Questions and Answers on Acupuncture

Q: What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture has been used for centuries in China to treat many problems, such as joint pain, sprains and strains, and most gynecological complaints. See list on homepage.

Q: How deep do the needles go?
A: That depends upon the nature of the problem, the location of the points selected, the patient's size, age, and constitution, and upon the acupuncturist's style or school. Usually, needles are inserted from 1/4 to I inch in depth.

Q: Does it hurt?
A: If your practitioner has obtained the correct stimulus of the needle, the patient should feel some cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian, or energy pathway. In any case, if you experience any discomfort, it is usually mild.

Q: Are the needles clean?
A: The best practice among acupuncturists in America today is to use sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. Needles should not be saved and reused for later treatments. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.

Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: Modern Western medicine cannot explain how acupuncture works. Traditional acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (Energy) and Xue (Blood) through distinct meridians or pathways that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do. According to ancient theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is Deficient and away from where it is Excess. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body. In Chinese there is a saying, "There is no pain if there is free flow; if there is pain, there is no free flow."

Q: Are there different styles of acupuncture?
A: Yes, there are. Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, the British Isles, and America. In different countries, different styles have developed based on differing opinions as to theory and technique. Patients should talk to their practitioners about their particular style and learn as much as possible about the treatment being proposed.

Q: What to expect when visiting the clinic?
A: On your first visit the practitioner will ask you about the history and current state of your problem and details about the medication that you have been taking. Then you will be given an examination which will differ from what you have received from your family doctor and will consist mainly of observation of the tongue to check its muscular form, colour, texture and coating and reading of your pulses which reflect the conditions of the body's twelve vital organs. Our experienced practioners can identify the problems or weaknesses in your body and then prescribe the most appropriate treatment and will recommend a course of treatment.

Q: What criteria should one use in choosing an acupuncturist?
A: Patients should ask about where the practitioner trained, how long the training was, how long he or she has been in practice, and what experience the practitioner has had in treating the patient's specific ailment.

Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated healthcare profession in about half the states in the U.S. Ask yourpractitioner if your state requires a license to practice. In states that do not currently require licensing, patients should ask their practitioner if they are certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. Acupuncturists who have passed this exam are entitled to add Dipl.Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) or LA.c.(licensed acupuncturist) after their name.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: That depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. The initial session will start with one or two treatments a week. The basic plan is a consists of three treatments for acute conditions and six treatments for chronic disorders. As the your condition progresses, the frequency of treatment will be decreased to twice a month, once a month, etc., until only a regular follow-up during a change of seasons is needed. Your first visit will take about 60-90 minutes, with subsequent visits lasting 45-60 minutes.

Q: What should I know about the proposed treatments?
A: Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem and what treatment he or she is recommending. Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks them am to the proposed treatment, what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician. If you agree to go ahead with the treatments, your practitioner will tell you what progress to expect, what to do if you don't experience progress and what to do if you feel worse.

Patients often experience the most dramatic results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate relief or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain diminishes over the next couple of days. Generally, you should expect to feel better.

Most patients will have more questions than this document can answer. Your practitioner is used to answering questions such as: Should I continue to see my medical doctor? Should I continue taking my present medication? What should I eat? Is there anything I can do for myself at home? What signs of success should I look for first and after how long? You should discuss all of your questions in person with your practitioner.

Q: How to use acupuncturist to treat the patient?
A: During your first visit there will be an in-depth interview and exam, which will consist of asking numerous questions about your primary complaint as well as a complete health history, and relevant questions about aspects of your health to help build up a complete picture and to put your illness into holistic context. The treatment will start after the interview has been completed.During your treatment, you will lay either face up or face down, in a comfortable position, on a massage table. Your doctor sterilizes the skin and inserts tiny disposable needles into certain acupuncture points on the body, depending on the patient's condition. Your doctor generally utilizes 6-20 needles per treatment. All needles used in our clinic are disposable. This means that only sterile needles are used on a patient, and each needle is only used once. Afterwards, the needles are discarded. Acupuncture needles are only a little thicker than a human hair. They are generally painless and most people only feel a tapping sensation when inserted by a skilled practitioner. Once the needles are in and you are comfortable, you will relax in the treatment room. After 20-30 minutes, Your doctor removes the needles. Most patients find the process very relaxing, and many fall asleep during treatment. A few of them may temporarily feel worse, or re-experience symptoms that were present years ago. This may by due to a reversal of the course of the illness. Acupuncture can be very effective with just one treatment, but in many chronic disorders that involve a patient's constitution, several consecutive appointments may be necessary.

Q: What could I do to obtain the best therapeutic effect?
A: The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:
(1) Avoid wearing tight clothing.
(2) Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, or just after a big meal, or emotionally upset.
(3) Ask any questions you may have along the way so that you can get most benefit possible from the treatment.
(4) Take deep breath as asked by your therapist while inserting the needles.
(5) Relax during treatment. There is no need to be frightened.
(6) Do not change your position or move. If you are uncomfortable, please tell the therapist immediately. So we may make proper adjustments or stop the treatment.
(7) Do not do any heavy physical activity within 2 hours after the treatment.
(8) Follow the therapist's advices regarding your diet, life style, exercise and herbal supplement to the treatment.

For further specific help, please contact Dr Lee at (407) 294-5886 or (813) 888-8070.