(I have closed my acupuncture practice due to a terminal illness. I feel this information is very important however. Understand that your local physical therapist or chiropractor has, in South Carolina, a weekend course at best to learn what an Oriental Medical Doctor spends years learning.)

The following are common questions about acupuncture.

1.  How many hours of education does an acupuncturist have?

The average acupuncturists has over 2000 hours of post secondary education. The degree of Master of Oriental Medicine is usually confered. This is four years of medical school which includes one year of internship (residency) in the school’s clinic.

2.  What testing and post graduate work is required?

Just as Western medical schools, Oriental medical school graduates must pass three or four (if also an herbalist) national board exams. The acupuncturist then has to complete 48 hours of continuing education every four years to keep their license current.

3.  How many treatments will I need?

There is no answer to this question as each patient is unique in their health as well as what brings them to our office in the first place. The typical patient will not notice lasting and effective change until 5-15 treatments. We recommend patients come for ten treatments at which point in time we will review the progress they have made and determine if they still need to be in a rehabilitative mode or more of a maintenance mode which means once or twice a month for visits.

4.  How is my progress charted?

We will take a matrix of your issues when you arrive. As you proceed through the treatments we will ask you to keep track of how you are sleeping, eating, how long the treatements are keeping pain at bay (if that was the issue). You are encouraged to email me with any questions you have throughout the treatment process. We are working together to bring you to optimal health.

5.  How will I feel after a treatment?

Most people will have some sort of positive effect after their first acupuncture treatment (usually they notice they had a wonderful night’s sleep or just felt less stressed) as we are moving blood and oxygen. You are encouraged to go about your normal life. There are no restrictions after an acupuncture treatment. Some people feel very energized while others feel very relaxed.

6.  If I have a cold or the flu, should I cancel my appointment?

No, acupuncture offers so much more than pain management. Chinese Medicine is a whole system of medicine unto itself, and can treat the common cold and flu-like symptoms.

7.  What happens to the needles after my treatment?

All needles are disposable and are single use. After your treatment they are placed in a SHARPS container and are later sent to a company that can dispose of them properly.

8.  Does acupuncture hurt?

Once needles are quickly and gently inserted the patients relax. Many people report sensations of movement of energy within their bodies. Patients may report a slight achiness around some points, or a warmth or even an itch. Those are good signs that the points are appropriate to the treatment.

9.  Can acpuncture help me even if I feel healthy?

Yes, absolutely. Many patients come in for regular maintenance treatments to stay in ‘tip-top’ condition so they can fully enjoy life. Acupuncture is a powerful preventative measure to keep patients healthy throughout the year. Acupuncturists see subtle signs of disease processes at work before symptoms begin to interfere with daily life. Chinese medicine effectively addresses these issues, preventing future problems from occurring. Because acupuncture treatments are so deeply relaxing, many patients find regular, maintenance treatments beneficial for stress relief.

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