Why should I see an Acupuncturist? Acupuncture is a safe and effective holistic medicine backed by more than two thousand years of practice and research. It is practiced worldwide both as a primary and adjunctive treatment for a wide range of conditions. While there are somewhat standard treatment protocols for many conditions, the clinical success of acupuncture is related - at least in part - to the wide range of diagnostic signs and symptoms which are taken into effect when looking at an imbalance. For a condition such as arthritis affecting the knees, an acupuncturist may look at your tongue, check your pulse, ask about your diet and lifestyle, palpate your spine, etc. This range of diagnostic information allows acupuncture practitioners to develop a treatment strategy that is unique to you and your experience of a particular condition.
What To Expect from Acupuncture Visits: During your first office visit, the practitioner may ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. The practitioner will want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Inform the acupuncturist about all treatments and/or medications you are taking, as well all medical conditions you have. Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain, as the needles are inserted. Some people feel energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Improper needle placement, movement of the patient, or a defect in the needle can cause soreness and pain during treatment. This is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner. Treatment may take place over a period of several weeks or more.
Your First Visit Generally, your first visit is longer than your followup visits or at the very least it entails quite a bit of questioning. The intial questioning is a very important part of the care your acupuncturist can provide to you. While many of the questions may seem entirely irrelevant to your condition, for example asking the quality of your bowel movements when you came in for back pain or your psychological state when you came in for menstrual problems, there are very good reasons behind the questions. The answers you provide to the questions, along with other basic diagnostic tools such as looking at your tongue and feeling your pulse allow the acupuncturist to tailor the treatment specifically to you. This individualization of the treatments is one of the strong points of oriental medicine. It is why people may experience broad changes within themselves after receiving acupuncture for a specific complaint. It also means that the treatments can be modified over time if they are not proving effective.
What will my first acupuncture treatment be like? In general, people find acupuncture to be an incredibly relaxing experience, even for those who have some initial hesitation about needles. In general your first treatment involves quite a bit of discussion, as the practitioner gathers as much information as possible to clearly understand and diagnose your issues from an oriental medicine viewpoint. The needling during the first treatment may be limited so you can become accustomed to the experience and the practitioner can see how you respond.
What conditions can acupuncture treat? People may see an acupuncturist for almost any condition, from Cancer to Shoulder Pain. According to 2003 Acupuncture Review and Analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials, WHO published a list of over 100 conditions for which acupuncture may be effective. Some conditions include:
Pain conditions: low back pain, neck pain, migraines, arthritis
Women’s health: menstrual Issues such as PMS, amenorrhea, irregular menstruation, menopausal syndrome, fertility, etc.
Your Diagnosis and Treatment After the initial questioning (or on your followup visit) and the checking of your pulse and tongue, your practitioner will form a diagnosis, treatment plan and begin the acupuncture treatment. In most cases, the initial treatment is fairly conservative to ensure that you are comfortable and to allow your acupuncturist to see how you respond to acupuncture. Generally speaking, your practitioner will usually not discuss your diagnosis in oriental medical terms. It is usually confusing and often misleading for patients to hear the terminology we use within oriental medicine to describe their condition. For example, a diagnosis of Kidney Qi and Yin Deficiency would not mean very much to you as a patient and could make you think there is something wrong with your physical Kidneys when it is likely that there is not. Nonetheless, the terms we use are important for us as practitioners. Your acupuncturist is, however, likely to describe the treatment and his/her intent with the points. After the treatment it is common for an acupuncturist to offer a prognosis along with a basic treatment plan. They are also likely to offer various beneficial lifestyle changes which may help to improve your overall condition. This may include dietary changes, exercise, meditation, etc.
Insurance & Payment Information We work with most of major medical insurance companies. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your acupuncture coverage, though some insurance program covering acupuncture vary significantly, it is always best to contact our office or your insurance company ahead to assure the coverage.
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THOMAS ACUPUNCTURE & WELLNESS
7620 Little River Tpke. Ste#101 Annandale, VA 22003 | Phone : 703-750-0577 | Fax : 703-854-1658