Acupuncture is one of many modalities in Chinese Medicine. It originated in China over 3,000 years ago and has received growing attention in the Western Hemisphere since the 1970's. Other practices In Chinese Medicine have also gained acceptance, including herbal supplements, Chinese massage (called Tui Na), moxibustion, electric stimulation, and cupping.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the vital substances and bodily functions along a continuum of two poles, which may be regarded as “matter” and “energy.”
More specifically, acupuncture regulates the flow of “Qi” (“Chi” = energy) through the channels (meridians) and organs (matter). It removes blockages, strengthens the body’s protective Qi, and lessens the effects of external influences that cause bodily weakness. Imbalance of “matter” and “energy” manifests itself in physical, emotional, and psychosomatic stress-related disorders.
Acupuncture is a technique of treating certain diseases and conditions by passing thin, disposable, sterile, stainless steel needles through the skin to specific acupuncture points on the body. The needles are at least five times thinner than typical hypodermic needles, and insertion is usually painless.
What can I expect? Is it painful?
Prior to the first treatment, many people find it hard to believe that acupuncture is painless. Sensations such as warmth, tingling, or pressure may be felt upon insertion of an acupuncture needle. An energetic sensation may also be felt, but this differs substantially from pain. Many patients comment that acupuncture delivers an unfamiliar, but pleasant and relaxing sensation.
It is not always necessary to use needles during the treatment. For example, when treating young children, infants, or sensitive adults, other techniques may be equally effective in the treatment of particular disorders. Patients with a real fear of needles should bring this to the attention of the Practitioner as other, needle-free modalities may be used in place of acupuncture.
What is expected of me?
What if I feel worse after an acupuncture treatment?
Your visit at our office is a time set-aside solely for you. We want you to relax and allow the healing process to occur. Feel free to ask questions or voice any concerns you may have during the treatment. Be assured that all of your health information is confidential. Acupuncture initiates certain changes within your body, and it is your right and responsibility to ensure that these positive patterns are fostered. If possible, take some time to relax directly after your treatment. It is important to take an active part in the healing process.
Since acupuncture regulates “Qi” (energy), it is important that you are not exhausted or not too hungry when you arrive for your treatment. Under no circumstances should you consume alcoholic beverages or recreational drugs before the treatment
What about my regular physician and medications?
Your Practitioner will be happy to discuss any dietary or lifestyle changes that will benefit your specific condition. Occasionally, some symptoms may temporarily increase after the treatment. This is known as “healing crisis,” a positive sign that your body has the strength to move old blockages and patterns of disease so that a balanced flow of “Qi” (energy) and “matter” (organs) may be re-established. If you experience an aggravation of symptoms, please discuss this during your visit.
Is acupuncture a preventative treatment?
Acupuncture is compatible with other systems of health care and Tiffany will work in conjunction with other health care practitioners and physicians (M.D.’s). Please inform her of any other health systems or medications you are using so that all these efforts can be integrated. Our wish is that you receive maximum benefit from all sources. Please bring a list of all medications and supplements currently being taken. Do not stop taking any regular prescription medication without consulting your physician first. As treatment progresses, your body may need less medication. You should be aware of this and discuss it with your doctor during the treatment process at our clinic.
How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that aches, pains, or other discomforts are often only symptoms of a possibly deeper, underlying health problem. Therefore, we undertake a comprehensive Chinese medical diagnosis that takes into account your body, mind, and spirit. From this diagnosis, patterns specific to the patient can be seen that the body may slip into as it ages. Part of the basis of acupuncture is to modulate the body’s own immune system, according to the patient's own constitution, so that disease will not develop. Prevention is believed to be the best medicine.
Are acupuncture treatments covered by health insurance?
The number of acupuncture treatments needed to alleviate a disorder varies depending on the type and length of illness and the person’s constitution. Generally, acute diseases can be treated successfully with a few treatments. Chronic problems, which have taken years to develop, will take more treatments. Change over time will reflect the gradual restoration of bodily strength and vitality.
Many major health insurance policies cover part of the expense of acupuncture. We suggest that you check your particular policy. If you need a receipt for submission to your insurance company, please request it before you leave. In case you are not covered, we recommend that you voice your concern to the company letting them know that a licensed acupuncturist has effectively treated you.
Can the needles spread disease?
No. At Utah Acupuncture we only use disposable (one-time use), sterile needles which are disposed of in a red Sharps container after use. There is, therefore, no possibility of spreading AIDS, Hepatitis, or other viral or infectious diseases.