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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians.

What is acupuncture?
Recently, science has determined that human beings are complex bioelectric systems. This understanding has been the foundation of acupuncture practice for several thousand years. Acupuncture is an effective form of health care which has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this non-evasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well.
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What is Qi?
At the core of this ancient medicine, is the philosophy that Qi, (or chi, pronounced ‘chee’) or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

How does Qi move?
Qi flows through specific pathways called Meridians. There are 14 main meridians inside the body. Each meridian is connected to specific organs and glands.  Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Like rivers, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.  An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When it becomes “backed up” in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. Hindering the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

What causes Qi to get stuck?
Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occur, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. When this disruption is prolonged, excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain or disease can set in.

There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist.What does an acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and life-style. Pulse and tongue diagnosis, along with an appropriate physical exam is conducted.  The information is then organized into a well structured treatment plan. This enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problem(s).

Once the imbalance(s) of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction, and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi freely circulates throughout the body providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This eliminates pain, restores balance and harmony along with the body’s natural ability to heal itself, ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

Acupuncture is a safe, effective and drug-free therapy that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.

Why do they want to feel my pulses?
There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for 27 individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse. The tongue is a map of your body.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of your body, reflecting the general health of your organ and meridian systems. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape and coating of your tongue.

What is acupuncture useful for?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Here are a few imbalances acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been effective at treating:

  Addiction - drug, alcohol, smoking
  Anxiety
  Arthritis
  Asthma
  Bronchitis
  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  Chronic Fatigue
  Colitis
  Common Cold
  Constipation
  Dental pain
  Depression
  Diarrhea
  Digestive trouble
  Dizziness
  Dysentery
  Emotional problems
  Eye problems
  Facial palsy/tics
  Fatigue
  Fertility
  Fibromyalgia
  Gingivitis
  Headache
  Hiccough
  Incontinence
  Indigestion
  Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  Low back pain
  Menopause
  Menstrual irregularities
  Migraine
  Morning sickness
  Nausea
  Osteoarthritis
  Pain
  PMS
  Pneumonia
  Reproductive problems
  Rhinitis
  Sciatica
  Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)
  Shoulder pain
  Sinusitis
  Sleep disturbances
  Smoking cessation
  Sore Throat
  Stress
  Tennis Elbow
  Tonsillitis
  Tooth pain
  Trigeminal neuralgia
  Urinary Tract infections
  Vomiting
  Wrist pain

Do the needles hurt?
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies from patient to patient. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain. The needles are tiny, sometimes just a little larger than a cat's whisker.  When treating young children, infants, or sensitive adults, there are other techniques which are equally as effective. If you have a real fear of needles, please bring it up in discussion at your initial consultation. An appropriate treatment strategy can always be agreed upon.  The needles used in my practice are disposable, and have never been touched prior to your treatment and will be disposed of after treatment. They are pre-sterilized.

What can I expect?
During your initial exam a full health history will be taken, with questions regarding your health, lifestyle, and any other information necessary for diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will check your pulses, look at your tongue, and conduct the appropriate physical exam. This information's then organized according to the theories and philosophies of Chinese medicine in order to diagnose.

How should I prepare?

  • Come to the clinic with any question you may have, your acupuncturist is here to help you.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Don't eat large meals just before or after your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for up to 6 hours after your visit.
  • After your treatment, avoid stressful situation.  Make time to relax.  A warm bath or shower is helpful.  Also, be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, make notes of any change in your body that may have occurred.  Like the alleviation of pain, or pain moving to another area, changes in the frequency and of problem, etc.  This information will be important to share with your acupuncturist.

How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is a "drug-free" therapy, yielding no side effects, except feelings of relaxation, and being grounded. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and disposed of after each use.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief after the first treatment, others may take months, to see results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute problems. But, plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends upon a variety of factors: the severity and duration of your problem, your constitution, and the overall quality and quantity of Qi. Your acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week of several weeks, or monthly visits over time for health maintenance, seasonal "tune ups," or preventative medicine.

Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes! In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may suggest massaging the acupuncture point. This is called acupressure.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Most insurance companies provide acupuncture benefits. Contact your insurance provider to learn what type of alternative care is covered and how many visits are allowed per calendar year.


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  Perfect Point Acupuncture
Marcy Wilson
Acupuncture Physician
FL AP #2178
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