Here are answers to a few questions I am often asked about Acupuncture.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture works on three main areas of the body:
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
Acupuncture effectively treats hundreds of health conditions, both chronic and acute. Some of which include:
Pain: Acute and chronic pain, virtually anywhere in the body. Back pain, neck pain and headaches/migraines, TMJ, sciatica, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, joint pain (spine, jaw, shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger, hip, knee, ankle), plantar fasciitis, muscle aches & tensions, sports related injuries, tendonitis, fibromyalgia.
Trauma: Pre-surgery preparation, post-surgery, wound or trauma healing.
Neurological Conditions: Neuropathy, numbness, tingling, stroke, Bell’s Palsy.
General Health: Sleep disorders and insomnia, fatigue, weight loss or gain, blood pressure, blood sugar and diabetes.
Emotional Health: Stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD.
Digestive Conditions: Nausea, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, IBS.
Respiratory Health: Sinusitis, rhinitis, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, common cold.
Gynaecological Conditions: Infertility, PMS, menstrual disorders, painful menstruation, menopausal symptoms, pregnancy support, morning sickness, labour induction, postpartum recovery, and can improve success in IVF treatment.
Addictions: Smoking, drugs and alcohol cessation, withdrawal support, sugar or food addiction.
Preventative: Treat minor issues before they develop into serious conditions.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
Yes! When you get acupuncture from a skilled acupuncturist, acupuncture is very safe. As well, it has very few unwanted side effects. In fact, acupuncture has more beneficial side effects than unwanted side effects. Most clients leave the treatment room feeling very, very relaxed, which is one of the best side effects of acupuncture.
I use only sterile, single use, disposable needles, therefore it is impossible to contract or transmit any sort of disease from an acupuncture treatment.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Some needles you will feel, others you will not feel at all. The sensation of acupuncture varies from person to person, and from point to point. Some experience a feeling warmth at the area of insertion, or dull & achy, or tingly, or just a heaviness. Some may even feel a radiation to another part of their body. Some points may create a slight discomfort. If there is a strong sensation from the needle, it usually subsides within just a few seconds.
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping is a lesser known treatment within the scope of Oriental medicine, one that can provide an especially pleasant experience. Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass or plastic cups as suction devices that are placed on the skin.
The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn up, into the cup. Cupping is much like an reverse massage. Instead of applying pressure to the muscles, it uses gentle suction to pull them upward. For most patients, cupping is a particularly relaxing experience.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen tight muscles, improve blood flow, and relax the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for stress). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, lung problems such as asthma, and even cellulite.
Cupping can cause slight bruising or petechiae that can last up to a week.
I HAVE A PHOBIA OF NEEDLES, CAN YOU STILL HELP?
If you start to have panic attacks as your acupuncture treatment approaches due to a fear of needles, I can use acupressure rather than acupuncture. With acupressure, I use my fingers to stimulate the points, rather than the needles. Acupressure is not as effective as acupuncture, therefore you may require more treatments, but it is a wonderful alternative to acupuncture.
AM I COVERED by insurance?
Most extended medial plans cover acupuncture treatment. Please contact your employer, or medical plan provider to find out.
Medical Services Plan (MSP) will cover $23 per visit, for a maximum of 10 visits per calendar year, to supplementary health care practitioners such as acupuncturists, if you are a B.C. resident and qualify for premium assistance (income less than $28,000 per year). Please contact Medical Services Plan regarding your coverage at 1-800-663-7100.
Lindsay Rusk, R.Ac., fmp
Lindsay Is a Registered Acupuncturist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Health Investigator, Paleo Enthusiast, and Blogger.
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