The Acupuncture Examination
The examination depends upon your symptoms. We combine western and eastern diagnosis techniques to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan. A neurological and/or orthopedic examination may be necessary. An electronic evaluation referred to as “Ryodoraku” or “electro meridian imaging” (EMI) may also be used. Ryodoraku is an eastern based type of diagnostic imaging used throughout the world to help diagnose meridians that are out of balance. A small painless electronic pen is placed on the skin over specific Acupoints. By way of a sensitive metering device, the electro potential of the point is measured. This examination is extremely reliable and is quickly becoming the standard method of acupuncture diagnosis.
Acupuncture is Useful For
• Body Aches and Pains
• Allergies, Sinus Problems and Headaches
• Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia
• Joint Pain and Sport Injuries
• Back and Neck Pain/Stiffness
• Stress and Anxiety Related Disorders
• Digestive Disorders (Acidity, Constipation, Gas, Bloating)
What Conditions are Accepted for Acupuncture Treatment?
The World Health Organization, working in close harmony with the International Acupuncture training center of the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has indicated acupuncture is effective in the following conditions:
• Acute and chronic pain relief
• Migraine headaches
• Tension, cluster and sinus headaches
• Trigeminal neuralgia
• Bladder dysfunction
• Bed wetting Cervical (neck) pain
• Mid-back pain
• Low back pain
• Shoulder pain
• Tennis elbow
• Post-operative pain relief
• Gastric problems
• Asthma Allergies
• Skin conditions
• Abnormal blood pressure
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Anxiety Neurological syndromes
This is only a partial list of the numerous conditions acupuncture has been credited with helping. At Simone Physical Medicine, we treat only those conditions that have scientific research to support the use of acupuncture. Contact our office to ask if your disorder may be helped with acupuncture.
How Does Acupuncture Feel?
While not always completely painless, insertion of acupuncture needles is often less painful than stimulating points with finger pressure. Most patients state they can't feel the insertion of the needles. After inserting the needle, its subtle manipulation may cause a feeling of fullness, warmth, pressure, or a propagating “electrical” sensation. These sensations may be surprising or strange, but are not painful. Most patients find acupuncture treatment very relaxing.
Acupuncture needles are very, very fine (four to ten acupuncture needles can easily be inserted into the hollow tube of a hypodermic needle), about the size of a thick hair, and honed to a gently tapered tip. Acupuncture needles are solid and nothing is injected through them. A skilled acupuncture practitioner can place a needle with little or no sensation.
In some cases it is not necessary to use needles at all. For example, when treating young children, infants, or sensitive adults, there are other techniques, which are equally as effective. The most common alternative technique we use is electroacupuncture. Simone Physical Medicine often uses electroacupuncture in lieu of needles.
What Can I Expect after and Acupuncture Treatment?
A common sequence of events is that after the initial acupuncture treatment there is a fairly transient improvement, lasting perhaps 2 or 3 days. Subsequent treatments tend to give longer relief, which may also be more nearly complete. Ideally patients become symptom free after perhaps four to six treatments.
A small number of patients will initially experience a worsening of symptoms. This is not unusual and is no need for alarm. Another common “side effect” of acupuncture is the feeling of drowsiness or euphoria following a treatment. You should have someone with you on your first visit to drive you home if you experience this reaction. If not, you will be asked to stay in the office until the sensations wear off.
How Many Acupuncture Treatments are Necessary?
The number of treatments will vary with different conditions and individuals. Chronic problems generally require more treatment than acute ones. Some patients notice an immediate improvement after the first treatment, whereas others may not notice any effect until the fourth or fifth visit. It's been shown that a certain percentage of patients receive maximum benefit from six months to a year or more following a course of acupuncture therapy.
Researchers internationally agree the usual number of treatments per condition is between six and twelve. You should feel some relief by the third or fourth treatment. If some relief isn't felt by that time, Dr. Simone will discuss other alternatives with you. The usual frequency is about two treatments per week.
Patients are urged not to enter an acupuncture program with the thought of “taking a few” to see what will happen. Even though is possible to achieve success after one treatment, a program of six to twelve visits has a better chance for success. Patients are encouraged to be patient with the healing process.
Is Acupuncture Expensive?
Most acupuncture treatments at Simone Physical Medicine average between $45.00 and $80.00 per treatment. We offer special programs for smoking cessation and weight loss. Call the office or leave an email message for more information about these programs or to see if your insurance company covers acupuncture treatment.
Are Acupuncture Results Permanent?
For acute problems where there has been little or no organ system or tissue damage, results are often permanent. For chronic conditions, symptoms may recur from time to time. Generally a few additional treatments are sufficient to obtain relief. It's suggested that patients with severe or chronic conditions return for an additional treatment two or three times a year.
Can Acupuncture Help Break Addictions?
Acupuncture has gained a great deal of notoriety in recent years concerning its considerable success with addiction control. It has been shown that acupuncture has a very positive effect in the area of both drug and alcohol addiction. This procedure, in conjunction with professional counseling, has been proven extremely effective.
One of the most noteworthy addictions acupuncture helps is smoking. The average patient will reduce their intake by at least one half within a week of the first treatment. Additional treatments generally allow the patient to stop without experiencing the negative effects of quitting.
Acupuncture also has a favorable effect in weight control. Currently there are several clinics in the U.S. devoted solely to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Dr. Simone will not accept you as a patient for weight loss or smoking cessation unless he is convinced you are serious about your desire to stop smoking or lose weight.
Asian Physicians have historically recognized the importance of herbs in healing for centuries. Herbs are utilized either alone, or in combination for specific maladies, with astounding success. Many, if not most, drugs used in the West are derived from actions observed from specific herbs used for generations. Dr. Simone only recommends herbs whose use is supported by modern scientific research.