Frequently asked questions
Acupuncture (from Lat. acus, “needle” (noun), and pungere, “prick” (verb)) or in Standard Mandarin, zhēn jiǔ (lit: needle – moxibustion) is a technique of inserting and manipulating filiform needles into “acupuncture points” on the body with the aim of restoring health and well-being, e.g. treating pain and diseases.
With other words Acupuncture is an over 5000-year-old medical practice where fine needles are inserted beneath the skin at specific points along the body’s energy pathways, called meridians.
The complex network of meridians deliver energy, also called Qi, to every part of the body. Pain or illness results when the flow of Qi is interrupted or blocked and acupuncture’s purpose is to stimulate, disperse, and balance the flow of Qi throughout the body within the meridians.
It can be used alone or in conjunction with your current medical care.
Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese medicine ([TCM]TCM ARTICLES). Different types of acupuncture (Classical Chinese, Japanese, and Korean acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.
In China, the practice of acupuncture can perhaps be traced as far back as the stone age, with the Bian shi, or sharpened stones. Stone acupuncture needles dating back to 3000 B.C. have been found by archeologists in Inner Mongolia.
Clearer evidence exists from the 1st millennium BCE, and archeological evidence has been identified with the period of the Han dynasty (202 BC?220 AD). Forms of it are also described in the literature of traditional Korean medicine where it is called chimsul. It is also important in Kampo, the traditional medicine system of Japan.
You can read more about acupuncture at WikiPedia
Here at Dr.Zhou’s Acupuncture, Pain Management and Natural Wellness clinic the Treatments are between 45 minutes and 1 hour long.
The first treatment may last as long as 1 and a half hours.
Western medicine proposes that acupuncture produces its effects by controlling the nervous system, thus stimulating the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body.
In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by altering the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, thus affecting parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions. These are immune reactions and processes that regulate a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature.
Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually three times a week for the first two weeks, twice a week for a month or so, and once a week after that. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently.
Because each person’s health issues are different, and response to treatment is unique, the number and frequency of treatments will vary.
Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.
We use acupuncture needles that are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People’s acupuncture experiences are different, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Incorrect needle placement, patient movement, or needle defects can cause soreness and pain during treatment.
This is why it’s important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncturist.
Acupuncture has been shown to cause changes in the brain and stimulate the release of endorphins (hormones associated with pain relief). In addition, there have been numerous studies illustrating acupuncture’s effectiveness.
The most common side effects are local bruising and mild discomfort at insertion site, but these effects are temporary and do not deter the effectiveness of the treatment. While rare, more serious side effects include fainting, needle break, bent needle, or puncture of internal organs.
Prepare to give a detailed medical history including current and previous medications. Do not eat or consume caffeinated foods or beverages several hours before treatment (this may discolor tongue and make it difficult to examine). Wear loose fitting clothes.
In general, you can expect to feel relaxed for several hours following an acupuncture treatment. Reactions specific to particular injuries or health concerns should be addressed by the acupuncturist on an individual basis.
The techniques of cupping and moxibustion may also be included with your treatment. Cupping uses warmed jars that create a light suction when applied to the body. Its purpose is to reduce local congestion of Qi and blood. Moxibustion involves burning the herb mugwort above the skin at specific acupuncture points and it helps eliminate disease by warming the Qi and blood. Moxibustion is best suited for weakened or chronic conditions, or when there is cold or dampness obstructing the body’s meridians.
You should review your health insurance policy to determine if acupuncture treatments are covered.
If not, you may want to contact your insurance provider and encourage them make provisions for acupuncture treatments.
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions.
It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
During your first visit, Dr. Zhou will ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior.
He will want to obtain a complete picture of your needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition.
Inform the Dr. Zhou about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have. Please download and complete these initial health history forms. By completing these forms you will save & maximize time when you come in for your first visit.
Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Have more questions?
Whether you have a question about our services or need assistance we want to hear from you. Please call us at (414) 962-5249 or send us an email. We’re here to help you.