Victoria Acupuncture PC

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Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Dating back to over 3000 years as a primary health care system in China, acupuncture and Chinese medicine is widespread in Asia, Europe and USA.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

The basic foundation for oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced Chee ). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or blocked.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.

Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.

What are the most commonly treated ailments?

The most common ailments presented to an acupuncturist tend to be pain related conditions. However, as the public becomes more educated about the efficacies of acupuncture and oriental medicine, they are seeking treatments for many complex conditions with good results.

The World Health Organization has recognized that acupuncture is suitable for treating the following diseases:

Neurological and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Headache and migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy (early stage, within 3-6 months), paresis following stroke, sequelae to poliomyelitis (early stage, within 6 months), meniere’s disease, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, nocturnal enuresis, intercostal neuralgia, cervicobrachial syndrome, “frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”, sciatica, low back pain, osteoarthritis.

Upper respiratory tract

Acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, common cold, acute tonsillitis.

Respiratory system

Acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma (most effective in children and in patients without complicating diseases).

Disorders of the eye

Acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, myopia (in children), cataract (without complications).

Disorders of the mouth

Toothaches, post extraction pain, gingivitis, acute and chronic pharyngitis.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Spasms of esophagus and cardia, hiccough, gastroptosis, acute and chronic gastritis, gastric hyperacidity, chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief), acute duodenal ulcer (without complication), acute and chronic colitis, acute bacillary dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, paralytic ileus.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Many insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist. Check with your insurance company to find out.

How deep do the needles go?

Acupuncture points are located near or on the surface of the skin. Usually, needles are inserted from ¼ to 1 inch in depth. The depth of insertion will depend on nature of the condition being treated, the patient’s size, age and constitution, and upon the acupuncturist’s style or experience.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles.

While some people feel nothing at all, others experience a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin that can be followed by a mild sensation of cramping, tingling, numbness, traveling warmth, or heaviness. The needles are left in place for twenty to forty minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. A consultation with an experienced practitioner about you and your condition will offer the best guide for the length of treatment.

Typical treatments last from 20 to 60 minutes, with the patient being treated two times a week. Generally, acute problems require less time and frequency of treatment and chronic or severe ailment may require several (or several dozen) treatments.