History of Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also known as Oriental Medicine is a healthcare system that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and the Far East. It encompasses a variety of modalities, including acupuncture, Chinese herbology and Asian bodywork therapies such as acupressure, shiatsu, cupping, heat application and guasha.
Over the past 25 years, acupuncture has become increasingly popular in the United States due to its effective and low-risk method of treating/controlling pain, helping heal sports injuries, supporting fertility and cancer care.
The focus of acupuncture is on every aspect of the individual and all symptoms are seen in relation to one another. For example: If a patient comes in with back pain, we would assess all structural issues that can contribute as well as lifestyle habits (sleep positions, posture, type of shoes, diet, gait, etc.) that may be perpetuating the pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, by insertion of very fine, sterile, single use, needles to elicit a predictable physiological response. This stimulus may also be administered to the points using mild electrical stimulation, pressure techniques with the hands (acupressure) or the application of essential oils or heat.
Stimulation of acupuncture points (with or without needles) is safe and effective for all ages including babies, children and the elderly. Most people find acupuncture relaxing, calming and have an increased feeling of wellbeing during and after treatments. It has a way of “resetting” your coping mechanisms that can be life changing.
What are some of the additional techniques?
- Electro-acupuncture (TENS unit): a very low frequency electrical current is applied to the needle to increase effectiveness for certain conditions, especially pain and ovary stimulation.
- Infrared Heat Lamp: to warm the womb and relax muscles and increase circulation.
- Tuina: Chinese therapeutic massage relieves muscle tension, stimulates acupressure points.
- Cupping: suction cups with a vacuum seal are placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow and promote healing.
- Moxibustion: heat is applied to an acupuncture point or meridian using moxa (a therapeutic herb).
- Guasha: vigorous rubbing of the skin increases blood flow and clears stagnation.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments when practiced by a licensed practitioner. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting.
We use gentle techniques and will adjust treatments to your comfort level.
Our treatments are carried out in accordance with exemplary professional standards developed by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) and the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners.
What should I expect from a treatment?
Innovative Healing Center takes a holistic/comprehensive approach with treatments. As we treat your primary condition often other health problems are resolved.
Your first visit will include filling out a detailed health questionnaire to be discussed with Tena during the initial evaluation. Treatments are most effective when the regimen is precise to address the whole person’s physical, emotional and spiritual condition. To accomplish this, we will need to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint, your general health and lifestyle. You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition, but the information provided will enable Tena to determine the best treatment protocol to optimize desired results.
What should I do before having acupuncture treatment?
- Wear loose fitting clothing that allows easy access to lower arms and legs
- It is not recommended to come in on a totally empty or full stomach
- Plan your strenuous activities before treatments not afterwards
How many sessions will I need?
Each person and condition are different. You may start to feel benefits after the first or second treatment. Long-standing and chronic conditions usually need more time to improve. Many clients receive such beneficial results that they keep acupuncture as a part of their wellness regimen.
I have private medical insurance - will it cover the cost of my treatment?
Insurance coverage depends on your policy and diagnosis. We are happy to call and verify your benefits. Acupuncture is an eligible expense with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or health reimbursement account (HRA).
What is the difference between a Licensed Acupuncturist /Diplomate of Acupuncture and other healthcare practitioners who practice acupuncture?
Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)
- Over 3,000 hours of training at a Master’s Level in Acupuncture; Highest level of training in the field; board exams; Governed by Texas Board of Medical examiners.
- Comprehensive study at a nationally accredited acupuncture and oriental medicine Medical school.
- Hundreds of hours of clinical experience, and ongoing continuing education is required for license.
- Diplomat and Board Certified in Acupuncture and Herbology by passing (NCCAOM) exams.
- Takes a holistic approach with deep roots in theory and application, personalizes each treatment.
Certified in Acupuncture/ Dry Needling
- Other health professionals (Physical therapists, dentist, physicians, chiropractors) typically received 100 -300 hours of abbreviated training in acupuncture.
- Training is often online and consists of home study and/or video lectures.
- Minimal clinical experience – 0 patient contact hours or continuing education required for certification.
- Holds a Certificate in Acupuncture. Not required to take National Board Exams (NCCAOM).
- Uses needles to treat various conditions / stimulates points for their general effect without adjusting their choice of points to the specific patient needs.
*Requirements listed are the minimum for both.
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