Thursday, May 6, 2010

A brief on acunpuncture

Dr. Weil, 7/05/2010

Acupuncture has been around for at least 2,500 years and has proven to be an effective method of both preventing and treating disease. If you've never experienced acupuncture, the following can help you to know what to expect.

* A skilled acupuncturist will first ask you questions about diet, exercise, stress levels and other physical and mental characteristics to get to know more about you and your health concerns.
* He or she may examine your tongue and take pulses on various parts of your body to determine the imbalances in energy flow.
* Once this initial examination is completed, very fine needles will be gently placed in specific locations, just puncturing the skin. (The experience of being "needled" varies tremendously, but it's nothing to be afraid of. Some people don't feel the needles at all, while others have a sensation like a very small electric charge upon insertion.)
* Once the needles have been placed, they may be gently manipulated. Some practitioners may use heat or even very low voltage electricity with the needles.
* Needles are usually left in place for five to 20 minutes and typically no longer than 60 minutes, and then removed.
* Following a treatment, a practitioner will usually reassesses the client and often give suggestions for home care. He or she may also recommend supplemental Chinese herbs to help enhance and maintain the energetic balance achieved by the acupuncture session.
* The most common side effects of needling are bleeding and bruising at the insertion sites, along with minor pain and soreness. Those with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinners should check with their doctors before having acupuncture.

Acute conditions may require only two to four sessions of acupuncture; for chronic cases, it is common to have as many as 12 or more treatments, usually over a course of eight to 10 weeks. Regular monthly visits may be suggested as a preventive measure to decrease stress, improve energy or boost immunity.

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