To schedule your Acupuncture appointment call 925-469-3129
Maylee has worked for the Northern California Spine Institute since December 2007. She focuses primarily on pain relief, often treating patients who have failed to respond favorably to pharmaceutical methods or who want to try conservative means of pain treatment.
What is Acupuncture?
If you have never tried acupuncture, this brochure can help you decide if acupuncture is right for you. For those who already benefit from acupuncture treatments, it can help you understand why acupuncture may be helpful.
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and may include applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Is Acupuncture Covered by Health Insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover the costs of acupuncture; however other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy.
What is the Scope of Acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:
- promotion of health and well-being,
- prevention of illness, and
- treatment of various medical conditions.
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, such as:
- Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress, and emotional conditions.
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms 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 the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two 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.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, two or three treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, fewer visits are required.
What are the Needles Like? Do They Hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid, and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is less painful than injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle for injections. All needles are always new and discarded after use.
Are the Results Permanent?
For acute problems where there has been little or no organ system or tissue damage, results are often permanent. For chronic conditions, symptoms may recur from time to time. Generally a few additional treatments are sufficient to obtain relief. It is suggested that patients with severe or chronic conditions return for a booster treatment two to three times a year.