Eastern Medicine and Acupuncture FAQs2018-03-30T10:03:54-06:00

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture FAQs

What’s the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?2018-03-19T16:36:48-06:00

A Physical Therapist who practices Dry Needling typically receives 35-50 hours of training.  Dry Needling is based on stimulating trigger points in order to cause a muscle to release.

Acupuncture includes many different needling techniques and is used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal as well as internal and even emotional conditions.  An Acupuncturist receives in excess of 1500 hours of training in acupuncture, of which 660 must be clinical hours, that is, practicing acupuncture under the supervision of Licensed Acupuncturists.  Acupuncturists also receive instruction in the Chinese Meridian system and the diagnostic techniques of Chinese Medicine.  A typical Acupuncture session will include factoring in your personal medical conditions, treating the whole body in order to address a particular complaint.

In addition, NCCAOM-certified Acupuncturists are required to be certified in Clean Needle Technique (proper procedures to avoid contamination) and must complete Continuing Education Units in order to maintain their certification.

The American Medical Association adopted a policy in 2016, saying this concerning dry needling:

 “Lax regulation and nonexistent standards surround this invasive practice.  For patients’ safety, practitioners should meet standards required for licensed acupuncturists and physicians.”

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (an association of Medical Doctors who practice acupuncture) concurred in December, 2014:
“The AAMA recognizes dry needling as an invasive procedure using acupuncture needles that has associated medical risks.  Therefore, the AAMA maintains that this procedure should be performed only by practitioners with extensive training and familiarity with the routine use of needles in their practice and who are duly licensed to perform these procedures, such as licensed medical physicians or licensed acupuncturists.”
Does Acupuncture Hurt?2018-02-13T10:42:43-07:00

An acupuncture (filiform) needle is quite different from a hypodermic needle.  The needles are only slightly thicker than a human hair, and are designed to enter the body as painlessly as possible.  You might feel a slight aching at the site while the needles are retained, or very subtle shifts in the energy of your body, flowing up or down an arm or leg.  But, you should not experience pain.  For those who have experienced Dry Needling, acupuncture should be much more comfortable.

Can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help with my condition?2018-02-13T10:39:15-07:00

People often think of Acupuncture as a good choice for pain conditions, and rightfully so.  Acupuncture excels at relieving pain in knees, shoulders, low back, neck – you name it!

But often people aren’t aware that a Chinese Medical Practitioner is also trained to treat many other conditions, including digestive complaints, women’s issues, asthma, headaches, addictions, as well as aging-related or stress-related conditions.

For your particular health concern, feel free to contact Sharon with your questions.

Are There Side Effects or Risks to Acupuncture?2018-03-19T16:41:41-06:00

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes for Health, states: “Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced practitioner using sterile needles.  Relatively few complications from acupuncture have been reported.  Additionally, there are fewer adverse effects associated with acupuncture than with many standard drug treatments (such as anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections) used to manage painful musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow.”

The World Health Organization confirms:

“In competent hands, acupuncture is generally a safe procedure with few contraindications or complications. “

According to evidencebasedacupuncture.org, “acupuncture is amongst the safest interventions in modern medicine with the frequency of occurrence of serious adverse events at 11 per 4,441,103 procedures” and that “acupuncture remains one of the safest contemporary treatments available.”    However, it is noted that “acupuncture must be performed by qualified acupuncturists”.

Minor side effects may include slight bruising at the acupuncture site occasionally, or a feeling of fatigue.  Both should subside very quickly.

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