Medical Acupuncture F.A.Q.

What training is required to practice acupuncture?
Requirements vary, depending upon physical location. In most of Europe, a practitioner must first be a medical doctor before practicing acupuncture. Acupuncture is practiced by physicians in this country. However, in this country, non-physicians can be licensed.

What conditions respond to acupuncture?
The World Health Organization has recommended the following conditions for acupuncture:

Respiratory Diseases
• Acute sinusitis
• Acute rhinitis
• Common cold
• Acute tonsillitis

Bronchopulmonary Diseases
• Acute bronchitis
• Bronchial asthma

Eye Disorders
• Acute conjunctivitis
• Cataract (without complications)
• Myopia
• Central retinitis

Disorders of the Mouth Cavity
• Toothache
• Pain after tooth extraction
• Gingivitis
• Pharyngitis

Orthopedic Disorders
• Peri arthritis humeroscapularis
• Tennis elbow
• Sciatica
• Low back pain
• Rheumatoid arthritis

Gastrointestinal Disorders
• Spasm of the esophagus and cardia
• Hiccups
• Gastroptosis
• Acute and chronic gastritis
• Gastric hyper acidity
• Chronic duodenal ulcer
• Acute and chronic colitis
• Acute bacterial dysentery
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Paralytic ileus

Neurologic Disorders
• Headache
• Migraine
• Trigeminal neuralgia
• Facial paralysis
• Paralysis after apoplectic fit
• Peripheral neuropathy
• Paralysis caused by poliomyelitis
• Meniere’s syndrome
• Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
• Nocturnal enuresis
• Intercostal neuralgia

Of course, there are also other conditions that will respond. The best opinion comes from an experienced practitioner. Based upon a thorough medical evaluation, it might be possible to offer acupuncture as a treatment alternative.

What is the difference between a physician and non-physician acupuncturist?
A physician acupuncturist integrates traditional Western medical care with acupuncture.

What do acupuncture needles feel like?
Patients experience acupuncture in different ways. Most patients experience minimal pain or no discomfort at all. Once the needles are in place there is no discomfort. The needles are made of stainless steel, are solid and are sharpened to a very fine point. Insertion through the skin is not painful like a hypodermic needle is.

How many treatment sessions will be necessary?
Treatment for acute conditions is often shorter than treatment for chronic or more complex conditions. Acute conditions may respond to only one or two treatments. More chronic conditions may require treatment once or twice per week for a longer period of time.

Does acupuncture have any side effects?
A sensation of deep relaxation often occurs following acupuncture. Occasionally, the original symptoms become worse following treatment, but they then quickly diminish. Local bruising and swelling can rarely occur, but usually clear spontaneously.

Do you have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
Absolutely not.

How many needles are inserted?
The number of needles depends upon the medical condition being treated. Sometimes only a few needles are required. At times, 10-12 needles are required. It is not true that more needles are likely to produce a better result.

Is there special preparation required before an acupuncture treatment?
Absolutely not. However, we do not recommend vigorous physical activity or a heavy meal immediately prior to your visit.

Is special care required after treatment?
A brief period of rest would be prudent to be sure that you have tolerated the procedure well. The length of this period depends upon the specific treatment protocols. Other than that, the only restrictions are against heavy eating, alcohol, or aggressive exercise for the remainder of the treatment day.