve seen results after their first treatment. It is very important to follow the treatment plan that is designed for you in order to see results.

3- Do you accept extended insurance?

Most extended insurance plans cover acupuncture treatments. Please contact your insurance provider to determine how much is covered in a fiscal year.

4- Do you use fresh packs of needles for each treatment?

Absolutely. The needles are sterile and for one-time use only.

5- Do you use other modalities in your practice?

I use cupping, electro-stimulation, Tui Na and auricular acupuncture. I also make dietary/nutritional recommendations when necessary.

6- What conditions can I seek acupuncture treatments for?

Benefits of acupuncture are limitless. The most common conditions treated with acupuncture are: pain (any pain in the body), headaches, fertility, women’s health, asthma, allergies, digestive system disorders, anxiety, depression, skin issues, hormonal imbalance, and insomnia.

7- How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on a Chinese medicine diagnosis. Your pulse and your tongue (colour & shape) along with your medical history and evaluation give an acupuncturist enough information to choose a pattern for treatment. Then, by inserting needles on specific points on your body, your acupuncturist helps to restore the balance of qi. Qi is energy that flows through your entire body within meridians which are related to internal organs. Acupuncture points are where qi is closest to the surface of the body. In order to be in good health, your qi should be balanced and flow smoothly in the meridians. If qi is blocked or if there is too much or too little in any part of the body, diseases and pain will occur. Acupuncture restores balance to your qi.
From a western medicine perspective, acupuncture releases endorphins (substances which inhibit pain): regulates the endocrine functions in the body; increases circulation; and enhances the body’s immune function.

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