What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture treatmentsWhat conditions can be treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine, and specifically acupuncture?  Quite a bit!

This medicine has been used for all ailments that befall man and beast, from the common cold to life-threatening injury, for literally thousands of years!  But lets get practical

Understand that there are many situations which should take you first to your Medical Doctor.

Please call 911 in an emergency if your area supports that service, get regular checkups, and see your Western medical doctor regarding health concerns.  There is no conflict between what they are trying to accomplish, Traditional Medicines, and what I do in my practice.  When done correctly, they complement each other with great benefit to the patient.  (Of course the trick is to know who to use for what! – that’s a whole different story.)

With that understood, here is a list of health conditions commonly treated by licensed acupuncturists (in the U.S.), from the Department of Consumer Affairs, Consumer’s Guide to Acupuncture and Asian Medicine .  I’ve italicized the conditions I regularly see in clinic.

What can acupuncture treat?  Here’s a summary:

  • allergies/asthma
  • anxiety/depression
  • arthritis/joint problems
  • back pain
  • bladder/kidney problems
  • constipation/diarrhea
  • colds/influenza
  • cough/bronchitis
  • dizziness
  • drug/alcohol/smoking
  • addiction
  • fatigue
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • gynecological disorders
  • headache/migraine
  • heart problems/palpitations
  • high blood pressure
  • immune system deficiency
  • knee pain
  • menopausal discomfort
  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • pre-menstrual syndrome
  • paralysis/numbness
  • rhinitis
  • sciatica
  • sexual dysfunction
  • side effects of chemotherapy
  • sinusitis
  • skin problems
  • stress/tension
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • tendonitis

What can I expect during a visit?

In my practice, I use mostly Japanese thin, painless needlesThe first treatment always takes the longest because we go over your health history, lifestyle, and the reason(s) you’ve come to see me.   I then take your pulse, take a look at your tongue, maybe palpate your abdomen – all to get a complete picture of the whole you, and where & what your imbalances are.  Treatments then usually last from 20-45 minutes.

There are several different types of treatment that can be done in a Chinese medicine  healing session:

  • Cupping
  • Heat therapy with moxa, special heat lamp, etc..
  • Acupuncture
  • Medical Massage

Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, not hollow, and do not inject anything into you.  They are sterile & used only once.  Most beginners imagine that dozens of needles are used in a treatment, but in reality a typical session consists of around 8 needles.

By inserting needles into key acupuncture points, the body is directed to pay attention and address issues regulated by those areas, activating your inner healing processes.  The results are usually a sense of well being and often, patients take a nap during their treatment & wake up refreshed, relaxed, and feeling good.

To prepare for your appointment…

  • dont come very hungry
  • dont come stuffed full of food either
  • avoid getting caffeinated before treatment
  • dress comfortably, wear loose pants
  • you’ll probably be lying down on your back for at least 20 minutes
  • wear less jewelry so you wont have to take it off and forget it
  • less make-up helps me see the real you
  • avoid brushing your tongue
  • avoid applying strong scents to yourself before treatment

Does Insurance cover my treatments?

Many health insurance plans cover acupuncture to different extents these days.  The exact details will depend on your insurance company, and which coverage you have.  Often they have a co-pay, or pay different amounts depending on the modalities of treatment (acupuncture, herbs, cupping, moxa, …).

How many treatments will I need?

That completely depends on what is wrong with you and how long you’ve had the problem.  Some acute problems (for example, just pulled your back yesterday trying to move the fridge) can see immediate results without need to come back.   Most problems will definitely show improvement within 5 treatments, and many pain issues will respond in even less!

On the other hand, if you’ve had diabetes or some other serious internal health issue for years, the good news is that this medicine can definitely help you – but it will take more than just 2 or 3 sessions to see real results.

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