Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture
Can acupuncture help my condition?
The best answer will come from an experienced practitioner. The practitioner, based on your medical history, condition, and what other treatments you have been or are receiving, can best help you decide whether acupuncture is suitable by itself or as adjunctive therapy.
I generally tell patients that if their treatment, according to a Western diagnosis with options, isn’t resolving the problem,is quite expensive, or has significant side effects associated with it, then clearly acupuncture is worth a try. I usually include the Western diagnosis criteria. For example, it is not usually the best option to treat a simple skin lesion with acupuncture when a simple excision of the lesion is all that is needed. However, if one has multiple recurrences of these lesions or presenting with difficulty with their libido or interest in sex, a trial of acupuncture makes sense.
Many urologic and gynecologic problems are often well treated by acupuncture. For men, these include erectile dysfunction, sperm quality, pain associated with prostate cancer, prostatitis (including chronic pain syndromes) and stress reduction. There has also been some encouraging preliminary work on improvement in voiding symptoms with BPH. For women, these include dysmenorrhea, incontinence, endometriosis, pelvic pain, hormonal irregularity and menopausal related disturbances (e.g., insomnia, hot flushes, memory, anxiety). There has also been some preliminary work suggesting an improvement in vaginal lubrication and libido. What is often most astonishing to physicians frustrated by the failure of conventional medicine to treat enigmatic problems (e.g., prostadynia, premature ejaculation, nocturnal enuresis etc.) is the effectiveness of acupuncture.
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common cold
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma
- Acute conjuctivitis
- Cataract (without complications)
- Central retinitis
Disorders of the Mouth Cavity
- Pain after tooth extraction
- Spasm of the esophagus and cardia
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Gastric hyperacidity
- Chronic duodenal ulcer
- Acute and chronic colitis
- Acute bacterial dysentery
- Paralytic ileus
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Facial paralysis
- Paralysis after apoplectic fit
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Paralysis caused by poliomyelitis
- Meniere’s syndrome
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Nocturnal enuresis
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Periarthritis humeroscapularis
- Tennis elbow
- Low back pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Conditions Recommended for Acupuncture by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)
What is an acupuncture treatment like?
This is difficult to say because of the wide variations in the styles of acupuncture performed. Generally three to fifteen needles will be placed. Costs vary depending on the condition treated an the number of treatments.
These very thin, solid needles are often placed below the elbow and/or below the knee. Sites on the front and back of the torso as well as the head are also needled. Needling is not done in or near the genitalia.
How does the acupuncturist manage infection control?
Through the use of disposable one-time-use sterilized needles. Blood loss and bleeding are minimal with acupuncture. It is quite reassuring to review the medical literature and not find one documented case where an acupuncturist has transmitted a “personal” infectious disease to a patient or vice versa.
What training is required to practice acupuncture?
Requirements can vary significantly worldwide. In most of Europe a person to legally practice acupuncture must first be a medical doctor. In this country there are non-physicians who are licensed to practice. Again there can be significant variations in requirements depending upon local laws.
Can acupuncture help cancer patients?
Please read the article “Acupuncture and Cancer Treatment” by Eugene Mak,M.D.