The Sun Clinic of TCM
 
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... American makes more than 500 million office visits each year to complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, including acupuncturists .... - by Bruce R. Gilbert
... "I've seen the past, and it works.".. - by James Reason, New York Times in 1972
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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture, which originated in China over 5,000 years ago, is a way of adjusting the body's "life energy" (Qi or Chi) flow. It involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into carefully selected acupuncture points along the meridians (energetic pathways) of the body. The acupuncture points are selected on the basis of your health condition from unique pulse and tongue diagnosis, observation and questioning. The points affect the meridian system. Each meridian has a specific effect on a specific body system or organ of the body. By restoring harmonious function in the body and the mind, most symptoms of disease can be effectively treated.

Acupuncture can be used to solve the root cause of health problem naturally as well as to promote general health and well-being.

The medical charts on both sides, typical of those traditionally used by Chinese doctors, illustrate the acupoints along the stomach meridian.

It has been proven by clinical trial that acupuncture strengthens the immune system and serves to prevent disease, control pain and increase both the ability to function and the quality of people's lives. Acupuncture is not just a tool for the relief of Pain. It has wide therapeutic applications, treating diseases that affect both the body as a whole organism and specific functions, although its strength lies in the area of functional disorders. It can be used to treat both acute and chronic disease, including infections, in both children and adults.

How does acupuncture work?

While Western doctors star with a symptom, then look for a specific cause, Traditional Chinese Medicine regards the symptom as part of a "pattern of disharmony".
According to the classical doctrines of Chinese medicine, health is achieved through the harmonious balance between the opposing forces of Yin (spirit) and Yang (blood). Yin qualities are typically coldness, weakness, hollowness, and dark, while the opposite yang qualities are heat, strength, solidity, and light. The attraction between yin and yang creates a vital energy known as Qi (pronounced "chee")or Chi which flows to all parts of the body through 14 channels called meridians. The meridians cannot be seen by the naked eye, but modern science has shown that their existence can be detected electrically. Most of the meridians connect to one of the major internal organs, and the Qi power enables the organ to function effectively.

When the energy flow is smooth and in balance, one is healthy. Any imbalance in those forces is believed to cause illness. For example, a person with a high fever, bright red cheeks, and intense headache would be someone with an excess of yang, while someone with symptoms of chronic fatigue, pallor, and cold limbs would have an excess of yin. Treatment, including acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicine, aim to restore the yin/yang balance.

There are more than 360 specific points along the meridians called "Acupoints" connected to organs or systems in the body. When acupuncture points are stimulated, it changes the flow of bioelectrical energy along the nerves and releases neurotransmitters, primarily endorphins, which are the body's pain relievers, the same chemical that produces a sense of relaxation. Studies showed that the brain's endorphin had doubled a half hour after acupuncture treatment. The release of painkilling endorphins play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for headache, neck pain, back pain and arthritis. Endorphin release through acupuncture not only relaxes the whole body but also regulate serotonin in the brain. This is why depression is often effectively treated with acupuncture.

Acupuncture stimulates your body's own healing abilities - your innate power to heal yourself. It is a natural healing, which will fix the root cause of the problem NOT just the symptoms.

How effective is acupuncture treatment?

In 1980, The World Health Organization, a branch of the United Nations, released a list of 41 types of diseases which can be effectively treated with acupuncture. In 1994, the FDA was presented with 500 pages of research claiming that acupuncture treatments can help with at least five major conditions; pain, asthma, nausea, stroke and addiction. In 1996, the FDA reclassified the acupuncture needles as Class II medical devices.

In early November, 1997, a consensus panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that there is clear evidence that acupuncture treatment is effective for postoperative chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, nausea of pregnancy, and postoperative dental pain. NBC News reported the findings. The panel also concluded that acupuncture may be an effective therapy for addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma.

In California, acupuncturists are recognized as primary health care providers.

In addition, auto insurance, workers' compensation, and some some health insurance plans cover the cost of acupuncture treatments.

Same as Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture is highly effective not only as a preventive medicine, but also as a drug free treatment of signs and symptoms. Studies by National Institutes of Health, Oxford University and Boston University School of Medicine, suggest that acupuncture dramatically controls pain because the stimulation of acupuncture points affects the nervous system, triggering the release of endorphins and enkephalins (natural painkilling chemical substances). Other research suggests that acupuncture may also prompt the release of certain brain hormones, including serotonin, which transmit nerve impulses.

"It's time to take acupuncture seriously" said the panels Chairman, Dr. David J. Ramsey of the University of Maryland.

Some research results

Although the use of acupuncture to treat conditions in ancient China is based on the experience of doctor, a body of scientific evidence now exists to support it. Some of the most convincing research into the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1988, was carried out by Professor John Dundee of Queen's University, Belfast. His research confirmed that stimulating an acupoint approximately 2 in (5 cm) above the crease of the wrist closest to the hand relieved and even eliminate nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. According to a 1989 study in the British Journal of Anesthesia, the same point could also be used to treat nausea following general anesthesia and chemotherapy.

In 1989, The Lancet reported that patients with alcohol addiction responded well to acupuncture. A Swedish study in 1989 found that acupuncture eased post-surgical pain. American studied in 1982 and 1980 showed that it relieved neck pain and lower back pain respectively.

Much evidence exists for acupoints having lower electrical resistance than non-acupuncture sites. In a Spanish study in 1992, radioactive tracers injected at acupoints seemed to travel along meridian pathways, leading to theories of information transmission linked to neurochemicals rather than to the circulatory or lymphatic system.

Clinical results indicate that, just as automobiles need a tune-up to prevent a break down, people also need a Health Tune-up® to find and fix small problems before they become big ones.

Serious problems begin with symptoms like stress, low energy, repetitive stress, insomnia and pain. Many people find that occasional acupuncture tune-up is the best medicine to feel "in sync" and insure continuing health.

Is acupuncture treatment safe?

Many people would like to try acupuncture but are put off because they assume it will be painful and may feel that it takes a great deal of courage to 'inflict' the needles on themselves. Actually, the acupuncture needles have no resemblance to hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles are solid and hair-thin. At least 15 needles can fit into one conventional hypodermic needle! Also, the acupuncture needles have a doweled end, not a cutting end like most hypodermic needles, and therefore are far less likely to cause tissue damage or bruising when inserted.

Acupuncture needles are gently placed at the specific gateways of the body. Some people feel a sting when an acupuncture needle is inserted but not real pain. It is interesting that, sometimes, patients ask, with eyes closed and teeth clenched, "When are you going to put the needles in"?, and they are often surprised to learn that the needles are in place already.

Acupuncture treatment is safe. Infection through needles is prevented by using disposable needles.

What should I expect from the treatment?

The first visit starts with an extensive interview and history with a physical exam. The physical exam is unique. The feel of the pulses and the appearance of the tongue, eyes and face are invaluable aids to diagnosis; all give insight into the condition of the internal organs, the flow of internal energy in the meridians and the balance of yin and yang in the body. The first visit usually takes about one hour including the treatment time. Subsequent visits last from 40 to 50 minutes. The treatment involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into appropriate acupuncture points along the energy pathways as well as the use of other techniques such as Chinese herbal medicine, acupressure (Oriental massage), and electro-stimulation.

Most patients find the treatment very relaxing, which brings on a feeling of well-being. As a sign of obtaining the vital energy, some patients may have a slight sensation of soreness, numbness, distention, or heaviness around the needles. The beneficial reaction usually starts during the first four or five visits. Some patient feel the effect even after the first visit. Nevertheless, just like any other medical treatment, not all diseases can be cured. However, there is no harmful effect from the therapy in common practice. Therefore, people who suffer from lingering or chronic diseases and do not respond well to orthodox medicine are particularly encouraged to try this promising Chinese art of healing.

How many treatments will I need?

Each person is unique. The acupuncture treatment is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a disease diagnosis. Therefore, the treatment plan is individualized. The frequency of subsequent visits will vary depending on the type of illness, the severity of the condition, the duration of sickness, and patient's response to the treatment. being.

A course of treatment usually takes ten sessions, more or less. In order to get the best therapeutic result, acute cases should be treated daily for a few days, then in prolonged intervals. However, chronic cases usually need two or three visits per week. In case of a slow reaction, the patient should still try to complete the entire course, because most of these cases require more effort to restore the energy balance.

How much should I pay?

As stated, acupuncture costs are completed covered by auto insurance companies for the injuries from an auto accident or by worker's compensation for work related injuries and most health insurance companies. There are many regular health insurance plans that cover most of the cost, too. If your health plan does not cover acupuncture and you have to pay for it yourself, we would like to provide you with affordable prices. The costs depend of the type of treatment. The treatments may include any of the following:

Acupuncture
Electro-Acupuncture
Acupressure (Oriental massage)
Chinese herbal medicine
Cupping
Infrared treatment

In addition to the treatments, the initial visit includes consultation and examination. For detail information, please feel free to contact us.

© 2004, The Sun Clinic of TCM
  Acupuncture Acupressure Chi-Gong Herbs Others