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Frequently Asked Questions - Acupuncture:

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with Chinese Herbs, Chinese Massage and Chi Gong. With a history almost 3000 years, it is still used extensively today to treat millions of people around the world. Acupuncture involves inserting very fine, sterile, disposable stainless steel needles into specific points all over the body to stimulate the body's natural ability to heal.

What Problems Can Be Treated By Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is good for more than just pain. It targets a broad range of disorders and diseases. Acupuncture is generally possible to treat several ailments at the same time, and this cannot be done by some "specialist". The World Health Organization has deemed acupuncture a useful form of primary-care medicine for the following types of conditions:
      Neurological & Musculoskeletal Disorders
      Gastrointestinal Disorders
      Respiratory Disorders
      Eye, Mouth and Throat Disorders

Do Acupuncturists Only Use Needles?
Although most acupuncture treatments will involve the use of needles, acupuncturists use a variety of other complimentary techniques. These include acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, gentle electro-stimulation and Chinese herbs. Herbs may be needed in conjunction with a course of acupuncture to enhance the treatment.

Are There Any Side Effects?
Because acupuncture regulates dysfunction, there are seldom any side effects from treatment. In a few cases some symptoms may seem worse for a day or so before they improve. Many people feel very relaxed after a treatment, with a sense of well -being that may last for days. In other cases seemingly unrelated symptoms may disappear without direct treatment. The needles used are pre-sterilized disposable acupuncture needles. Needles are used once, and then destroyed. There is no risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases between patients. Patients with pacemakers or epilepsy should avoid electrical stimulation with acupuncture. Women in early pregnancy and haemophiliacs are treated with caution.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?
That depends upon the duration, severity and nature of each individual's complaint. Generally from five to ten treatments are adequate for the majority of chronic ailments. Many acute conditions may only require a single treatment and some degenerative conditions may require scores of treatments. However, the patient has the right to expect that their major complaint will be addressed and treated in a directly and timely manner.

How Does Acupuncture Work?
Modern research concludes that stimulating acupuncture points decreases inflammation, increases endorphins and stimulates the circulation, endocrine and immune systems. After years of study, western medical researchers now know a great deal about the ability of acupuncture to activate the body's own painkilling and healing mechanisms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory, we all have 14 main channels, called meridians, which flow throughout our body to distribute Chi, a type of unseen energy or electro-magnetic force. Chi travels in a system of channels or meridians in our body, which connect acupuncture points to tissues and organs. When Chi is somehow affected, the Yin and Yang in our body loss balance. The result is pain, discomfort, disorder and or disease. Acupuncture can regulate the flow of Chi in the channels and organs, restore the balance of Yin and Yang, thereby regulate circulation, muscles, immunity, hormones, nerves, and then we get recovery.

Does It Hurt?
Some people will never try acupuncture because they think it will hurt them, even if they are suffering from a chronic and painful condition. Experiences with acupuncture vary from person to person. Many people feel nothing at all; some may notice a very small sensation as the needle inserted. Most people are pleasantly surprised at how comfortable acupuncture therapy is, often falling asleep during treatment. The needles are generally between 0.2 to 0.3mm in width, small enough to pass through the bore of a hypodermic needle! They are inserted quickly to minimize skin pain, and when correctly stimulated, there is a feeling of tingling, mild cramping or an electric sensation at the point. How deep the needles are inserted varies from a few millimetres to a couple of inches and or more, depending on the size of the patient and where the point lies on the body.

What Response Can I Expect From Acupuncture Treatment?
After treatment, you will usually feel a sense of general well -being and relaxation. Although individual responses vary, most people experience an improvement in sleep, digestion, and energy level. Some people experience a mild exacerbation of symptoms after the first treatment, but this does subside and will be followed by an improvement in the condition over subsequent treatments.

What Can I Do To Assist My Acupuncture Treatment?
* Wear loose fitting clothing for acupuncture treatments and maintain good personal hygiene.
* Do not eat a heavy meal or consume alcohol before or after treatment.
* Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex.
* Keep relaxation and do not change your position during treatment.
* Please inform your practitioner if you experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, short of breath, or faintness during the treatment.
* It is best to avoid vigorous exercise and not to take shower within 2-4 hours after treatment.