Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that's been practiced for centuries. It is based on the concept that energy, known as chi (say"chee"), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that illness happens when something blocks or unbalances your chi. Acupuncture is a means to unblock or affect chi and allow it to flow back into equilibrium. Acupuncture is done by placing very thin needles into your skin at certain points in your body. This is done in order to affect the energy flow. Heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is also sometimes used together with needles.
Many use acupuncture to help relieve pain and treat certain health conditions. You can use it alone or as part of a therapy program. Studies have found promising results with acupuncture for treating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, pregnancy, and postsurgery pain. Consult your doctor should you have other questions about the safety of acupuncture.
Acupuncture treatment can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body's natural healing response through different physiological systems. Contemporary research has shown acupuncture's effects on the nervous system, immune and endocrine systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive tract. By stimulating the body's many systems, acupuncture can help resolve pain, and enhance sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.
Acupuncture can be beneficial in that if performed properly, it's safe.
- It can control some forms of pain.
- There are hardly any side effects.
- It can be effectively combined with other remedies.
- It may help patients for whom pain medicines are not suitable.
The NCCIH advises people not to use acupuncture rather than seeing a conventional medical care doctor.
What to expect in a treatment session
According to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) theory, acupuncture points can be found on meridians, through which vital energy runs. This energy is called "qi" or "chi." An acupuncturist will first examine the patient and assess their condition, add one or more thin, sterile needles, and give advice on self-care or other complementary therapies, such as Chinese herbs. The individual will be asked to lie down on their back, front, Or one side, based on where the needles must be inserted. The acupuncturist should use single-use, sterile, sterile needles. As every needle is inserted, the patient may feel a very brief stinging or tingling sensation. After the needle is inserted, there is sometimes a dull ache at the base of the needle, which then subsides. Acupuncture is generally relatively painless. The needles are sometimes heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion. The needles will remain in place for between 5 and 30 minutes. The number of treatments required depends on the person. A person with a chronic condition may require a couple of treatments per week over several months. A serious problem normally improves the following 8 to 12 sessions.
All therapies have risks in addition to benefits. The possible risks of acupuncture are:
- Unsterilized needles can infect the patient.
- Bleeding, bruising, and soreness may occur in the insertion sites.
- It's dangerous if a patient has a bleeding disorder or takes blood thinners.
- In rare instances, a needle may break and harm an inner organ.
- If the needles are inserted deeply into the chest or upper back, there's a risk of a collapsed lung, but that is extremely rare.
The USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices. Their manufacture and labeling should meet certain standards. The needles have to be sterile, nontoxic, and tagged for single use only, by a licensed practitioner. As with any complementary treatment, it is advisable to use it alongside traditional treatments in cases of chronic or acute illness.
How do I locate an acupuncturist?
To find a licensed practitioner, see the section for Providers on this site. You can also see the site for the National Certification Commission in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Most states require professionals to be licensed by this board. Individuals are advised to inquire about professionals about their experience and instruction. The NCCIH points out that some insurance policies now cover acupuncture, but it's important to check first if the price is covered. Depending on the city and the experience of an acupuncturist, an acupuncture session and medical consultation may cost from $75 to $95, and a regular visit may cost between $50 and $70.
How acupuncture works
Acupuncture helps to improve the body's functions and promotes the Natural opt-out procedure by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly called acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most frequent method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation can further improve the effects. Other acupoint stimulation methods include manual massage, moxibustion or heat treatment, cupping, and the use of topical herbal medications and linaments. Acupuncture is a centuries-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1997, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) promoted and promoted acupuncture's efficacy and safety for treating a broad array of conditions. Acupuncture is now accepted by many insurance policies and is used most widely to ease the pain.
What occurs during an acupuncture treatment?
Your acupuncturist will first ask many questions about your health history. Then, they will examine your tongue's shape, color, and coating, feel your heartbeat, and perhaps perform some extra physical examinations based upon your personal health needs. After the evaluation, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a suitable treatment plan to address your individual condition. To start the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while exact acupoints are stimulated on several different regions of your body. Most folks feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are often retained between five to 30 minutes. People report that they feel really relaxed during and after treatments.
How many treatments do you need?
The number & duration of treatments differs from individual to person. Some folks experience dramatic relief from the first treatment. For complicated or long-term chronic conditions, one or two treatments each week for many months may be recommended. For acute problems, fewer visits are generally required, usually eight to ten visits in total. An individualized treatment plan which has the anticipated number of treatments, will be discussed during your first visit.
What conditions are treated by acupuncture?
Many clinical studies in acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and many others ) to migraine headaches, nausea, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility. Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for a number of other conditions.
The World Health Organization's official record titled Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, especially listed 28 ailments, symptoms, or conditions which acupuncture (through clinical trials) has proved to offer effective therapy. The US NIH (National Institutes of Health) issued a consensus statement suggesting acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention for free medicine. The AMAJIM (American Medical Association Journal of Internal Medicine) concluded acupuncture effectively reduces chronic pain with few side effects.
Due to acupuncture's growing popularity, the amount Of acupuncture colleges has grown through the years. These schools are also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine schools and typically teach the TCM principles and related Western medical subjects. Many institutions offer acupuncture programs now, and it may be hard selecting a school. Prospective students may start their search with schools that received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). The number of schools for acupuncture in the United States has continued to grow as demand for acupuncture increases. The (ACAOM) Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) was formed in 1982. The US Department of Education recognizes ACAOM as a "specialized and professional" accrediting agency.
Approximately 50 colleges are accredited by ACAOM, or are in line for accreditation, providing quality education in acupuncture and Oriental medicine to tens of thousands of students every year.
What are the best acupuncture schools?
Factors that can affect your choice of the right school include the following:
- Quality of faculty, not just as practitioners of acupuncture but also as researchers advancing the area
- The comprehensiveness of this training program, including hands-on coaching
- How long the school was in existence and its own reputation for excellence during this time
- The doctoral program in acupuncture could be a plus for a school
How do you become an Acupuncturist
Acupuncture is a centuries-old Chinese medical practice that involves using thin, sterile needles to stimulate points on the body. Acupuncture can also involve the use of electrical stimulation or the use of pressure or heat. Practitioners are trained to diagnose patient problems and select a suitable point on the body to use the technique and elicit the desired response.
Acupuncturists can practice independently or be a part of an integrative medical team together with practitioners of contemporary Western medicine.
What kind of training does an acupuncturist need?
If you wish to become an acupuncturist in the United States, it is possible to study acupuncture in any school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). This is a body that is recognized by the US Department of Education as the authority in this area.
Applicants to accredited acupuncture schools must complete at least two years of study at the baccalaureate degree and may require a bachelor's degree. Acupuncture programs frequently welcome students from all educational backgrounds, so in case you haven't yet studied any kind of medicine, you are still able to pursue this path.
Students in acupuncture programs take classes In Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and therapy methods, Oriental herbal research, incorporated herbal and acupuncture clinical practice, and biomedical, clinical sciences. You'll also learn how to control an acupuncture clinic and communicate with customers.
If you successfully finish your program, you will graduate with a master's degree, that's the minimum educational requirement to practice in most states.
Are there any certification or licensure requirements?
In the USA, all states except six require acupuncturists to get a license to practice. California maintains its own licensing examination. The remaining states require acupuncturists to pass certain National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) assessments or complete the NCCAOM certification program.
To become certified by the NCCAOM, you have to:
• graduate from an ACAOM-accredited program,
• complete a clean needle technique course provided by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCOAM)
• pass certification exams in the foundations of acupuncture, oriental medicine, and biomedicine.
• Those who complete the certificate program are called NCCAOM Diplomates.
Each state defines the range of what a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) May do in their clinic, and an acupuncturist that has been licensed in one state might not have the ability to practice in other nations.
How many years does it take to become an acupuncturist?
A master's degree program in acupuncture may Take three years to complete, and you can start the process of NCCAOM certification in the last program year.
How much does an acupuncturist make?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has no information on the earnings and employment of acupuncturists. It is difficult, therefore, to ascertain what the average practitioner in the US earns each year. The CCAOM reports that accredited acupuncturists earn between $30,000 And $60,000 annually.
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