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What is the philosophy behind Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine was primarily practiced as a form of preventative medicine in Ancient China.  In modern times, most people wait to get treatment until they are quite ill.  Chinese medicine urges everyone to seek treatment when they are still well – it will save you a lot of suffering in the future if you do!

In Ancient China, a Chinese medical practitioner not only needed to master acupuncture, but also Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are often used simultaneously, as they complement each other to enhance the effects of the treatment.    

Click here to learn more about Chinese herbs.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture, which has been practiced and developed for many thousands of years, is based on the principle that there are meridians or channels of energy that course through the body.  A healthy person has energy that moves through these channels with ease and regularity.  Disease manifests as a result of these channels being blocked.  The acupuncturist's job is to find where the blocked energy is in these channels and to release it appropriately.

Acupuncture releases endorphins in the body.  Endorphins are a hormone that relieves pain and promotes relaxation, and their release is the body’s natural response to acupuncture stimulation. It's the same hormone associated with “runner's high.”  If you are receiving treatment for an injury, you may feel completely pain-free after a session; however, it’s best not to exercise in the next few hours, as it's possible you could cause yourself further injury.

What conditions is acupuncture most commonly used to treat?

Some examples of ailments where acupuncture has most frequently succeeded are:

Pain management – Commonly treated pain ailments include:  lower back pain, sciatica, tendonitis, arthritis, menstrual pain, headaches, and migraines.

Fertility –Acupuncture is now often used in reproductive medicine. Some sources state that the chances of conception almost double with regular treatments.

Seasonal allergies – Many people who suffer seasonal allergies and do not like the side effects of drugs have turned to acupuncture to deal with itchy eyes, runny nose, and sinus congestion.

High blood pressure – Regular acupuncture treatments have been shown to reduce blood pressure in over 90% of patients.  What's more, there is little danger of reducing blood pressure to where the patient will have low blood pressure and experience dizziness or weakness, as can happen with blood-pressure-lowering drugs.

Constipation – Acupuncture can avoid the need for harsh, habit forming laxatives.

Fatigue – Acupunctures both helps raise your energy level and improves your sleep, enabling you to experience better levels of sustained natural energy throughout the day, without having to rely on stimulants.

How many sessions of acupuncture will I need?

The number of sessions a patient needs depends on the nature of the person’s condition, the severity of the condition, and how long you have had the condition, as well as the experience of the practitioner.  In general, the longer you have had a condition and the more severe it is, the longer it will take to treat the condition. ‎

Does acupuncture hurt?

When acupuncture is done correctly, the insertion of a needle will be painless.  Then, with manipulation of the needle there is a sensation. Some common therapeutic sensations include tingling, achy, traveling, heavy, etc.  These sensations should not be painful, though. 

What are the side effects of acupuncture?

In general, side effects are rare.  Some patients experience dizziness and lightheadedness the first time they receive acupuncture. This can be for a variety of reasons, the most common being due to low blood sugar. To avoid this, make sure you eat a proper meal before a treatment, especially if you are pregnant.

I am afraid of needles, but would like to try acupuncture. What should I do?

Acupuncture needles are much thinner than the hypodermic needles that are used for injections and for drawing blood. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting such thin needles painlessly.  If necessary, find an experienced acupuncturist who has previous experience with patients who are afraid of needles.

Can acupuncture cause an infection?

If done correctly, acupuncture will not cause an infection. Acupuncturists at Omni strictly adhere to what is known as "clean needle technique."  Before needling a point, the skin area is cleaned with alcohol.‎  The part of the needle that is being inserted into the body is not touched by the acupuncturist. Only the shaft of the needle is manipulated. Once the needle is removed, pressure is applied to the area and if there is bleeding, it stops quickly. Band aids are not required to cover the needled area. Patients should not touch the area or shower for at least 2 hours after being needled to avoid infection.

Do needles ever break and get stuck in the body? 

Single use needles, when used correctly and only once, will not break and do not get stuck in the body.

Can an acupuncturist accidentally puncture my internal organs?

Acupuncturists study each acupuncture point in great detail, which includes the appropriate depth and angle for inserting a needle in each point.  In theory, it is possible to insert a needle directly into an internal organ, but a practitioner with adequate training and a clear conscience will never insert a needle into an organ, even by accident.

Do you reuse needles?

At Omni Wellness we only use "single use" needles. This means that each needle is only inserted into the body once.

Can I resume normal activity after acupuncture?

Most people feel very relaxed after an acupuncture treatment. Some people will fall asleep and may feel a little groggy upon waking up. In general, this sleepiness usually wears off within about 15 minutes of the needles being removed. If you experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness after a session, sit down and drink water until you are feeling normal. As long as you are feeling grounded‎ and are awake, you can return to normal activity. In the very unlikely event that you experience prolonged drowsiness, please use common-sense – no driving or operating heavy machinery until you have returned to a state of full consciousness.