ACUPUNCTURE: WHAT IS IT?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.

 

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to nourish the tissues.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

WHAT IS TRIGGER POINT ACUPUNCTURE? IS IT DIFFERENT FROM ORDINARY ACUPUNCTURE?

Many acupuncture points are also trigger points.  Trigger point acupuncture stimulates tight muscles allowing them to release and relax.  This can be very beneficial for pain complaints related to muscle tightness and soft tissue damage.

 

WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

  • Digestive disorders: gastritis, hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
  • Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.

Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.


HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. We will take into account the complexity, longevity and severity of your condition and customize a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.  We will let you know what to expect after we have had the opportunity to review your condition and discuss your goals for the outcome of your treatment.


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 take place. 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.  It is good to stay hydrated and have a snack before treatments.

 

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.

All needles are disposable and they are pre-packaged and sterilized.

 

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 believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received.

 

IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?

Most insurance companies currently cover acupuncture.  Laura Camus is a preferred provider with First Choice Health, Asuris, Premera, Lifewyse, Group Health Options, Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Sheild, Regence, United health, and Providence.