symptoms, history and constitution.  In Western medicine a general label of “arthritis” may be given for two people.  Just as no two people have identical fingerprints, their “health fingerprints” also vary.  The acupuncture patient is treated according to his or her unique pattern.

Patients usually suffer from more than one ailment at a time.  With acupuncture, a patient can be treated for more than one condition in a session.  Many patients are surprised that ailments they forgot to mention get better.

 What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?

The physical, mental and spiritual health of the patient is interrelated, so physical disorders will cause an imbalance in the patient’s mental outlook.  This may appear as depression, anger, sadness or another emotion.  Also, all mental disturbances will cause some reaction in the physical body.  This might be seen as insomnia, lack of appetite, weariness or aching limbs.  The World Health Organization has declared that acupuncture is suitable for treating over 104 disorders.

 What is an Acupuncture Treatment Like?

When a patient arrives for a treatment he or she will fill out an information sheet that details the patient’s reason for coming, the medical history, diet, sleep habits, digestion and bowel routines.

In my practice the patient keeps all of his or her clothes on except for the shoes and socks.  Usually the patient lies down so that he or she can be totally relaxed.  Pulses are taken and additional information is gathered.  The needles are put into place and left for 10 to 15 minutes.  These needles are removed and others are put in and immediately removed.  This is followed by shiatsu, also called acupressure, massage to promote better energy flow through the body.

How Will I Feel After an Acupuncture Treatment?

You may feel sleepy after acupuncture.  Acupuncture has a calming effect on many patients.  People also often feel a sudden sense of well being quite separate from the pain relief.  Enjoy this mild euphoria—it’s harmless.

What are the Needles Like?

The needles are prepackaged, stainless steel, disposable needles.  They are used only once.  They are solid, not hollow like needles used for injections, and not much thicker than a hair.  Many people are surprised to find that the needles are more like wires.  There are no drugs on the needles.

Do the Needles Hurt?

It’s difficult to describe the sensation felt.  Some people find them painful, but only momentarily.  Sometimes there may be a feeling of numbness or an ache.  Sometimes the surrounding skin itches.  Some people feel hardly anything, while others enjoy the sensation.

How Many Treatments are Usually Necessary?

This varies from person to person.  Some patients may need less than 8 treatments, others may need as many as 50.  A lot depends on the severity of the disease and how long the patient has suffered from it.

Do Insurance Companies Pay for Acupuncture?

Acupuncture needles were approved as a medical device by the US FDA in March of 1996.  The Florida State Oriental Medical Association (FSOMA) has reported that over 80 insurance carriers include acupuncture treatments in their schedule of benefits.  We will contact your insurance company to determine if a specific policy covers acupuncture.  Florida’s Workers’ Compensation, as well as many other states, will also consider reimbursement for acupuncture treatments.

How do I Choose an Acupuncture Physician?

Two important factors for the selection of an acupuncture physician are that he or she is trained in traditional acupuncture and that he or she is well recommended by people you trust.  Like choosing any other health care provider, it’s a case of finding someone you get along with and feel you can trust.

The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) regulates and certifies acupuncturists, and Florida, like most states, requires licensure, so be sure to ask about credentials.

Many believe that acupuncture is a New Age, modern day, wonder

medicine, but it has been used to treat a broad spectrum of health

problems for over 3000 years.  The American Association of

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) states that over

the centuries, more people have been helped by acupuncture than

all other health sciences combined.

Our body has a life force running through it that keeps it alive

and functioning properly.  This energy or “qi”, pronounced “chee”,

runs through channels, also called meridians, to all parts of the

body.  When this energy gets blocked or depleted, an imbalance

occurs.

Ancient Oriental masters identified these pathways and located

points along them where life energy communicates with the

surface of the body.  Today, scientists have been able to measure

the electrical charge of these points.  These are the points that

acupuncture physicians manipulate.

An Acupuncture Physician looks at the state of the whole person. 

We treat the mind, body and spirit.  The Acupuncture Physician is

not seeking to diagnose thephysical symptom, but to discover the

energetic imbalance that has caused the symptom.  Each person is

unique, so each has a different reason for a disease manifesting as it does.

In acupuncture no two patients present identical combinations of signs,