Acupuncture..Owww or Ahhhh?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy using needles to stimulate particular points in the body . It is believed to be about 5000 years old and is based on the belief that the body has energy flowing through it and when we get ill or have disease, it is because this flow of energy is blocked in some way. Acupuncture helps to redirect and amend any flow that is incorrect. In the case of smoking cessation, Acupuncture is used with the aim of reducing the withdrawal symptoms people experience when they try to quit smoking.  My friend T stopped smoking with acupuncture. T swears by it but she said “like most stop smoking methods, you do need to have some will power and the want to stop, its not as if you go and its magic and you never think of smoking again. What it does though is ease the desire and I just felt better stopping if that makes sense”.

I have other friends who go to have acupuncture for a myriad of problems from weight loss to back pain to sore wrists and they all swear by it. There is no mumbo jumbo or chanting or anything like that. It is a science and as far as i have seen and know, its all very professional but I think westerners are suspicious because it is NOT a western science. Personally I am open to all and every way that can assist us in stopping smoking (even though i hate pills etc) but also I like acupuncture because it is natural and works with the body and doesn’t put more crap into your body. Yes, some natural therapists are charlatans BUT you get them in every profession, natural or not!!

Please remember, like all professionals you may visit, check out who you intend on seeing: Look at at their credentials, are they registered? Has someone you know visited them or recommended them? Just as you would for a doctor or dentist, do your homework. Here in NZ , Acupuncturists have to be registered so that is a good place to start looking for someone if you have no recommendations from people you trust. I am sure your country has a similar registration of health professionals. I have listed a few registration bodies below in various countries:

http://www.acupuncture.org.nz/

http://www.acupuncture.org.au/

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

http://www.aaaomonline.org/

 

So what happens with acupuncture?

Will I just stop smoking straight away?

Before the initial appointment, clients usually complete a health history questionnaire. The acupuncturist then interviews the client, asking about his or her primary health concern, lifestyle habits, diet, emotions, menstrual cycle, sleep, temperature, appetite, stress, and sensitivity to foods, temperature, and seasons. During the interview, the acupuncturist examines the client carefully, noting his or her face color, voice, and tongue colour and coating. There are also three pulse points at the wrist of each hand that the acupuncturist will assess to further determine the health of the 12 meridians.

After the interview, the acupuncturist gives a diagnosis and begins treatment. Typically, the acupuncturist will use 6-12 needles during the treatment. The number of needles used does not correspond with the intensity of the treatment, rather it is the precise placement of the needles that is important.

Upon insertion, the client may feel a slight sting or prick. Once the needle is inserted, there should be no pain. You should feel comfortable during the treatment. If you experience pain, numbness, or discomfort, notify the acupuncturist immediately.

Treatment length varies from seconds to longer than one hour. The typical length is about 20 to 30 minutes. The acupuncturist may use the following techniques during the treatment:

  • moxibustion – heating of acupuncture needles with dried herb sticks to activate and warm the acupuncture point. Also known as “moxa”.
  • cupping – the application of glass cups to create a suction on the skin. This is to relieve stagnation of qi and blood, e.g. in sports injury.
  • herbal medicine – Chinese herbs may be given in the form of teas, pills, and capsules to supplement acupuncture treatment.
  • electrostimulation – provides electrical stimulation to two to four acupuncture needles. Can be used for pain relief and muscle pain.
  • laser acupuncture – non-needle stimulation of needles. “

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/treatmentsad/a/acupuncture.htm

Commonly asked questions!!

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, and for health

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?

Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to takeplace. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

 WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?

 People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cuttingedges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.

Because your doctor carefully sterilizes the needles using the same techniques as for surgical instruments, or uses disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

 DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?

Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine,osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic ornaturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.

 DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?

No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believein the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.

 ARE THERE ANY “DO’S AND DONT’S” FOR ME ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT?

Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
  • Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture reatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem

 IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy”.

(http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/acu_info/articles/aboutacupuncture.html)

 

Other Interesting links:

http://www.everybody.co.nz/page-6cb84636-284a-44f3-b44c-3f6f7d923a6c.aspx

http://www.acupropress.com/faq/faq1.html

Hope you find this useful .

Stay Strong and smoke free

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