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Acupuncture Questions & Answers

Q. What is acupuncture and its history

Twenty thousand years ago man started to use sharply polished needles, made from stone, to cure pain. Later they used needles made from animal bones. Two thousand years ago people in the north of China developed this into acupuncture. They mapped acupoints, the meridians and completed the theories around these. More recently the location of the acupoints and meridians have been confirmed, using sensitive apparatus measuring electrical resistance.

Q. What problems can be treated with acupuncture?

1. Rheumatic and arthritic conditions. These are the most common conditions for which acupuncture is used. The conditions under this heading include all if the following: tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, all the painful shoulder problems, neck problems, lumbago and other back problems, wrist pain, hip, knee and ankle problems and any other painful condition of muscle, ligaments or other soft tissue disturbances, such as shin splints.

2. Sports injuries: These respond dramatically to acupuncture with needles or laser which will often increase the healing response by 30 to 50%.

3. Neurological disorders: These include trigeminal neuralgia of the face, post herpetic neuralgia (pain during and after shingles), headaches and migraines, occipital neuralgia, sciatica, intercostals neuralgia

4. Paralysis: Bells palsy (facial paralysis) and stroke patients.

5. Allergy problems: hay fever, some asmathics, eczema and other skin problems.

6. Tone ups: Many conditions will improve with a course of acupuncture treatment since this improves function and assists the system to function better. These include fatigue, M.E. syndrome, low resistance with recurrent colds and flu.

7. Miscellaneous conditions: Herpes zoster (shingles), depressions and anxiety, irritable bowel problems, sinusitis.

8. Gynaecological problems: painful periods, PMS, infertility, endometriosis.

9. Cigarette and alcohol addiction, obesity or overweight.

10. Chronic prostatitis

11. Epilepsy

Q. How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works through stimulation of the meridians at their external locations via points which are located along them. The stimulation can be accomplished by applying needles, heat, finger or hand pressure, scraping or cupping (suction). The therapeutic effect occurs internally by regulating Qi and stimulating the proper internal functions to which the external meridians and points are connected. It also removes blocks to the flow of energy. If energy is freed then it can flow and heal the person. A great deal of research has been carried out in recent times all of which suggest that a number of mechanisms are probably involved. Whatever the underlying mechanism however the end result appears to be an improvement
in function. Any improvement in function means that the system is able to work more effectively than before and can now start the process of healing.

Q. Is there any chance of contracting AIDS?

Acupuncture needles are made from stainless steel. They are sterilized in a sealed package and for single use only. There is no chance of contracting AIDS.

Q. Are the effects of acupuncture symptomatic only?

Acupuncture is not symptomatic. Many conditions are permanently cured while others might need booster treatments for a period of time.

Q. Is acupuncture painful?

Very thin needles are used for acupuncture, insertion of the needle should be painless when performed by a competent acupuncturist. After the needles are inserted the patients usually feel some sensation locally or distant. Traditionally it refers to the energy reaction of the body and is good in producing more results. For some cases the doctor may manipulate needles for one or two times during retaining the needle and before the needles are withdrawn to produce more needling sensations. But if you really do not like this sensation, you can definitely ask your doctor to do a gentle treatment.

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