Are You a New Patient?
We understand that arriving at an acupuncturist office for the first time can be nerve racking. Filling out paperwork, learning new faces and names, and getting to know your way around the office can be an overwhelming experience. This section of the website hopes to alleviate those feelings by providing more detailed information and resources.
Chinese medicine views the human body as a complete organic entity that interconnects the external phenomenal world and the physical bodily structure through a series of natural laws. Chinese medicine focuses attention on the patient rather than on the disease, grouping together signs and symptoms of a disease and synthesizing them, until a clear picture appears that provides a diagnosis of the person as a whole.
A patient’s illness is closely related to the emotional and mental aspects of a person. The Chinese doctor will diagnose and treat the individual taking into consideration the continuum line produced by the interactions of body, mind and spirit. Generally, in Western medicine a disease is diagnosed according to what is happening to the mechanical structure of the organs in relation to the disease process. In Chinese medicine, the internal ORGANS are actually the power of ORGAN FUNCTION, not the physical structure of the organ. Chinese and Oriental medicine emphasizes the performance and functions of the organic
It has a place with individuals who, for diverse reasons, cannot use pharmaceuticals and will go to great lengths to avoid surgery. The essential difference between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine is that the former aims to treat the symptoms of a disease, while the latter aims to diagnose the patterns of a disorder and treats it by bringing the body into homeostasis (balance). The use of new technology, based on the energy flow (qi) which runs through the acupuncture channels, is widely used by modern medical practitioners.
Alternative medicine is becoming popular among patients and medical doctors. Physicians are recognizing the effectiveness of traditional medicine with their patients. Some medical doctors are incorporating Acupuncture in their practice. As a result, medical Acupuncture was created, which is practiced specifically by medical doctors. To be licensed in Acupuncture, MD’s must have 300 hours of basic Acupuncture education.
A licensed Acupuncturist, who is not a medical doctor, must complete rigorous education requirements, which differ from state to state. However it generally takes 3-4 years of extensive study, as well as, a 1 year internship.
Over 30,000 Chinese medicine doctors graduate annually from 50 institutes throughout Asia. In America there are about 8000 Acupuncturists.
Inside Out vs. Outside In
If a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to choose a drug that lowers blood pressure, and ask the patient to take the drug. This may serve to lower the blood pressure, but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk of side effects complicating the person’s recovery. Whether it’s a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure, leaving the problem causing the symptom of high blood pressure unaddressed.
The early records, going back to Shang dynasty (1000BC), doctors of Chinese medicine held discussions of medical disorders, recorded illnesses and their treatments. In the Han Dynasty (206 BC) the basics of Chinese medical theory were established including the concepts of relation between Yin and Yang, the channel theory, acupuncture needling methods and sophisticated pharmacopeia.
In the 6th century practice of Chinese medicine and acupuncture was introduced to Korea and Japan and with time, developed their own variations of Oriental medicine. In 1026 AD during the Song Dynasty, a complete illustrated manual and Bronze Figure depicting all acupuncture and moxibustion points of the 14 channels, was compiled.
During the Ming Dynasty (1450 AD) in China, the advancement of Acupuncture progressed into a true healing discipline, including written books on the topic, improvement of techniques, and the development of Moxa sticks to apply heat.
In the early 20th century China began to see an explosion in population and practicing Acupuncturists were in high demand, therefore the use of Western medical techniques became popular, while the practice of Acupuncture faded from the mainstream forms of healing techniques. Acupuncture was banned in cities when Chang Khi Chek took power in 1932. Just 13 years later, when Mao Tse Tung closed the doors to China and Western society, including medical practice, Acupuncture was restored to its honored place in Chinese medicine.
During the late 20th century Acupuncture was introduced into Western civilization as the Chinese government once again opened its doors to the rest of the world in 1972. Acupuncture was revealed to the West in a grand way when New York Times journalist, James Reston, had an emergency appendectomy while in China and acupuncture was used as the anesthetic. He later wrote about his experience in the Times and interest piqued among American medical practitioners.
Your First Visit
The Acupuncturist’s goal is to understand the patterns of disease of the individual at the time of examination. Just like a Medical Doctor, an Acupuncturist will assess your physical condition, by identifying symptoms, uncovering your medical history and any external factors that may impact your health and well-being, through an extended interview. Acupuncturists inspect your expressions, facial color, and body build. They observe the body, coating, moisture and mobility of the tongue. Practitioners will listen to respiration, speech characteristics, cough and even consider your bodily odors. They examine your pulses by feeling three different regions in each of your wrists. Each of the regions reflects the conditions of the heart, liver, the right and left kidney, lung and spleen. Additionally, they will perform palpation techniques of various acupuncture channels and points, with the aim of discovering abnormal reactions that occur when disease appears in the body. Based upon all the collected information, the Acupuncturist will determine the stage to which the disease has developed, location of the disease and the amount of the body’s strength and resistance to fight the disease. The Acupuncturist will then choose the acupuncture points, the techniques and methods, such as cupping and moxibustion, to be used in order to regulate and bring the body into balance.
Once the diagnosis is made, you lie down on a padded bed while hair-thin needles are inserted into the acupuncture points. Needles come in different lengths and widths, according to the depth of the insertion. Depending upon the placement of the needles, you may lie face down or face up or on your side. The procedure is not generally painful. Most people feel very peaceful and may even fall asleep. The needles are usually in place for 20-30 minutes. Each condition requires a different number of needles at various acupuncture points. A typical treatment usually requires between 4 and 20 needles. According to the nature of the problem being treated, 1 to 12 treatments are usually needed. For example, neck pain can be treated with 1 treatment, whereas, a bulging disc in the neck will take 6 treatments and bronchitis will be treated in 8-10 sessions. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, cardiac disorders, or paralysis, require extended treatment plans. Your Acupuncturist will be able to assess the approximate amount of treatments needed after your first visit.
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Moreover, acupuncture will re-align the body’s biological elements, allowing the musculoskeletal system to repair itself. It regulates the conjunctive and mucous membranes (fluids in joints) and increases the production of cartilage and lubricating fluids, which improves arthritis and similar disorders. Acupuncture will not change the anatomical structure of an injury, i.e. broken bones cannot be treated by acupuncture and it will not replace the need for a joint replacement due to the extreme deterioration of bone. However, it will help to control pain and relieve symptoms, allowing the patient to have a better quality of life.
Furthermore, it reinforces the energy and function of the body to metabolize and expel the allergens. Instead of treating the symptoms of allergies, acupuncture reduces the tendency to have allergic reactions.
It controls the production of these cells. Acupuncture, especially electrical, can stimulate chemical components to normalize the blood, impacting cholesterol, globulin, albumin, thrombin and amylase levels in the serum, as well as potassium, sodium and calcium. Cholesterol can be greatly reduced. Acupuncture can regulate heart rate and can decrease the tension by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels in patients with vaso-constriction and vaso-dilation, thus regulating blood pressure.
It treats these conditions by stimulating the metabolic system, reducing inflammation and eradicating viruses and bacteria by the use of Chinese herbal pharmacopeia. Acupuncture stimulates blood circulation and produces the formation of new cells, nourishing and rejuvenating the skin.
Chinese herbal medicine specifically targets multiple digestive conditions, such as excessive dampness, bloating gas, acid reflux, gastritis and difficult bowel movements, by augmenting nutrients and function ability of internal organs.
This combined treatment will increase the success of the overall patient recovery. Acupuncture treatment will be directed towards building the patient’s immune system, enhancing circulation, regulating hormones, decreasing stress, increasing the body’s strength and expelling the unwanted elements and toxins.
Acupuncture treatment for fertility is becoming widely used, either as a stand-alone treatment, or integrated with in-vitro fertilization procedures. Depending upon the patient’s symptoms, Oriental medicine will determine a pattern of disease and treat the infertility accordingly. Usually herbal medicinal therapy is prescribed before and during the pregnancy to assist in carrying the pregnancy to full-term.
During pregnancy acupuncture can be used to greatly reduce morning sickness, edema, urinary problems, risk of miscarriage and associated maladies. In the same way, post-natal disorders, such as depression, water retention, constipation, hemorrhoids, breast pain and extreme fatigue can also be treated. Acupuncture techniques, along with nutritional and herbal therapy, will support the body by balancing and circulating Blood and Qi.
By restoring the balance of Ying and Yang energy, acupuncture will revitalize sexual desire and potency. Although, acupuncture can also benefit a patient with an excessive sexual desire, that hinders a healthy lifestyle. In this case, by the power to tranquilize the spirit and redirect Blood and Qi, acupuncture can help the patient to obtain sexual harmony.
Just like females, males may encounter infertility problems, possibly due physical and emotional stress, or lack of nutrients. These conditions can result in a low sperm count, poor quality or mobility of the sperm. Depending upon the patient’s symptoms, Oriental medicine will determine a pattern of disease and treat accordingly with acupuncture, nutrition, exercise and Chinese herbal formulas.
Chinese medicine attributes these problems to heart, liver, kidney and spleen malfunctions. The internal organs may be injured or suppressed, depleting the essence and function of Qi and Blood. The treatment is directed toward balancing the Qi and Blood and strengthening the body’s functional ability by tonifying or diminishing the “fire at the gate of life”.Problems with the testicles, like pain or distention, as well as penis hypoplasia, can also be treated successfully with acupuncture techniques.
Balanced Meridian offers our patient form(s) online so that they may be completed in the convenience of their own home or office.
Download the necessary form(s), print it out and fill in the required information. Fax us your printed and completed form(s) or bring it with you to your appointment. The New Patient Health History Form is a required for all new patients that lets us know the history and current state of your health. What questions, concerns, goals, regarding acupuncture can we help you with? Let us know!