Let's talk about acupuncture!
Hello everyone, Dr. Summer here!
Today’s topic is something I frequently get asked about, ACUPUNCTURE! One of my favorite subjects I learned in school. Questions come up often for acupuncture being a viable treatment option for pain or other conditions. Now I am going preface this by saying I only have 100-hour certification for acupuncture. I do not hold a master or a doctorate in acupuncture or oriental medicine. I still have a lot to learn, thankfully, I am someone who loves education! This topic today will be broad and will not cover every possibility that acupuncture can or cannot do, so if you have concerns or questions please call the office at (352) 796-7201 to schedule a consult with me personally. Now to get into the fun stuff!
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of fine needles through the skin at specific point. Now these needles are not what you typically would think of. When we think of needles we think of vaccines, injections or IV used by EMS/hospitals.
Here is my left hand and wrist being acupunctured for pain.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture in general should never hurt, you might feel a slight discomfort at certain points over the body. If this is painful or uncomfortable please let the doctor know, so that we can remove the needle(s) in that area. These needles are tiny and thin. Most of my patients do not feel the needles being inserted or removed from the skin.
How often should I come in?
Now this is highly patient specific question, this depends on your conditions we are trying to treat. If you have talked to me already, I always say “give me 3-4 treatments before we see any changes, positive or negative.” Some conditions need more time. I follow the saying “honesty is the best policy and try to let you know if I need more time to research about a given amount of treatments.” Some patients may take many treatments to see any benefits and some feel better after their first treatment, I cannot tell you where you place.
How does acupuncture help me?
This, again, is patient specific. Acupuncture can be used to help reduce pain and inflammation, increase range of motion, help with general quality of life. Can you benefit from acupuncture? The answer is probably yes. There are some criteria that might exclude you.
- Diabetes- specifically uncontrolled diabetes
- Loss of sensation
- Infections- in the area of treatment or bloodborne
- Bleeding disorders
- Certain medications
Now this does not mean you are always excluded; we have a consult on the first visit to decide what may or may not cause you to be good candidate for acupuncture.
Here is my left hand, wrist and forearm with electro-acupuncture for pain.
How do you know what points to use?
I like to speak with patients about the conditions they want to treat with acupuncture. I like to start with the areas of pain (if possible), the first visit. After that first visit, I will research different scientific studies for treatment areas, look through my educational materials and use my professional judgement for treatment. I like to keep some points and change other points over the course of treatment.
I hope todays blog helps you understand acupuncture more, please do not hesitate to send me your questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing you in the office!