Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Acupuncture: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Your first visit to an acupuncturist may be full of apprehension, trepidation and many unanswered questions. You will probably wonder what the acupuncturist is going to do, is the treatment going to be painful, if it is going to bleed, how long the course is going to take and so on. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions:

What is the practitioner going to ask me?
In your first visit the practitioner is going to ask you to list all the symptoms that you are experiencing. You need to let him know all the physiological and psychological effects. Your family history is going to be inquired. Next is going to be a physical examination.

What is the physical examination like?
The Chinese believe that the tongue and the pulse can signify all sickness. Thus he will examine the tongue, its colour and coating. Next will be the pulse. According to the Chinese, there are six pulse positions on our wrist and each of these positions represent two organs.

How long is the treatment going to take?
Each visit might take anything from 20 minutes to an hour or maybe even more if it is the first visit. The number of visits, however, is dependent on the ailment. If the sickness is chronic then it takes more visits (which could be weekly), and if the symptoms are severe then the visits required could be more frequent but stretched over a shorter period of time.

What if I am undergoing some other treatment too?
Usually it does not matter if you are undergoing some other treatment as acupuncture really does not affect their process. However, you must let the acupuncturist know whatever treatment you are taking.

Is the treatment going to be painful?
The thought of needles does make you apprehensive but the real truth is that the acupuncture needles are so thin that you will not feel any pain. In fact, the moment the needle reaches the right depth you will feel a dull ache or a tingling sensation. This sensation will hardly last a minute or two. So it's an all gain and no pain treatment!

Is it going to bleed?
The acupuncture needles are so thin that the question of blood oozing out does not arise. The needles are only supposed to prick the point and not draw out any blood.

Will I feel relieved immediately?
If you are suffering from something like a headache then you would feel some relief immediately but mostly you just feel a bit drowsy after the treatment. However, the acupuncturist can come to know if there has been some effect by feeling your pulse.

Is acupuncture safe for small children?
It is not really advisable to treat small children with acupuncture not because of the nature of treatment but because you need to be sure that the practitioner is experienced and really good. Children in fact are easy to treat because the sickness would not be chronic.

What if I am pregnant?
Acupuncture is definitely not advisable for pregnant women.

Can acupuncture help me lose weight?
Acupuncture can help you lose weight if excess weight is because of over-eating or a low BMR (basal metabolic rate). If it is due to overeating then acupuncture can help you by lessening the craving to eat. Excess weight due to a low BMR means that the body is not able to utilise all the food that it is receiving and is storing it away. In such a case, acupuncture can help increase your BMR thus help you shed weight!

These questions, though not exhaustive, will definitely help you in understanding this ancient science better.

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