Acupuncture: A Gentle, Personalized and Safe Addition to Conventional Medicine
You’ve taken the first step in achieving your best health possible by finding out about acupuncture. Here are some facts about this procedure you might find interesting:
➢ Acupuncture is one of the best alternative therapies for as many as 28 conditions
➢ In the U.S. about 10 million acupuncture treatments are given per year
➢ Acupuncture is used at many academic medical centers
➢ The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization have given
formal approval of certain uses of acupuncture
➢ Acupuncture is thought to be a valuable treatment addition by 51% of medical doctors
Acupuncture is a natural and effective addition to conventional medicine for the treatment of
several pain conditions and other ailments. This procedure was developed possibly as long
ago as 5,000 years in ancient China, but most certainly 2,500 years ago. It has been used in the United States with increasing frequency since 1971. Most of the time, acupuncture is used as an additional treatment option along with traditional Western medicine.
Unfortunately, there is a huge misconception in the West as to how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine really work to help heal your body. The medical texts that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are based on have been written by doctors in China for over 2000 years. Mistranslations of these texts have led to a great deal of misunderstanding about what is actually happening in your body when you receive treatment.
Most people believe that the acupuncturist is trying to balance energy in the body so that it flows better through the energy channels (meridians). This is not accurate according to proper translations of the ancient texts. What they are really describing in the texts is that acupuncture is improving the flow of oxygen (Qi) and nutrients (Ying Qi) through the blood vessel system (Xue Mai) to nourish every cell of our body.
Chinese Medicine is and always has been a physical medicine, based on the same anatomical and physiological understandings in Western medicine. It is not an energy based medicine.
By focusing on the flow of blood to and from each and every cell of your body, acupuncture and
Chinese medicine is getting to the root cause of disease and not just covering up symptoms.
How Is Acupuncture Performed?
You will be given a detailed examination as the first step in the process. During this examination, the practitioner will ask you about the parts of your body that are painful, will look at your tongue and its shape as well as the color and any coating, will check the color of your face, and will take several pulses in both wrists. All of this information will allow the practitioner to personalize the treatment.
The actual treatment itself consists of inserting a varying number of thin, sterile needles in certain places on your body. The number of needles used varies in a single treatment session, depending on the condition, and are typically left in place for 10 to 30 minutes and sometimes longer.
There should be little or no discomfort when the needles are inserted which varies from person to person. When the correct depth is reached by the needles, you should experience an aching feeling. If this ache is not achieved, the procedure may not be as effective. At times, the practitioner may twirl or move the needles gently to increase the effect achieved. Heat or mild electrical current may also be added to the needles. When the needles are removed, there typically is no discomfort.
The number and frequency of sessions varies from practitioner to practitioner and depends
on your needs. At Results Acupuncture & Healing Arts Center we typically know within 1-3 treatments if this medicine will work. Once we have an idea how responsive you are, we will be able to give you an estimate of what your future care will consist of.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The exact mechanism behind how acupuncture works is not fully known. Several theories have been developed. Some of these are:
● Acupuncture stimulates blood flow in parts of the body
● Acupuncture triggers the body’s natural pain killing endorphins
● Acupuncture stimulates parts of the brain that brings about increased brain chemicals and hormones that affect the body
● Acupuncture somehow influences the autonomic nervous system
What Conditions Can Be Treated By Acupuncture?
A large number of conditions appear to respond to acupuncture. The World Health Organization recognizes it to be effective for 28 different conditions. Some of these include:
▪ Pain from several sources
▪ Gastrointestinal conditions
▪ Cardiovascular disorders
▪ Respiratory and immune system conditions
▪ Women’s health in general
▪ Some emotional health conditions
Scientific research into the effectiveness of acupuncture has brought sometimes conflicting results. Many of these results come from the difficulty of designing research that can compare the results of acupuncture to placebo (imagined results) and to sham/faked acupuncture.
There is scientific evidence enough for the U.S. Air Force to teach what is called “battlefield acupuncture” to physicians deploying to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some research evidence showed a reduced level of pain and reduced need for pain medication following surgery when acupuncture was also used.
What Are Possible Risks Of Acupuncture?
While every medical procedure has risks that are associated with it, there are few with acupuncture. The most likely risk is bleeding, bruising, or soreness at the site of insertion of the needles. Using very thin needles reduces this risk to an extent.
If a person has a bleeding disorder or is taking blood thinners, acupuncture may increase the chance of bleeding. Use of unsterilized needles may lead to infection. However, the standard for the practice of acupuncture is to use sterilized needles and then throw them away.
Rare risks of acupuncture include the needles breaking off and damaging an internal organ. Or
a needle being inserted too deeply in the chest or back and puncturing a lung. These risks occur very rarely.
Results Acupuncture & Healing Arts Center
To be assured of getting the greatest benefits from acupuncture, you should carefully evaluate the practitioner you choose. Shifu Raymond Ahles of Results Acupuncture & Healing Arts Center in Bergenfield, N.J., is a licensed and board certified acupuncture physician. He will examine you thoroughly to determine the best treatment for your condition and will carry out your personalized treatment to give you the best results possible.
He has studied Chinese martial and healing arts since 1984. In the mid 1990’s, he received
formal medical training at the New York College for Health Professions. He is well trained in the theory and practice of Oriental Medicine.
Shifu Ahles is ready to help you achieve the best state of health possible. Call today and schedule an initial visit with him to determine what treatment you need to become a better you.