Spirit Healer Acupuncture
Questions & Answers About Acupuncture
Information for Patients Provided By Blue Poppy Press

Q: What is Acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is one of the modalities of Oriental Medicine.  Although what is called Acupuncture in the West
comprises several different therapies (such as moxibustion and cupping), mostly it consists of the insertion of
fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems.  
These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years, and there are more than a
thousand known acupoints.  In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence
and location of these points.

Q: What problems can be treated by Acupuncture?
A: The World Health Organization recognizes Acupuncture's effectiveness for over 40 common disorders such as:
1) Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders: Toothaches, earaches, sinusitis, rhinitis, laryngitis
2) Respiratory Disorders: Colds & flus, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema
3) Gastrointestinal Disorders: Food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea,
  constipation, ulcers, colitis
4) Circulatory Disorders: Hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina
5) Urogenital Disorders: Cystitis, stress incontinence, neurogenic bladder, prostatitis,
   prostatic hypertrophy
6) Gynecological Disorders: Menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, PMS, infertility,
  menopausal syndrome
7) Musculoskeletal Disorders: Tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, sciatica, low back
  pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia
8) Psychoemotional Disorders: Depression, anxiety, insomnia, headache, migraine,
  trigeminal neuralgia, intercostal neuralgia, post-stroke paralysis, dizziness,
In addition, Acupuncture has been used for centuries throughout Asia to treat hundreds of other problems.

Q: How does Acupuncture work?
A: Modern Western medicine cannot yet explain how Acupuncture works.  Traditional Asian Acupuncture is based
on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of qi (a fine, essential substance which nourishes and constructs the
body) through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like nerves and blood vessels.  According to this
theory, Acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it
from areas where it is stuck and/or superabundant.  In this way, Acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of
the body and its parts.  In Chinese, there is a saying, "If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow,
there is no pain."  Acupuncture promotes and reestablishes the free flow of qi.

Q: Is Acupuncture safe?
A: When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, Acupuncture is extremely safe.  All licensed
Acupuncturists today use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles.  So there is virtually no chance of
infection or contagion.

Q: Does it hurt?
A: Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and their insertion is practically painless.  It is
nothing like receiving an ordinary injection.  In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place.  In
others, there may be some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the qi moving up and down the channels.  
Most people find Acupuncture extremely relaxing, and many fall asleep during the treatment.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint.  You may need only a single treatment for
an acute condition.  A series of 5-10 treatments may resolve chronic problems.  Some degenerative conditions
may require many treatments over time.  To help reduce the number of treatments, your practitioner may suggest
dietary modifications, specific exercise regimes, relaxation techniques, self-massage, and/or Chinese herbal
medicines, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of Acupuncture.

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

Q: What criteria should I use in choosing an Acupuncturist?
A: Prospective patients should ask about where the practitioner trained and for how long he or she has been in
practice, and, most importantly, what experience the practitioner has had in treating your specific ailment.  
Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in over 40 states in the U.S.  In addition, the
National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies both
Acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners.  Acupuncturists who have passed the NCCAOM exam are
entitled to add Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) after their name.

Q: What should I know about the proposed treatments?
A: Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in Oriental medicine terms and what treatment he or
she is recommending.  Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment
and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner
or physician.

Q: Is there anything I need to do before receiving an Acupuncture treatment?
A: The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment
1) Wear loose clothing.  Women should not wear one piece dresses.  Avoid wearing tight
2) Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or
  shortly after sex.

Q: Is there anything I need to do while receiving Acupuncture?
A: Relax.  There is no need to be frightened.  Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that
you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment.  Do not change your position or move suddenly.  If you
are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.

Q: What can I expect after treatment?
A: Patients often experience dramatic results in the first treatment.  Some patients experience an immediate total
or partial relief in their pain or other symptoms.  This relief may last  or pain may return.  In a few cases, there
may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain diminish over the next couple of days.  Generally you should
expect to feel better.