1. What Is Acupuncture?
  2. Does Acupuncture really work?
  3. What are the needles like?
  4. Is Acupuncture Painful?
  5. Is Acupuncture Safe?
  6. How Long Does It Take To See Results?
  7. How Long Is Acupuncture Visit?
  8. Is There Anything I Need To Do Before or After Receiving An Acupuncture or
    Acupressure Treatment?
  9. Can I Combine Acupuncture and Western Medicine?
  10. What is TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)?
  11. What is Moxibustion?
  12. What is TDP Heat Therapy?
  13. What is Acupressure and Tuina?
  14. What is Cupping?

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1.What Is Acupuncture?  

Acupuncture, which originated in China more than five thousand years ago, is a major
component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves the insertion of hair-thin
needles at specific points (acupoints) on the body.

The practice of acupuncture is based on the concepts and theories of Traditional
Chinese Medicine, especially meridians theory. We believe that energy flow- Qi (Chi) -
is present in our body . This energy circulates throughout the body along specific
pathway, called meridians. According to the theory, the Qi flow is freely and balanced in
healthy body.  Disorders or diseases occur when there is imbalance or blockage within
the meridians. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that
disrupts the Qi flow. Acupuncture works to unblock the pathways and balance the
energy by stimulating certain points along the meridians.

To perform treatments, acupuncture practitioners begin by taking a thorough medical
history. Then they perform physical examination, check some parts of the body, as well
as pulse, tongue, and skin or other information. Then organize all the information to get
diagnosis patterns. This will guide them to chose acupoints and to perform operation
of the needles.

Acupuncture was first codified as early as A.D.25, and was described in the ancient text
The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. Experiences over thousands years
and reports from modern researches have shown that acupuncture is an effective
method of healing. The advantage of acupuncture is that it is a natural healing process.
Without taking medication, it help the body to rid itself of diseases, to balance energy,
and to become strong.

Acupuncture is not only specific in "symptom management", but also focus on whole
health of the person. An experienced Acupuncture practitioner may link your skin
conditions and stomach problems to your newly stress, then figure out some
acupoints to put needles, and give you some advices for both treatment and prevention
purposes. Sometimes other therapies, such as moxabustion or TDP heat therapy,
acupressure/deep tissue massage, or exercises are incorporated with the
acupuncture treatment.   

In American, acupuncture is now one of the most vital and "modern" of all areas of
complementary and alternative medicines. It is now widely used as a primary treatment
for chronic pain, and is a very popular complementary therapy for substance abuse
recovery, nausea, cancer, immune disorders, stroke and many other conditions.

Acupuncture Treatment and Fees in Gentle Acupuncture.
  

2. Does acupuncture really work?

Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with
acupuncture and Chinese herbs than with all other health methods combined.

A panel of the National Institute of Health (NIH) of USA endorsed acupuncture for some
conditions in 1997. "there is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand its
use into conventional medicine." The World Health Organization recognizes
acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine’s ability to treat over 40 common
disorders.

A landmark study showed that acupuncture provides pain relief and improves function
for people with osteoarthritis of the knee and serves as an effective complement to
standard care. This study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), both components of NIH, USA. The findings of the study--
the longest and largest randomized, controlled phase III clinical trial of acupuncture
ever conducted--were published in the December 21, 2004, issue of the Annals of
Internal Medicine.

Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, Europe, Africa and America. It is now
being used more and more in American by acupuncturists, physicians and other
medical practitioners.


3. What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles have a coiled handle and an extremely fine shaft with a sharp
point. The needles are solid and no substances are injected into the body. Needles
come in different lengths and thickness according to the areas of the body which is
treated. For example, 0.25mmx40mm(1.5"), 0.18mmx25mm (1"), 0.16mmx13mm
(0.5").  Most of the practitioners in North American use pre-packed and sterilized
disposable needles that are used only once. Patients could enquire information of the
types of needles used prior to treatment.

We use disposable needles only.


4. Is Acupuncture Painful?

No. Compared with the needles used to take blood or deliver medicine, acupuncture
needles are many times thinner, solid rather than hollow, flexible rather than rigid and
rounded at the tip. You may feel a minor tingling or slight pinch as the needle reaches
the correct point under the skin and as it is operated for "meeting" with your Qi(chi) on
meridians. Sometimes a slight warmth, distention or numbness is experienced, but
these sensation are only momentary. In most cases, the needles can hardly be felt at
all when insertion; often, patients are unaware that  insertion is taking place.  


5. Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. In the hands of a comprehensively trained acupuncturist, your safety is assured.
Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, sterile, stainless, steel, and generally cause no
bleeding. They are far different from the hypodermic needles used for injections. The
specific area on your skin will be cleaned with alcohol before insertion. One of the
greatest advantages of this method is the absence of any harmful side effects
associated with its use.  


6. How Long Does It Take To See Results?

It mainly depends on patients’ conditions. Normally for acute conditions, it takes one to
three treatments to achieve benefits or to be cured. It usually takes more than 5 to 6
visits or longer to see results for chronic conditions.


7. How Long Is Acupuncture Visit?

Usually the first visit is the longest in order to allow for a complete history taking and
exam - typically 45 to 60 minutes. Follow-up visits are shorter, 15 to 50 minutes,
depending on the patient’s situation. Typically for most of cases, the follow up visits
take  35-50 minutes. Please don't think that the longer the better.     


8. Is There Anything I Need To Do Before or After Receiving An
Acupuncture or Acupressure Treatment?

You should not come in hungry, nor should you come right after a large meal. You
could keep your routine diet. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued or emotionally
upset or shortly after sex. Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get
some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially
important for the first few visits.


9. Can I Combine Acupuncture and Western Medicine?

Usually it does not matter to be given acupuncture, herbs and acupressure treatment,
while treated in internal  medicine, osteopathic, chiropractic adjustments, physical
therapy or massage.

A lot of patients undergo herbs treatment alongside conventional medication. It is
advisable, however, that herbal medicine and conventional medicine be taken at
different times of the day. With acupuncture / TCM treatment, Western medication can
usually be reduced slowly as the patient's health improves, in consultation with both
the patient's conventional doctor and TCM practitioner.


10. What is TCM?

TCM means Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM is a theoretical and terapeutic system,
and includes acupuncture, herbs/diet, bodywork, exercises/Qigong, et al. Unlike the
way conventional medicine in western countries looks at the human body, TCM views
our health in a holistic fashion. A human body is viewed as being made up of two
opposing forces or energies, such as shown in the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol.  When
the two forces in our bodies are out of balances, we will then feel sick and symptoms
will arise.

A practitioner of TCM and your GP diagnose your illnesses in different ways. Apart from
the usual history of the illness, the practitioner will also look at or touch different parts
of your body to collect more information about your internal organ and their energies.
For example, pulse palpation above your wrist could be used as a way to get some
proofs of pathological condition; the changes of information from your tongue can show
some changes of internal organs condition or disease.

Once an illness is diagnosed, a TCM practitioner will prescribe a treatment that will
focus on restoring the balance of the body's Yin-Yang. Treatments such as
acupuncture, herbal medicine or exercises will be used. In addition, the TCM
practitioner will treat the entire person, including both the physical and the mental
aspects.

The system of TCM has been evolved  by cumulating of clinical experiences of
practitioners, generation after generation; while the system of western medicine has
been developed based on modern sciences and experiments.

Presently, about one-quarter of the world's population uses TCM.


11. What is Moxibustion?    

Moxibustion , also called heat therapy, involves the burning of a cigar-shaped roll of
moxa--an herb also known as mugwort, above the acupuncture point. Sometimes
laying a slice of fresh ginger root, or some salt directly on the treatment site based on
diffrent conditions of each client. Moxibustion results in a deep penetrating heat and
subsequent pain relief. It is an extremely effective treatment for conditions of weakness
and sensitivity to cold.    


12. What is TDP Heat Therapy?

TDP is an electromagnetic therapeutic apparatus. With the functions of promoting
metablism, balancing some physiological disorders, diminishing inflammation and
easing pain, it has been applied in almost all hospitals and some families in China,
and more and more used in Europe and USA. It looks like a lamp and feels warm.

Moxibustion and TDP usually have been used to strengthen the effect of acupuncture
treatment


13. What is Acupressure and Tuina?

Acupressure is an ancient Asian healing art that uses the fingers to press key points
on the surface of the skin and thus stimulate the body's immune system to self heal.
When stimulated, these points relieve muscular tension, and promote the release of
endorphins -- neurochemicals that relieve pain. Acupressure uses the same points
and meridians (patterns of energy flow) as acupuncture, but instead of needles, treats
with firm pressure of fingers and hands. With acupressure, the client may either to
remain fully clothed, or to undressed and suffer no side effects from drugs, while
experiencing a safe treatment. It is an excellent way to balance the body and maintain
good health by reducing tension, increasing circulation and strengthening the body's
resistance to illness.

Tuina is a name showed in Chinese pronunciation, for expressing  massage method
of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It includes acupressure and some ways of deep style
bodywork to treat common diseases and relax the body.


14. What is Cupping?

In the ancient China, cupping was called " horn method". While cupping, one or many
jars are attached to the skin surface to treat pain and some other disorders. It cause
local congestion through the negative pressure. Sometimes the jars are put along
specific meridians or around the pain area. The cupping has the function of warming
and promoting the free flow of Qi ( chi ) along meridians, dispelling cold dampness,
diminishing swellings and pains. The cupping method is mainly used to treat Bi
syndrome caused by wind dampness, such as pain of the low back, shoulders, and
leg, gastrointestinal disorders such as stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea, and the
lung disease such as cough and asthma.


References:
1.太古真人,《黄帝内经》, 哈尔滨出版社(2004, the ancient Chinese text, The Yellow
Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine)
2.NIH Panel Issues Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, http://www.nih.
gov/news/pr/nov97/od-05.htm
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Gentle Acupuncture   Acupuncture FAQs
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Health Care

"One of the advantages of
acupuncture is that the incidence of
adverse  effects is substantially
lower than that of many drugs or
accepted medical procedures used
for the same conditions." "The data
in support of acupuncture are as
strong as those for many accepted
western medical therapies," and
"there is sufficient evidence of
acupuncture's value to expand its
use into conventional medicine."

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Consensus Conference on
Acupuncture

USA Nov.1997