FAQs Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture » FAQs Of Acupuncture



What can you get from Acupuncture?

Since acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing ability, many conditions can be corrected or improved by one therapy, however, it is usually recommended to do acupuncture for a series of sessions for maximum benefits.

Since it is widely recognized that acupuncture is a comprehensive system of preventive health care and health maintenance, it can also be noted that the effectiveness of acupuncture extends far beyond the conception that it is only useful for chronic pain management or as an analgesic. It has been discovered by many athletes that acupuncture treatment helps them to reach optimum performance levels as well.

Recently acupuncture detoxification treatments have been recognized as a valid form of therapy for chemical dependency problems such as drinking, drug and smoking. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as an excellent alternative for health care.

The greatest advantage of acupuncture is waking & restoring your natural healing power by inserting sterile, disposable needles in designated points in the body. Acupuncturists stimulate and balance the flow of Qi, which is the body's natural energy and life force.

After one session, patients experience a sense of restored balance and equilibrium in theoir bodies. In several sessions, patients report a whole new experience that unlocks their body's natural healing power. This unique treatment promotes physical and emotional well-being, consequently curing various diseases.

How does Acupuncture work?

In the Orient, it is believed that acupuncture stimulates and regulates our energy to balance the body’s Qi, Blood, Yin & Yang. Conventional Western medical sciences still cannot explain how acupuncture works, but some research about acupuncture conducted in China, Japan, Europe and USA, has indicated the effect of acupuncture might come from the nervous system and other systems within human body.

When the needle is inserted into the patient's body, it stimulates the body's nervous system and causes some reactions, which will balance the problems inside the body. Some research found there were some chemical materials detected in the patient's body after the treatment of acupuncture. 

In short, there are many theories about how acupuncture works but there is no one conclusive answer. World Health Organization (WHO) has however approved of the use of Acupuncture to help alleviate symptoms of different health conditions.

Does acupuncture really work?

Thousands & thousands of people can testify to the very dramatic results that can often be obtained through acupuncture. In the USA most people have either experienced acupuncture or known of someone who has had acupuncture. FDA has also approved acupuncture treatment for certain medical conditions while they recommned it as a therapeutic treatment for others.

Though the result of the therapy may not exactly be the same for everyone, it's effectiveness has been proven and acknowledged by health governing around the world.

Does it only work for a specific age group or gender?

Acupuncture does not target a specific group of people. Both men and women benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncturists can treat all age groups, from children to senior citizens.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Prior to their first treatment, many people do not believe that acupuncture can be painless. After the needle is inserted you may feel nothing, or you may feel some different sensations such as soreness, numbness, distending, warmth, pressure, tingling or either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian, or energy pathway that may be felt, but the energetic sensation differs from pain. Any of these sensations should be considered “good sensations”, yet the treatment is effective whether something is sensed or not.

People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and relaxing.

Acupuncture needles are very fine and thin, and are often described as being not much thicker than a human hair, unlike hypodermic needles that are much bigger and hollow inside. They are solid and nothing is injected through them. Over the centuries, refined needle insertion techniques have been developed which enable the skilled acupuncturist to place needles with little or no sensation. Insertion through the skin is not painful like an injection or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is much less than when using a hollow needle. 

When do you need acupuncture?

Acupuncture may be used for maintenance and prevention. You do not have to have a specific disease or illness but you can always discuss your concerns with our doctor then our doctor can give his recommendation if acupuncture therapy will work for you.

Is acupuncture just for pain relief?

It is a common misconception that acupuncture is just about pain relief. While it is true that acupuncture can be use this way, it can also cause both structural and functional changes in our bodies promoting alot of health benefits. For example, in the treatment of back pain, acupuncture needles are inserted into problematic areas and will cause the muscles to relax. As the muscle relaxes there will be a subtle change in the spinal vertebrae since the muscle is no longer pulling it out of alignment. As the spine moves, another area in the back may tighten up and this is treated accordingly. Thus it is possible to unravel a ‘holding pattern’ that will have formed due to a combination of poor posture, stress, injuries, etc. This is an example of acupuncture's beneficial changes.

Acupuncture can treat various medical issues besides pain. FDA has a list of approved conditions for acupuncture treatment and a lot more for therapeutic benefits.

What problems does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture can be very helpful in treating a variety of acute or chronic conditions. It is also interesting to note that acupuncture can treat conditions that may not have a western diagnosis.

Acupuncture Therapy in  Bangkok is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and offers a different outlook to Western medicine. Chinese medicine identifies patterns of disharmony that explain what is going on from a Chinese Medical perspective. In many cases, it may be possible to identify a disharmony and correct it before it develops into something more serious that is identifiable within Western medicine. This is the essence of preventable medicine as well.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is carried out with sterile and disposable needles approved by the FDA. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting some kind of communicable diseases  such as AIDS or Hepatitis C by contaminated needles. Transmitting diseases by acupuncture is virtually non-existent. Needles are used only once and disposed of medically.

Acupuncture is also a drug free treatment, so you completely avoid any side effects or drug dependeny dependency even with continuous therapy. The most common complication of treatment is a small bruise or a drop of blood when the needle is removed, but in most cases, this doesn't even happen at all.

However, all medical technique involve some risk. Properly performed, acupuncture presents minimal hazaras compared to drug regimens or surgical technique because the needles are so small and light, the sensation that occurs when the needles are placed is minimal. 

How many sessions do I need for treatment?

Since each person is unique, the number of treatments needed will vary. Among the determining factors are the type of condition, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual. When you come for the initial consultation, we can give you an idea of how many treatments you will need. This will give you an indication of what commitment you will need in terms of visits to the clinic and the financial outlay of the treatment. This is however not a guarantee of the result of the therapy but just a guidline for patients to understand their treatment regimen.

How many needles should be used in each treatment?

Because each patient’s medical issues are different, the number of needles used for treatment can vary from one to ten needles. If two or more symptoms or conditions are treated during one session, ten or more needles may be used.

How often should I have acupuncture treatment?

This is determined on a case by case basis. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of five to fifteen treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. For some patients seeking general health maintenance, they may need acupuncture treatment from time to time, which is something like a car tune-up.

We usually render two to three sessions a week for the first two weeks of therapy. After reviewing the progress of treatment, we render one to two sessions a week for the following weeks. However, it entirely depends on the physical condition of each individual.

The number of treatments necessary also depends on the condition being treated. Recent injuries and conditions seen at an early stage will often improve immediately. Those conditions that have been present for longer periods may require more treatment, and serious derangements of structure or metabolism will require extensive therapy.

For many disorders, symptoms reflect underlying conditions that may have to be treated beyond the point at which symptoms have improved. If treatments are stopped too quickly after symptoms begin to respond, the condition may eventually return. In order to reach the optimum benefit for your condition, we will advise you how to maintain your proper health condition and keep in a good shape.

A course of treatments for recent problems in a healthy person may range from 2 to 5. In a person with many health problems and a chronic disease, as many as 7 to 15 sessions may be required before an initial response is seen.

Success depends on many factors such as the general health of the patient, the severity and duration of the illness, the use of medications, and how their condition has been managed in the past.  

The best strength of acupuncture actually is that we treat people individually to get better results. There is no single blanket treatment for treating diseases, and patients, the treatment is always individualized. This is something often overlooked in acupuncture research since there is a tendency for the medical establishment to treat symptoms and not the individual, and this goes against the grain of what acupuncture is all about.

How long does each session take?

Normally, each session takes 20 to 30 min depending on the sensitivity of each individual and the kind of diseases and conditions being treated.

Generally speaking, the quality of acupuncture treatment relies on the experience and skill of the acupuncturist. It is a combination of diagnosis of the symptom, accuracy of acupuncture points, timing, the depth and angle of insertion, and techniques of manipulation, etc.

Will I need to get undressed during treatment?

Most of the common acupuncture points are located between the elbow & hand, the knee & foot, the back and the abdomen area. Therefore, for a lot of conditions it is only necessary to roll up trousers & shirtsleeves - provided the clothes are loose enough.

Obviously, there are occasions when it is necessary to remove clothing down to underwear, such as when treating back pain. Although the pain may be located in the lower back, it is often necessary to treat the whole spine especially if there is a long history of back problems. For women, it is often necessary to unclip the bra when lying face down on the couch so that we can feel the muscles & acupuncture points on the back. The clip is refastened after treatmen and your acupuncturist will leave the treatment room to allow the patient to redress.

We are very respectful of patients’ modesty and only the necessary clothes are moved for each treatment. we will always get your verbal consent when treating more intimate areas, and we will explain what we are going to do beforehand.

How should I prepare for treatment sessions?

There isn’t any specific preparation for a treatment, but there are a few suggestions. Make sure that you have eaten a snack but not full meal, 1-2 hours before the start of your therapy. If possible, avoid coffee, colorful food, drink, gum and hard candy before your treatment, so as not to stain your tongue. Most importantly, wear some comfortable or loose clothes, and relax.

The best general advice is to come in a calm state. Try to arrive ten or fifteen minutes before your appointment to allow yourself a chance to relax. Vigorous exercise or sexual activity in the hour before treatment is not recommended.

Makeup and nail polish should be minimized or eliminated.

Please also avoid the use of perfumes, colognes or strongly scented cosmetics.

Is there anything I can do before receiving acupuncture treatment?

Yes, the following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment.

1. Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection.

2. To prevent loss, do not wear jewelry.

3. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses and tight stockings.

Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

1. Relax. there is no need to be scared. Ask your acupuncturist any questions you have along the way so that you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment.

2. Do not change your position or move suddenly when the needles are in your body. If you are tired of one position or you feel uncomfortable about one position, tell your acupuncturist.

3. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath, or faintness during treatment. This often occurs if you are nervous, especially when it's your first time receiving acupuncture treatment. Inform your acupuncturist immediately, so he or she can readjust or withdraw the needles. Also let your acupuncturist know if you feel an increasing amount of pain or burning sensation during the treatment.

4. If you find your treatment unbearable at any point, be sure to speak up so that your acupuncturist can make the proper adjustments or stop the treatment.

What happens during the treatment?

Depending on the areas to be treated, you may be positioned on your back, your stomach, your side, or sitting. Be certain that you can remain relaxed in this position, as you may not wish to move for the duration of the treatment, usually 20 to 30 minutes.

It is best to practice a slow and relaxed abdominal breathing during treatment and to avoid trying to do any mental work. Abdominal breathing means allowing your abdomen to expand as you inhale, and to contract as you exhale.

What sensations will I experience during treatment?

Usually, there is a pleasant state of calm, which develops during the treatment and may persist for some time. You may even nearly fall asleep during the session. In areas that have been treated, a sensation of heaviness or swelling may persist for up to an hour or so after treatment.

For some disorders, no effect is noticed immediately and the condition takes a few days or a series of treatments to respond. Be sure to tell us of the response to treatment at the next appointment so that necessary changes can be made to your treatment.

What should I do after treatment?

Generally speaking, there is no strict restriction. It is often helpful to sit quietly following a treatment, and relax. A gentle walk or very mild exercise can also be helpful. Large meals, vigorous exercise, alcohol or excessive aggravation should however be avoided.

What can I expect after treatment?

You may note a spot of blood at one or more of the needle sites and/or a small bruise could develop. These should not be harmful, but  you can raise this concern with your acupuncturist if it bothers you.

Patients often experience the most dramatic results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief, but there will be noticeable pain alleviation over the next couple of days. Generally, you should expect to feel better or feel some improvement after one session.

Why should you have acupuncture treatment?

There are many possible reasons for considering acupuncture treatment and of course everyone has their own motivations. I will list a few of these reasons:

• Acupuncture is a safe and effective form of therapy.
• Acupuncture is holistic and aims to regulate the energy of the body and bring back it's balance.
• Acupuncture treats both the symptoms and the root of pathological issues.
• Traditional Chinese Acupuncture can identify imbalances in the body at a very early stage.
• Acupuncture can treat signs and symptoms that may not have a clear Western medical diagnosis.
• Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced over 3000 years, offering a well-established medical system which has developed from observation and practice.
• Acupuncture can help you come off certain prescription drugs (with your GP's consent).
• Acupuncture can be a useful alternative if you do not wish to take prescription drugs for whatever personal or medical reasons.
• Offers a unique perspective of how we view the body and therefore can often give more understanding about a disease process and how it may have developed.
• Acupuncture may be the last alternative after trying everything else! It is not uncommon for patients to come to the clinic as a 'last measure'.
• Acupuncture is a preventive medicine as well.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture?

A positive attitude and state of mind will help any healing process but it is certainly not necessary that you believe in acupuncture for the treatment to be successful. Acupuncture is also used successfully on animals such as horses and dogs.

Does everyone practice acupuncture the same?

There is a huge diversity of acupuncture practice all over the world. There are different groups of individuals practicing acupuncture such as M.Ds, physiotherapists, nurses, and professional acupuncturists, etc. The amount of training can differ considerably and the approach can be quite different between groups.

Within this group of professional acupuncturists there is also a large diversity of acupuncture practice due to personal styles, further postgraduate training that individuals may have undertaken, and personal clinical experience and influence.

In our center, our Acupuncturist, is a medical doctor, a surgeon, and a practicing Professor in one of Thailand's most prestigious medical university, Ramathibhodi Hospital.

What do I expect during the first consultation?

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine and aims to discover the roots of any particular illness. We will discuss the main problem in detail and then ask other relevant questions about aspects of your health to help build up a complete picture and to put your illness into holistic context. After the discussion we will take your pulse and examine your tongue. Taking the pulse in Chinese Medicine is enormously different from Western Medicine as it is an important pillar of diagnosis that helps give information about the state of your Qi and the status of your internal organs. A physical examination will be performed for any muscular-skeletal problems and it is common practice to palpate along acupuncture channels for a wide range of ailments.

Each treatment is tailored according to the individual's presenting condition.

Should I stop other medications?

You should continue to follow your current physician's instructions. Please remember that acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician's treatments and to make you get maximum benefits from your treatment. If you want to replace them because of side effects or something wrong, you will have to discuss this issue with your physician. 

Are there any side effects?

It is quite common with the first couple of treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

Occasionally the original symptoms being treated worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that healing is occurring.

Can children receive Acupuncture?

Generally speaking children do well with acupuncture because their energy is very responsive. As a result their course of treatment may be shorter and fewer needles required. On the other hand, the younger the child the more training the practitioner needs.