Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)?
A1: Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment originating in China over 2500 years ago that is now widely used all over the world. Acupuncture has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and recognized by both the National Institute of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe treatment for a wide range of health problems. Most insurance companies cover Acupuncture treatments in the state of California since Acupuncturists are viewed as primary health care providers.
TCM views the person as a vital energy system. Good health, according to TCM, is dependent on two things: an unobstructed flow of energy (Qi) through the body along 12 major channels (meridians) and a balance between the two life forces, Yin and Yang. Illness or pain occurs when either the flow of Qi is blocked or when there is an imbalance between a person’s Yin and Yang. It is when a “traffic jam” of life force and energy happens in the body that health problems arise.
Acupuncture is a natural healing technique that works in conjunction with TCM to promote the human body’s own healing power and rebalances vital energy flow in order to improve the body’s functions, heal illnesses and prevent diseases. Acupuncture needles inserted into the skin at specific points along a person’s meridians help to redirect or unblock stagnated Qi. According to various in-depth studies, Acupuncture may alter various biochemical and physiological conditions to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Another benefit of Acupuncture is that there are no side effects from treatment in comparison to other form of medical treatments such as prescribed drugs.
TCM does not just attempt to medicate diseases. TCM emphasizes a holistic approach to treat a person by promoting a healthy lifestyle and diet, with Acupuncture and traditional herbs to supplement overall well-being. TCM not only focuses on relieving a person’s symptoms, but also works on the entire system of the human body to improve a person’s quality of life.
Q2: Are the needles safe and disposable?
A2: Yes. The needles used in Acupuncture are disposable and come in pre-sterilized sealed packets. After each use, the needles are immediately discarded in a safe manner. The FDA has deemed Acupuncture needles as “safe and effective”.
Q3: Does Acupuncture hurt?
A3: Acupuncture needles are ultra-thin, and the insertion is done quickly so most patients don’t feel anything at all. When treating some sensitive areas, a slight sensation such as soreness and heaviness may be caused, but the discomfort is only temporary. Most patients find Acupuncture to be extremely relaxing and uplifting—some have even fallen asleep during treatment!
Q4: What is the treatment process like?
A4: A standard session lasts about 20-30 minutes. First, needles are quickly applied along the patient’s meridians. Once in place, the Acupuncture points may be stimulated by tweaking the needles or applying a mild electrical current or infrared heat to help increase Qi circulation. The needles will remain in place for 20-30 minutes.
At Bamboo Acupuncture, each treatment takes approximately 1 hour. Unlike other Acupuncture places that do needle treatments only, we provide a meridian massage prior to each Acupuncture session to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment for our patients.
Q5: What is Ping’s Meridian Therapy?
A5: Ping’s Meridian Therapy was developed by Dr. Liyan Lu (former owner of Bamboo Acupuncture) which involves Ping’s Meridian Massage and Acupressure to rebalance the Qi and Yin and Yang in the body. Applying pressure along the meridians or on the Acupuncture points through massage and Acupressure helps clear up the human body’s traffic jam and makes everything flow smoothly.
While Acupuncture focuses on deep specific points, Meridian Massage helps reach a much wider surface area, allowing blood and energy to flow more effectively. When both techniques are used in conjunction, the results are even more amazing.
Q6: What diseases and illnesses can Acupuncture treat?
A6: Acupuncture is most often used to relieve pain relief, but it is also recommended for a wide range of other conditions including, but not limited to: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Bell’s Palsy, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, stroke rehabilitation, erectile dysfunction, drug detoxification, chemical dependence, stress, insomnia, and allergies. It can also help with those looking to receive in vitro fertilization (IVF) or to even help induce labor.
Many people try Acupuncture as a “last resort” for serious and complex health issues, only to find out that it can help them when other medical treatments could not. Acupuncture is best used as preventative medicine—many people see their Acupuncturist 2-4 times a year for a “tune-up” or “balancing” to prevent the onset of common diseases and illnesses.
Q7: How effective is Acupuncture?
A7: According to the report of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, a study in six clinics across five states showed the efficacy and cost-savings of Acupuncture. Of the patients treated with Acupuncture, 91.5% reported disappearance or improvement of symptoms, 84% said they see their MDs less, 79% said they use fewer prescription drugs and 70% of those who had been recommended surgery found help in Acupuncture instead.
Q8: How many sessions do I need or how often should I get Acupuncture treatment?
A8: Acupuncture is a natural medicinal method used to gradually boost a person’s own healing power. Generally, for acute health issues, it is recommended a person undergoes frequent treatments in a short time frame. For people with chronic health issues, less frequent treatments are administered over a longer period of time.
A positive response to Acupuncture treatment is usually seen anywhere between the first and fourth session. It is common to get 1-2 treatments per week in the beginning and then one treatment every two weeks. It is recommended to have 10 sessions total before determining if Acupuncture and TCM is working for you. Like other medical treatments and trials, it may take longer than expected for the desired results to start appearing.
Q9: What if I absolutely can’t stand needles?
A9: For those who are “needle-phobic”, TCM has a variety of non-needling techniques and treatments to improve a person’s quality of life. Some non-needle methods of treatment to promote and maintain healthy living include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), moxibustion, cupping, meditation, applied heat and cold therapy, and herbal medicine.
Q10: What is cupping?
A10: Cupping is a technique that uses heat to generate a vacuum-like suction in cups applied to a person’s skin. The suction created pulls the skin up, stimulating Acupuncture points, increasing blood circulation, and relieving symptoms. Some patients prefer to use this method instead of needles. The only caveat of using the cupping method is that it will leave circular cup marks on the point(s) of application for a few days.
Q11: What are Chinese herbs?
A11: Chinese herbal medicine is the world’s oldest professional medicine continually practiced today. Chinese herbs consist of leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, roots, tubers, rhizomes, and bark from various plants and trees. Grown and harvested in nature, Chinese herbs provide pure and natural medicinal treatment with very few side-effects. The herbs come in the form of tea, pill capsules, and syrups.