This branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to cure illness and pain at its source. Long, fine needles are gently inserted into certain points on the body for the purpose of unblocking and re-balancing the flow of energy. Central to this discipline is the belief that all disease and pain is the result of disruptions in the body’s essential flow of energy.
Although some patients may wish to try acupuncture on a more general level, most seek to find relief from a particular condition which is distressing them. The majority of acupuncturists can treat a host of disorders, but some of them will have spent additional years honing their technique to heal a specific condition or group of related issues. Patients seeking such expertise, need to keep this in mind when choosing a practitioner.
In the state of Ohio, a license is required for a practitioner to perform acupuncture. A license, issued by the state medical board, is only granted once an acupuncturist has met the minimum number of clinical and classroom hours, and they must also be certified with the NCCAOM, which regulates the practice of Oriental Medicine on a national level. One must ensure that the acupuncturist he or she chooses possesses these credentials.
Various styles of acupuncture offer different results. Some are more effective for treating specific issues than others. Japanese style uses a more shallow insertion and finer needles, while the Korean method primarily uses the hands as its insertion sites. Scalp and ear acupuncture are useful in treating nerve disorders, and for weight loss, and quitting smoking respectively.
The appropriate number of sessions can only accurately be determined once the acupuncturist has met the patient and obtained his or her medical history. Some patients will require more treatments than others depending on which condition they have and how quickly their bodies respond to the therapy. Once a week minimum is normal for most patients. Generally, acute conditions require more frequent sessions than those which are long-term.
Those who are interested in trying other forms of Chinese medicine besides acupuncture should look for an acupuncturist who can also provide these services. Some of them are also herbalists who can prescribe herbal health products for healing, or they may also practice food therapy and lifestyle counseling. Other forms of healing may include cupping and heat therapy, which are done to relieve pain.
Most insurance plans do not include acupuncture, however some exceptions may exist, so it’s advisable to check this out first before going ahead and paying for it oneself. In most cases, it is eligible for reimbursement under most flexible savings and health savings plans, provided the patient has requested that a receipt be issued by the acupuncturist.