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Acupuncture Safety

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture works by inserting sterile, disposable, stainless-steel needles into strategic spots, or acupuncture points, along the body.  The needles are hair-thin, completely painless, and frequently patients enter a deep state of relaxation both during and for hours or days after a treatment.  Stimulating the acupuncture points help to balance Qi, or energy, within a person’s meridian system, and helps to achieve mental and physical balance.  Each individual’s complaint manifests differently, so it is important for the practiced acupuncturist to find the specific points that will best help with that individual’s pattern.

What Can I Expect During a Session?

During the initial visit we discuss your medical history, take a careful look at your dietary habits, and perform a physical examination. The physical examination consists of checking your pulse on your wrists, looking at the tongue and performing diagnostic palpations around the abdomen, neck region or areas of complaint. Additionally, we might check points on your feet or hands to see if there is any pressure pain.  Palpation offers further insights into the exact nature of your situation.  The resulting treatment plan consists of acupuncture, and we may suggest custom-tailored herbal medicine, nutritional changes, and stress reduction techniques. In addition, we might give you homework such as pressing certain points that have proven helpful during the treatment.

How Safe Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is remarkably safe with only 220 adverse events identified in a systematic review of 98 papers reported from 22 countries in 35 years between the time frame from 1965 to 1999.
Lao L. et al. Is Acupuncture Safe? A Systematic Review of Case Reports. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9(1):72-83

Do The Needles Hurt?

The needles are all solid, stainless-steel, sterile, disposable needles made from the most respected manufacturers.  They are super-fine in diameter (ranging from 0.16-0.20 mm), and are cleverly-designed so they slide between the skin and muscle fibers. The acupuncture points are chosen carefully at each visit to specifically treat your current individual diagnosis and symptoms. They include points on your arms, legs, back or abdomen. Most people feel little or no pain at all during acupuncture treatments, and in fact feel deeply relaxed during their treatments. Many patients fall asleep.

How Long Do The Visits Last?

The initial visit includes your full health history, examination, an acupuncture treatment, and herbal formulas (if necessary) and can last anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 hours. During the initial visit we also take a close look at your diet and will give you insights how your diet might impact your condition. We will assist you in making recommendations that help to build your body’s system. Follow-up visits usually last about one hour to one hour and 15 minutes.

In addition to needles we may use cupping for your specific health problems. Cupping involves the placement of suction cups usually on your back to help to regulate your Qi.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Every Oriental medical treatment is custom tailored to address the individual patient’s needs.  Depending on the severity of your symptoms, how long a condition has lasted, and if you are able to do “homework” (e.g. dietary and lifestyle changes, self-massage, etc), the number of treatments you need will differ also.  In general, people receive a treatment every 1-2 weeks for the first month, then as improvement becomes significant and sustained, the time between sessions lengthens also.  Some situations do not need treatments after a few visits, while others choose to have continued treatments once every 1-3 months in order to help maintain health.

Here at OHS, our practitioners have decades of experience, and are always happy to work with you and your doctor in order to best fit your needs.