- Is acupuncture safe?
When performed by a licensed qualified acupuncturist, the procedure is both safe and effective. The US food and drug administration regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners. The FDA mandates the needles be sterile, individually packed, and labeled for single use.
- Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (much thinner than hypodermic needles). Most people will say they can feel the needles but it is not painful. First time patients are usually apprehensive and sometimes describe very slight discomfort. Generally as people become accustomed to treatments they become very relaxed and feel no discomfort or pain due to the treatment.
- How effective is acupuncture for pain management?
The following was quoted from the World Health Organization website.
"The effectiveness of acupuncture analgesia has already been established in controlled clinical studies. As mentioned previously, acupuncture analgesia works better than a placebo for most kinds of pain, and its effective rate in the treatment of chronic pain is comparable with that of morphine. In addition, numerous laboratory studies have provided further evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture's analgesic action as well as an explanation of the mechanism involved. In fact, the excellent analgesic effects of acupuncture have stimulated research on pain.
Because of the side-effects of long-term drug therapy for pain and the risks of dependence, acupuncture analgesia can be regarded as the method of choice for treating many chronically painful conditions".
- What should I expect on my first visit?
The first office visit will usually be a free consultation where the acupuncturist will collect medical and lifestyle information required to create a treatment plan. Be prepared to provide in detail the reason for your visit (chief complaint), and details about any symptoms you experience. In addition to this, it is vitally important that you provide details on any current medical conditions you have, medications you are taking, and contact information of treating physicians. With this information the acupuncturist will establish a treatment plan for you. The time required to treat your condition will vary depending on the specific condition and if the condition is considered to be chronic.
- How do I prepare for my treatment?
1. Wear loose comfortable clothing
2. Avoid strenous exercise just prior to your vist. It's best to be relaxed for your treatment
3. Eat a light meal before your visit. Avoid arriving with an empty stomach and avoid eating a heavy meal just prior to your visit