Acupuncture is an essential part of traditional Oriental medicine, a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical history of over 3000 years.
Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbology and bodywork, dietary therapy and exercise based on traditional Oriental medicine principles.
These therapies work with the natural vital energy inherent within all living things to promote the body’s ability to heal itself. This system of health care is used extensively by one-quarter of the world’s population residing in Asia and is rapidly growing in popularity in the West.
Although acupuncture is often thought of for systemic medical problems, it is also helpful for things like stress management, joint pain, and back pain.
Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine.
The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced chee). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called meridians. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems.
Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients.
Acupuncture benefits persist when accompanied by a complete naturopathic treatment. A recent article in the Star Advertiser, which claimed that benefits from acupuncture are not long lasting, obscures a crucial difference between conventional medicine and naturopathic medicine. Whereas conventional medicine attempts to resolve isolated symptoms with isolated treatments, naturopathic medicine evaluates the root cause of disease and seeks to heal the whole person for truly long-lasting results. Naturopathic medicine addresses nutrition, digestive and intestinal health, yeast (candida) overgrowth, hormonal balance, chronic stress patterns, energy and fatigue issues, and chronic viral conditions. All of these components work together to determine our state of health, and they must be addressed simultaneously by a doctor experienced with holistic healing, and who is sensitive to the unique condition of each patient.
Acupuncture is an effective adjunct to naturopathic medicine that supports healthy immunity, relieves chronic pain and improves digestion. In addition, the cited study also found that acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of hay fever. In the conclusion, the researchers noted that results faded after eight weeks of no treatment. However, when acupuncture is accompanied by a complete naturopathic treatment that addresses the root cause of symptoms, the results will be much longer lasting.
It’s encouraging that researchers are testing the many uses of acupuncture. However, Chinese physicians have known for centuries that acupuncture is a powerful treatment for a variety of conditions, with no negative side effects. When administered in conjunction with the type of complementary, personalized treatment plan that Hawaii holistic naturopathic doctors provide, it can result in complete and long-lasting symptom relief, as well as cure.
Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
You may feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted, but it is much less than the prick you feel during an injection, since the needles are much thinner. You may feel a heaviness, numbness, tingling or mild soreness after the needles have been inserted. Some acupuncturists insert needles in such a way that there is an electrical shock-like sensation, which is the stimulation of qi. This is not necessary to get the benefits. Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff has earned a reputation for doing painless treatments.
Though still effective, I don’t like to have acupuncture hurt my patients. In fact, it is so relaxing that most patients fall asleep, feeling well-rested afterward.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Yes. When acupuncture is performed with disposable needles under clean, sterile conditions and by a qualified practitioner, it is highly unusual to have any complications.
What Are the Advantages of Acupuncture?
One benefit to acupuncture is that it is a drug-free way to minimize pain. With drugs, people often develop a tolerance, or the need for an increased dosage to achieve the same required effect. However, this does not happen with acupuncture. In addition, acupuncture allows the doctor to immediately examine a person’s response to the treatment and make adjustments if necessary. In my practice, I use acupuncture for stress relief, insomnia, depression, weight loss, headaches, neck pain and back pain, earaches, PCOS, cramps and to promote healthy conception and holistic pregnancy. Personally, I give myself a treatment most days after work before making dinner, going to pick up my children or taking a ballet class. It gives me a second wind and keeps me going for another five hours in a good mood.
Does the Medical Establishment Approve of Acupuncture?
Yes. There are approximately 6,500 licensed acupuncturists in the U.S., and 3,000 doctors who perform acupuncture as part of their medical practice. In addition, the World Health Organization currently recognizes more than 40 medical problems, ranging from allergies to AIDS, which can be helped by acupuncture treatment. Lastly, the FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices.
Will My Health Insurance Policy Cover Acupuncture Treatment?
Some insurance companies will pay for acupuncture treatment. Because each insurance provider has different restrictions, it is best to consult with your provider to determine if your treatment will be covered.
How Often Should I Be Treated With Acupuncture?
The number of treatments required depends on each person’s condition and response to acupuncture. One acupuncture session does not usually result in lasting pain relief. According to the holistic health literature, at least two sessions a week for four to five weeks is a normal course of treatment. However, I have had patients with chronic insomnia fall asleep on my table, never to need Ambien again. I have had patients one day away from knee operation cancel their surgeries, and individuals on multiple anti-anxiety medicines get instantaneous relaxation responses. For me, I just love the deep relaxation that my body undergoes during my treatment. Think about it: You really can’t play on your phone or get distracted with your emails. It is like forced down time that feels so good.
Can I Resume My Daily Activities Following a Treatment?
Absolutely YES! And if possible, it is best to bring someone with you on your first acupuncture treatment so that you will have transportation home. This is because acupuncture may have a very calming effect. That’s why it is so great as a stress management therapy! You may feel overly relaxed after the treatment, and shouldn’t drive. No matter how good you feel after the treatment, it is important not to overextend yourself. You should take it easy for a few days. In addition, it is important to go to your session well fed and well hydrated, and drink water when you are finished—a good idea anyway!
What is actually happening during the Session?
The insertion of tiny needles provides a “micro trauma” to the area, sending signals to the brain to send fresh blood and lymph fluid to the area, thereby causing healing in the area being treated. When the insertion is to a distal point on the hands, arms, feet or legs, the organs that correspond to the treated meridians are re-energized and oxygenated, and tissue healing to those vital organs is encouraged.
Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff, Licensed, Naturopathic Physician, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist & The Center for Natural Healing
PLEASE CALL: 808-373-9966