WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Simply put, acupuncture is a health science, which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. Early Chinese physicians discovered there is an energy network running just below the surface of the skin which communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures at over 1,000 “acupoints” on the body. This energy works in harmony with the body’s circulatory, nervous, muscular, digestive, genitourinary and all other systems of the body. When this vital energy becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident, producing pain or symptoms in the body. Stimulation of one or a combination of key “acupoints” on the body can restore energy balance to the affected area, similar to resetting a circuit breaker after it has been overloaded.
This acupuncture’s goal to restore normalcy to the body’s energy balance by utilizing a combination of acupoints located on the twelve meridians. This is accomplished by a variety of means; The acupuncture needle is just one. Other means included electronic stimulation, laser beam, or pressure massage.
IS TREATMENT PAINFUL?
One would assume inserting a needle into the skin would be painful since most of us can relate to being stuck with a pin or having a hypodermic injection. However, four acupuncture needles can easily be inserted into the hole of a hypodermic needle. Because of the extreme slenderness of the needle, most people compare the sensation as “less than a mosquito bite”, or they feel nothing at all.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
The number of treatments varies with different conditions and individuals. Chronic problems generally require more treatments than recent ones. Some patients notice an immediate improvement after the first treatment, while other may not notice any effect until the seventh or eighth visit. A small number may notice a worsening of symptoms, as the body’s energies are returning to normal. This is not unusual and no need for alarm. Researchers internationally agree the usual number of treatmentS is between eight and sixteen, with a frequency of two to four times per week.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE TREATED?
Acupuncture texts list well over one hundred different conditions that respond well to acupuncture. The World Health Organization has indicated acupuncture is effective in the following conditions (this is only a partial list of the conditions acupuncture has helped):
- Acute and chronic pain relief
- Tension, cluster, and sinus headaches
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Bladder dysfunction
- Bed wetting
- Neck pain
- Mid-back pain
- Low back and leg pain
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Skin conditions
- Neurological symptoms
- Many more
WHAT IS THE COST?
The cost of acupuncture treatment varies in different parts of the country. However, the average is between $25.00 and $60.00 per treatment. In our office, the cost per treatment is $54.00 and payment is expected at the time of service. Acupuncture is reimbursable through some insurance plans, however, each plan is different.
ARE THE RESULTS PERMANENT?
For acute problems where there has been little or no organ system or tissue damage, results are often permanent. For chronic conditions, symptoms may recur from time to time. Generally, a few additional treatments are sufficient to obtain relief. It’s suggested that patients with severe or chronic conditions return for a booster treatment two to three times a year.