2 AnswersDr. Robin Miller, MD , Internal Medicine, answeredAcupuncture can be effective for many ailments. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to figure out how effective because it is hard to test acupuncture treatments against placebo treatments in a randomized clinical study. In studies done to see if acupuncture treats for various ailments, patients are given either real acupuncture or something called a sham procedure that gives a patient the sense that they have had acupuncture without actually performing the treatment. There have been studies done this way that have shown that acupuncture can be effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, lower back pain, infertility and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also can be effective for chemotherapy-induced nausea in cancer patients after surgery. There have been smaller studies that have suggested that acupuncture may improve urinary incontinence and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and help prevent migraines and tension headaches.
3 AnswersDr. Phaythoune Chothmounethinh, MD , Family Medicine, answered on behalf of TriStar Skyline Medical CenterWestern medicine is increasingly recognizing acupuncture as a complementary therapy to be used alongside more conventional treatments. The traditional understanding of how acupuncture works is that it balances the flow of energy throughout the body. In Western science, doctors haven't been able to find an equivalent of how to explain that in scientific terms, but they do know that there's a release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, and this brings healthy blood flow to an area of injury.
Most commonly, acupuncture can help relieve symptoms associated with conditions like allergies, digestive diseases, menstrual cramps, migraines and the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
The needles, when inserted in specific locations, are usually not painful. The needles are left in for about five to 20 minutes at a time, and then they're removed. You should use acupuncture in conjunction with a conventional therapy because of the few side effects. It's definitely worth a try if you are experiencing serious side effects from other drugs or medications that you are not able to tolerate.
Acupuncture treatment is more complex than most people think, says traditional Asian medicine expert and Dr. Oz guest Daniel Hsu. Find out what the cost of a typical acupuncture treatment usually covers by watching this video.
1 AnswerDebra Fulghum Bruce PhD , Healthcare, answeredLincoln Hospital in New York City has been treating drug addicts with a combination therapy of acupuncture and counseling; more than 60 percent of patients stay in the acupuncture rehab program for longer than three months. The program at Lincoln Hospital is used as a model in more than 400 detoxification programs in the United States and Europe.
In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that inserting acupuncture needles into the ear--when combined with conventional treatments--may help fight cocaine addiction. Arthur Margolin, a research scientist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and his colleagues looked at 82 cocaine-abusers who were also addicted to heroin and were on a methadone maintenance program to treat that addiction. The study subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups that underwent five treatments a week for 8 weeks. One group had auricular acupuncture, which is a widely used treatment for cocaine addiction approved by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, in which needles are inserted into various points of the ear. The practitioner tries to influence various parts of the body with the corresponding points in the ear. These needles are left in for up to an hour. Other points on the body or ear may be added, depending on the practitioner’s discretion. The frequency of visits depends on the person and severity of addiction.
A second 'control' group received acupuncture in areas not commonly used for the treatment of a disorder, and a third 'control' group viewed a relaxing videotape of nature scenes accompanied by soothing music, but had no acupuncture.
Of the 52 people who completed the treatment, researchers concluded that those treated with auricular acupuncture were less likely than people in the control groups to show evidence of cocaine use during the study. During the final week of the study, almost 54 percent of the acupuncture group were able to provide three consecutive cocaine-free urine samples in contrast to only about 24 percent of those in the needle-insertion control group and less than 10 percent of those in the relaxation control group.
Because cocaine addiction is a "multi-faceted disorder," researchers concluded acupuncture should one part of a multi-faceted treatment program, including psychological treatments.
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1 AnswerHow often a person receives cupping and acupuncture treatments depends on the condition. If people have a new injury, they just did a little too much yard work over the weekend and their back is stiff and uncomfortable, that might be just one visit. People who were high-school and college athletes and then continued to train at a high level may have a lot more pain and structural issues like herniated discs or torn rotator cuffs. These people will need more acupuncture and cupping visits. They may get treatments weekly or every other week for a longer period of time.
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Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
1 AnswerDr. Dede Bonner , Health Education, answered
As in other health professions, most practitioners don’t treat all types of cases all the time. For example, Dr. Tess Hahn, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (NCCAOM) 2008 Chair of the Board of Commissioners and an Idaho-based professional acupuncturist, says, “I know I’m not strong in pediatrics, but I treat a lot of fibromyalgia patients because I enjoy helping them. My colleagues send me their pain patients when they don’t get results.” That’s an ideal response.
1 AnswerThere are a variety of techniques used in traditional Chinese medicine. Below are a few that are typically used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance its effects:
- Electro-Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are used to conduct small electrical currents. This technique, often used in conjunction with acupuncture, has been proven to decrease pain, accelerate healing, and significantly reduce inflammation, edema and swelling.
- Moxibustion: A technique in which a Chinese herb called mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris is used to heat an acupuncture point, particularly in the treatment of certain debilitating conditions as well as arthritis and pain. Moxa is usually rolled into a stick, lit, and held over specific areas of the body. It can also be placed onto the handle of an acupuncture needle for deeper penetration of heat.
- Cupping: In cupping, a glass or plastic cup is suctioned onto the body and kept in place for about 10 minutes. This stimulates circulation, relieves swelling, and enhances the acupuncture or electro-acupuncture.
- Gua Sha: Also known as "spooning" or "coining" to English speakers and "tribo-effleurage" to the French and Kerokan to the Japanese, Gua Sha literally means "scrape away heat". It is performed by applying pressurized strokes to the back using a specialized scraping instrument. Gua Sha is used for many ailments from muscle aches to fevers to digestive and gynecological issues.
- Tui Na: A form of Chinese body work used in conjunction with acupuncture for a variety of musculoskeletal and organ-related issues.
A needle is a needle is a needle, no matter how thin. Even so, acupuncture is generally safe, as long as the practitioner takes the right precautions, says traditional Asian medicine expert and Dr. Oz guest Daniel Hsu. Watch this video to find out how to keep acupuncture safe.
2 AnswersJohns Hopkins Medicine answered
After taking a comprehensive history, your practitioner will administer your acupuncture treatment. During the treatment, you will lie on a massage table in a warm, welcoming room with the lights dimmed and gentle music playing. Some patients engage in deep breathing exercises or meditation, some practice repetitive prayer, others doze or sleep.
Then the acupuncturist inserts the acupuncture needles. Made of stainless steel and the width of a hair, they lightly touch the skin. If you feel anything at all, it usually feels like a momentary pinprick. Depending on what you're being treated for, the practitioner may insert anywhere from only four needles to upward of 18.
Patients describe treatments as restful, relaxing, and restorative. Afterwards, many patients report having more energy, sleeping more deeply, being more digestively "regular", and being calmer in spirit.
1 AnswerDr. John Van der Werff, DDS , Dentist, answered
Acupuncture can help treat dry mouth. I have had some patients that it has helped and others where it has not. There was some noted success with the cause being radiation treatment for cancer but not all the studies agree that it is helpful.
If you are interested in this type of treatment, I would suggest you contact someone or maybe more than one acupuncturist in your area and ask if that person has treated it, what the cause of the dry mouth was, and what the success rate was. This may help you with your decision to be treated or not.