ACUPUNCTURE FAQ’s

What can acupuncture help treat?

[ Acupuncture points on face. ]

Acupuncture has been effective for helping patients with many disorders.  Please call our office to see if acupuncture can work for you (330) 297-9797.  The following is a list of the most common conditions treated with acupuncture:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Sinus Pressure/Headache
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Sleep Disorders (insomnia)
  • Digestive disorders (GERD, IBS, Gastritis, etc.)
  • TMJ Syndrome (Jaw Pain)
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Knee Pain
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Hip Pain
  • Smoking Addiction
  • Muscle/Joint Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports Injuries
  • Stress Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Sinus problems (acute and chronic)
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Allergies
  • Morning Sickness
  • Infertility
  • Correcting malposition of fetus
  • Neuropathy

*See bottom of this webpage for a full list of conditions that may be helped by acupuncture according to the World Health Organization.

How does acupuncture work?

The goal of acupuncture is to restore normalcy to the body’s energy fields by stimulating a combination of specific acupoints.  Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.  This is done by inserting very thin needles into very precise acupuncture points.  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 change the experience of pain and 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.

Acupuncture mainly works with the following results, whatever condition they may be:

  • It provides energy, strength and vitality to a recovering patient.
  • It works to boost the immune system.
  • It eliminates the need to take painkillers or it eliminates the actual pain.
  • Patients seem to recover faster as a result of continuous acupuncture sessions.
  • Acupuncture has been proven to improve the body’s circulation and in some cases, even reduce stress symptoms.
  • It may be administered alongside clinical treatments without causing dangerous side effects.
  • It can be a form of preventive medicine, as some may undergo acupuncture without any particular ailment, but nevertheless, reaps the benefits of it.

I thought acupuncture was only good for pain?

Treatment by acupunctureMany people, including some medical professionals, assume that acupuncture is a method of temporary pain-relief only. It is true that acupuncture is commonly utilized as a form of pain control. The main concept of acupuncture as practiced in China or Japan, however, is to harmonize internal body systems and address the cause of illness. Therefore, temporary relief of pain is only one aspect of acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a safe and effective method to deal with a variety of health conditions other than those causing pain. The WHO listed a variety of health conditions that can be treated by acupuncture, including organic illness. This is because acupuncture helps to regulate our physiological functioning. Acupuncture primarily affects our nervous system, which controls our entire visceral function.

How does your treatment (acupuncture) differ from anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDS)?

NSAIDs may potentially have several well-known detrimental effects in your system such as gastric irritation and liver damage while acupuncture has virtually no side effects. In terms of the action on your muscle and joint pain, acupuncture works in a completely different manner than medication does.

Most pain-relief and anti-inflammatory medications provide excellent short-term pain-relief by blocking the production of pain-causing substances called prostaglandins. By inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, there will be decreased sensitivity to pain but blood supply to the muscles and joints will also be decreased, thus creating problems and prolonging true recovery.

On the other hand, our acupuncture procedure produces the complete opposite effect. Except in a few very acute cases, we attempt to enhance blood circulation, especially in the area that there is pain or discomfort. This desired action can be achieved by regulating the autonomic nervous system (which is responsible for internal organ system functioning, regulation of blood circulation and production of relaxation effects) using specific acupuncture techniques. When circulation of the tissue improves, muscle relaxation occurs and in many cases immediate pain reduction follows. However, when circulation improves, the pain in the affected area occasionally intensifies, and is then followed by repair of tissue and muscle relaxation.

Where do you put the needles?

The location of the needles depends on your particular pattern of symptoms. But in general, needling points are chosen on the entire body. This is because we approach your signs and symptoms as being a manifestation of your body’s disharmony. Some of the commonly utilized body balancing points are located on the forearms, legs and abdomen.

Do I need to believe that acupuncture will work in order for it to be effective?

Significant results have been obtained when acupuncture is used for very small children and animals, both
groups being less likely to be affected by the degree of their beliefs. These studies suggested that acupuncture produces a significant physiological response regardless of your belief or faith in acupuncture. However, I cannot emphasize enough your role in your recovery. If you maintain a positive attitude with a firm belief in the treatment you are receiving and have a desire to recover, it can only help.

Do you use disposable needles?

Yes, we only use disposable needles. Each needle is discarded into a medical hazard container after a single use.

Are there any side effects of acupuncture?

Compared with medical and pharmaceutical intervention, acupuncture is considered an extremely safe treatment with minimal chance of any complication.  As with any medical treatment, there is a chance of developing unfavorable reactions after acupuncture treatment. Tiny bruises around needling sites are not very common but occasionally occur. These usually diminish completely within a week. Adverse effects of acupuncture reported in the literature include infection, nerve damage, fainting, and puncture injuries to vital organs. These complications, however, are exceptionally unusual, especially under the care of qualified acupuncturists. One of the great advantages of acupuncture is the extremely rare incident of serious side effects associated with its use. This is in contrast to many potent Western medicines in which severe side effects in certain cases may be worse than the disease being treated.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

Since each person is unique, treatments can take many different courses. As a general rule, most conditions respond within 3-12 treatments.  Acute conditions may only require a few treatments to have a curative effect. Chronic conditions will take longer to resolve.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t have any benefit from a couple of treatments, it just means that it takes some more time to correct the underlying cause of the problem.  Acupuncture combined with chiropractic and/or massage therapy may help expedite the time for recovery as they work together synergistically.  For example, if someone comes in for treatment of his or her low back pain that has lasted for 10 years, pain relief could be obtained within a couple of treatments. If that patient then stops the treatment since he feels better, the pain may come back. If the patient continues treatment to correct the underlying weakness that causes the pain to manifest in the first place, the pain may never return.

ARE THE NEEDLES CLEAN?

Yes. This clinic only uses pre-sterilized, vacuum-sealed packaged, single-use, disposable needles.  Thus assuring that there is no transmission of communicable disease from patient to patient. The certification of Acupuncturist includes a Clean Needle Test as part of every national board examination in America.

DO ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES HURT?

In general, acupuncture is relatively painless. However, if the correct stimulus of the needles has been obtained, the patient should feel some heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or up and down the affected energy pathway or meridian. In any case, if there is any discomfort, it is usually mild.

HOW DO I DECIDE IF ACUPUNCTURE IS FOR ME?

Some key things to keep in mind when choosing a particular mode of treatment are the frequency or the length of the treatment and the cost. Acupuncture can be very effective with just one treatment, but for many chronic disorders that involve a patient’s constitution, several consecutive treatments may be necessary. How many and how often can be worked out between you and your acupuncturist.

Finally, whether or not you can have acupuncture done on you depends on how you feel about it. If you fear needles, perhaps Laser Acupuncture, Medical Massage, or Chiropractic will work better for you. All of these can be done at a visit to Ravenna Chiropractic and Acupuncture.

Call our office today to see how acupuncture can help you move well and feel well (330) 297-9797.

*Is there any scientific research on acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been studied a great deal in China and more recently in the United States and other Western countries as acupuncture treatment has become more widely practiced. Both medical practitioners and consumers want to know in which situations acupuncture treatment is effective.
 
Several large reviews of research were produced in the late 1990’s by the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reviewed many studies, and, in 1997, produced a long and detailed report, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”.
 
These four lists of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture is or may be effective are taken from the WHO report.
 
The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.

Category I:  Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labor
  • Knee Pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Category II:  Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud’s syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Kidney Stones
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Category III:  Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma
  • Choroidopathy, central serous
  • Colour blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
  • Small airway obstruction

Category IV:  Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

  • Breathlessness in chronic
    obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Coma
  • Convulsions in infants
  • Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
  • Diarrhea in infants and young children
  • Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
  • Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar

As you can see, acupuncture may be effective for a huge list of illnesses and symptoms, and worth trying in a number of others.   Call our office today to see if acupuncture can help you!  (330) 297-9797