Frequently Asked Questions – Acupuncture Treatment, Acupuncture Healing Services
WHAT IS "ACUPUNCTURE?"
“Acupuncture” is a word made up of the Latin word “acus,” which means needle, and the English word “puncture.” The general term for acupuncture in Chinese is “Zhenjiu.” “Zhen” is the art of needling, while “jiu” means moxibustion, or heat treatment. In Chinese, both words are always together to mean acupuncture; however, when the term was translated into English, only the first half of the meaning was used. Thus, the term acupuncture is actually misleading because it fails to include moxibustion, the other half of the treatment involved. Acupuncture treatment involves the use of needles and/or moxibustion (the burning of a cone of dried artemisia vulgaries on acupoints) for the prevention and treatment of diseases. This method was discovered and developed by the Chinese, and it has a history that is four to five thousand years old. The application of these needles and/or moxa to certain points on the body can produce specific functional changes that can achieve particular therapeutic results. Most acupuncture treatments are rendered with needles and may require the use of both points known as acupoints. These acupoints have been identified along many pathways (known as meridians) inside and outside the body.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE DO?
What acupuncture can do is just too numerous to list. The World Health Organization Inner-Regional Study Seminar recommended acupuncture treatment for about forty kinds of diseases, including neural, muscular, and gastrointestinal disorders and disorders of the mouth, eye, and respiratory system. The Jao Gourui’s Cumulative Clinical Experiences on Acupuncture, published in China in 1979, lists three hundred kinds of diseases and medical problems that can be treated by acupuncture with different levels of success. Common medical problems that have the potential to be controlled/helped by acupuncture treatments include the following: arthritis, headache, backache, shoulder pain, knee pain, tennis elbow, sciatica, sports injuries, indigestion, sinus issues, stress, mild depression, insomnia, shingles, hypoglycemia, TMJ, water retention, impotence, female problems, certain addiction problems, and many nerve-related problems.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and there is no single answer that is universally accepted. According to traditional Chinese acupuncture theory, “Qi” (pronounced “chi”), is the key word that explains “how” and “why” acupuncture works. “Qi,” like energy, is invisible and immeasurable. The life energy is driven by Yin and Yang forces to every part of the body through channels called meridians. When there is a free flow of this life energy in the body, there is perfect health. However, if the interplay of Yin and Yang forces is interrupted or thrown off balance, then problems will occur as ailments find their way into the body. Acupuncture treatments have the capacity of returning the energy flow to the normal condition. They can thereby eliminate problems that become ailments.
In the last few decades, the Chinese have tried diligently to identify the principles by which acupuncture works. Many experiments have been conducted on rabbits, rats, dogs, and cats. Some experiments have revealed that acupuncture treatments affect brain functions in various ways, also capable of returning organ functions to normalcy. They can also affect the endocrine system and raise one’s immune system.
The acupuncture points are located along the peripheral nerve pathways, which have the greater electric conductivity. When acupuncture needles are inserted into the acupoints, a small electrical current is generated. This current travels along through these peripheral nerve pathways to the spinal cord and to the brain. The hormones called endorphin, as well as anti-inflammatory substances, can be produced. These block pain and muscle spasms, reduce inflammation, and enhance circulation. All these stimulate the body to heal itself.
ARE ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS SAFE?
After many thousands of years of practice and countless treatments, accidents have been rare, considering the great number of treatments that have been administered. Most recorded acupuncture accidents took place in China and were related to carelessness and ignorance.
There are no known allergic reactions, habit formations, or other dangerous side effects. Sterile disposable needles and antiseptic techniques can eliminate the risk of infection. Our clinic uses disposable needles.
CAN A PATIENT GET AIDS FROM ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT?
We at Peking Acupuncture Clinic were among the first to only use disposable needles. There should be no worries of contracting any infectious diseases at all.
IS THERE ANY PAIN INVOLVED WHEN AN ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLE IS BEING INSERTED?
Virtually any needle inserted into the body will be felt, and a minimum level of pain will be experienced. The pain that a patient experiences in an acupuncture treatment is generally much less than what is feared or expected as the needles are very thin and they normally do not create the same level of pain as do other kinds of needles. We apply a very unusual and unconventional tapping technique of needle insertion, which allows the thin needles to be inserted into the skin in a fraction of a second. Therefore, the pain being felt is much less the traditional ways of needle insertion.
Treatments for quitting smoking and weight control require very shallow needle insertion and are barely inserted under the skin and, therefore, involve very little pain. Other treatments for conditions such as arthritis may require deeper insertion of needles. Whatever kind of treatment, only a prick, more or less like that of a Texas mosquito bite, is felt.
WHAT ABOUT USING ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS TO QUIT SMOKING?
The use of acupuncture treatments to stop smoking is truly our expertise. In the past 25 years, we have literally helped thousands of smokers to quit and quit forever. Through word of mouth, we have drawn smokers not just from Texas, but also from every state in the USA. Many of those who came to us for treatments from out-of-state were heavily addicted smokers who had tried to quit but could not. We have helped thousands of smokers to break the habit in a very easy way. The treatments to quit smoking and weight control call for very shallow needle insertion, and therefore involve very little pain.
What this treatment can do for you is two-fold:
(1) The treatment removes the craving for cigarettes. For those who smoke one pack a day, there is generally a craving for cigarettes many times each day. With a successful treatment, the craving will disappear. Not only will there be no craving for cigarettes, but the physical tolerance toward nicotine be very low for several days. Smoking a cigarette immediately after the treatment will lead one to become miserably sick. The experience is similar to sea sickness or vomiting – unforgettable and highly unpleasant
(2) After successful treatments, most patients will not be expected to encounter withdrawal symptoms such as: irritation, nervousness, depression, mental disorders, weakness, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, dizzy spells, or headaches. However, some 20% of them will not escape some types of withdrawals.
When smokers are being treated, they will encounter one or more of these three changes in their mouths: (a) dryness, (b) metallic taste, and (c) morning mouth. A few years ago, one smoker came for treatment and experienced a very high level of metallic taste – more so than most people under the same treatment. After leaving he kissed his girlfriend and she quickly complained, “Gosh, what did you eat? Your mouth tastes yuck!” You know what happened? The girlfriend couldn’t smoke because it made her nauseated.
Average smokers can expect to quit smoking in just one or two treatments but those more heavily addicted will need booster treatments. In an article published by Reader’s Digest, an expert has “found cigarettes harder to give up than heroin or booze.” And a very low percentage of smokers who tried to quit did so successfully. In the past 25 years, not only have we helped thousands to quit but most of them found this method to quit very easy because we help to remove the two huge monkeys (the craving and the withdrawal) on their back. This method is not only effective but also inexpensive.
WHAT ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS FOR WEIGHT CONTROL?
It has frequently been reported that at any given time there are twenty million Americans who are on some type of diet program to lose weight. After three to four decades of attempting all kinds of methods to lose weight, the situation has not improved but rather worsened. The reports (including one disclosed by CNN News, April 2,1992) indicated that despite attempts by many overweight people in America to eat less and to lose weight through various weight control programs, Americans as a whole are becoming heavier, one half of the population as opposed to one fourth just over ten/twenty years ago. In “Stop Dieting: Dieting Makes You Fat, ” Cannon and Einizig indicated that “the Americans eat 10% less, but weigh 14% more than their counterparts at the turn of the century.” In England, the Royal College of Physicians also reported that “there is a general trend for both men and women to become heavier and presumably fatter.” And this trend is also spreading to many major cities in the Third World as people become wealthier and can afford more processed foods with more sugar and animal fats. Just about any kind of program that is designed to help people lose weight entails the change and reduction of the intake of food. After a few weeks on most weight control programs, the continuous reduction of food intake often leads to an increasing focus on food in fantasies, thoughts, and even dreams. The longer one departs from highly refined, high fat, and high sugar foods, the stronger the physical need for junk food becomes. The usual desire for food is often accompanied by hunger pain, craving for sweets, and low metabolism. Some overweight persons who have successfully lost weight and kept it off have to undertake excessive exercise programs. Many find that the rigorous exercise programs are too difficult to bear. That is why, nationally, only one of every ten overweight people succeeds when using weight control programs or dieting regimes. The nine drop out after a few months, though more recent reports indicate that the success rate is even lower than 10%.
Those who respond well to acupuncture treatments found that it was a very easy way to lose weight. Some say it is just “marvelous.” For those who respond to the treatment, they immediately encountered the following changes:
(1) There is a very clear reduction in appetite, making it easy for a person to control what and how much they want to eat instead of tackling a constant urge to eat.
(2) The person who responds to the treatment will not confront hunger pain as much as those on various diet programs. They will feel hungry at meal times but much less so.
(3) Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the treatment is an immediate reduction of the stomach’s capacity to hold food. As a result, one will quickly feel full or feel the same level of fullness and satisfaction with much less food. Mostly, the more overweight one is, the less food they need to feel full. Overeating will result in vomiting until the excess food is eliminated from the stomach. This situation of feeling full with less food will persist for a while though the length of time varies from person to person.
(4) Those who respond to the treatment will definitely experience a diminished craving for sweets and sometimes for other junk foods as well. After a successful treatment, sweets and junk foods become unappealing and unpalatable.
We had a mother and daughter came to us for weight control treatments some years ago. Both of them were over two hundred-fifty pounds and happened to respond very well to their treatments. When they came back the following week for follow-up treatments, they both complained that they could not eat chocolate cake anymore though there was nothing wrong with the cake or the ingredients they had used. It simply tasted “yuck.”
(5) There are those who respond to the weight control treatment, find themselves having more energy though they eat less. This is due to an additional treatment for increased metabolism if one is known to have low metabolism.
(6) When acupuncture is used to lose weight, exercise is not an essential part of the treatment, though it does help. If you do not have enough time to do extensive exercise as some weight loss programs require, you can choose to do as much as you can or as little as you have time for. Exercise, however, is generally beneficial to everyone -- overweight or not.
Edward S. came to us for a weight control treatment in May of 1990. He had tried many weight control methods but successfully lost weight was always gained back. With acupuncture treatments, he not only lost weight, but he did so easily. In a letter to us, he wrote that his top weight had been 374 pounds. He went on to say that, “With your treatment for the past 18 months, I lost 105 pounds without starvation or hunger. After your second treatment I noticed a remarkable reduction in my appetite followed by no cravings for sweets at all. I now have the will power to push food away and even to pass it up when my friends at work were eating pizza and greasy chicken. Now I can eat a couple of slices or a two-piece dinner and am not having to go back for seconds.”
Whatever the method, people who seek to lose weight must maintain their regimens or they will certainly gain it back. There are those who are stuck in a constant cycle of losing and regaining weight. One author wrote, “I lost a thousand pounds in the last twenty years.” It is like a yo-yo game. Many people who face regaining weight also suffer from depression and have no luck losing the weight again.
Weight control will require multiple treatments. A two-year survey of two hundred patients treated for overweight problems in China revealed that the greater number of treatments received, the more stable weight loss can be expected.
The success of many weight loss groups also depend heavily on group support. Many nutritionists have also suggested organizing a small support group with the common interest to eat right and loss weight. Your support group should generally be made up of those who have the same problem you do. With this support group, you have a chance to share and learn from each others’ experiences.
Americans, through little fault of their own, happen to live in a highly industrialized country where they do not lack food but rather suffer from the abundance of it. Many nutritionists point out that an overweight problem is the result of years of over-consumption of meat, fat, simple carbohydrates, processed foods, sugar, and salt compounded by poor cooking methods like deep frying. This problem did not arise overnight and likewise cannot be easily or quickly solved. There is absolutely no shortcut to lose weight. The problem must be dealt with in reference to one’s total lifestyle and eating habits. A complete understanding of the root of the problem is essential, not only to provide knowledge to wrestle with the problem, but also incentive and willpower to maintain healthy eating habits and a new lifestyle. This will not only prolong one’s life but also give it a higher quality.
Please read what our patients say about our treatment on weight loss.
Cigarette smoking and overeating both led to degenerative diseases that are preventable. These two vices are the greatest disease promoters in modern health history. They directly and indirectly cause the American public billions of dollars each year. As Americans, we have been taught to enjoy life to the fullest. Few have considered an alternate approach. Ancient Chinese wisdom maintains that an average doctor treats disease, but an excellent doctor guides his patients to avoid disease. The Chinese have not forgotten this ancient advice while the Western world still struggles with the concept of preventive medicine.
The great American inventor Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause of prevention of disease.” If Edison were alive today, would he tolerate so little attention given to combat cigarette smoking and high fat diets, two giant contributors to degenerative diseases?