You have Questions, We have Answers!
The following are some of our most frequently asked questions.
What is Acupuncture?
The classical medical literature on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is over 5,000 years old. This cements TCM as one of the oldest documented and continuously practiced medical systems on Earth. Make no mistake, Chinese Medicine is a contribution from China and not only for those of Chinese heritage. It is based on universal principles and how they apply to the human body, mind, and spirit. As a holistic medical practice, Acupuncture is but one of the numerous modalities found in the Chinese Medical syllabus. The empirical science underlying the practice of TCM is ongoing to this day. Literally, there are thousands of studies in hundreds of countries validating the safety and efficacy of TCM. What was once an esoteric and imperial medicine in an exotic land, is now a globally accepted and respected medicine.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Essentially, no! Acupuncture needling is a very safe and comfortable form of medicine. Acupuncture practitioners are trained in multiple techniques to reduce any pain response. In fact, one of the most noteworthy effects of Acupuncture is pain reduction. Some patients are very sensitive to their own bodily conditions and may experience certain sensations that relate to the arrival of Qi. Those localized sensations include: warmth, tingling, mild numbness, dull aching, distention, vibration, and throbbing. These are healthy indications that your body is now activating its inherent healing response.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Thousands of years of practice, and millions upon millions of patients have shown the outstanding safety record of acupuncture. Though, it always comes down to the practitioner. An unlicensed and untrained person performing acupuncture, or any form of medicine, is unsafe. The clinicians at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness are highly trained and highly skilled, each with thousands of hours of supervised clinical training, and a proven history of patient success as Licensed Acupuncturists. Only receive acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist! Remember, acupuncture was established as a medicine to extend and promote life naturally.
What should I do before coming to the clinic for my treatment?
It is important to have something in your stomach but do not eat a large meal. Avoid alcohol and avoid anything that will stain your tongue (coffee, tea, etc) because we will be looking at your tongue to confirm the diagnosis of your condition. Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing so that we can easily access points on your arms and lower limbs.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
Along with many other conditions, here is a short list of some of the ailments that an acupuncturist can treat. Please click on any of these for more information.
What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?
Dry needling is NOT acupuncture, though it looks very similar. Dry needling is akin to acupuncture in that a needle punctures the skin. Further, dry needling is currently prohibited from practice in the state of Florida. That being made clear, dry needling was originally the use of empty hypodermic (hollow) needles, hence “dry.” Nowadays, practitioners who dry needle utilize filiform (solid) acupuncture needles for convenience and reduction in eliciting pain. Dry needling is not approved in all states, those states that approve its use allow it for Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, and Doctors of Osteopathy. Dry needling is legally approved for the insertion of needles at local pain sites only. In other words, a form of Trigger Point Therapy. Acupuncture includes Trigger Point needling, though is founded on the Subtle Energetic Anatomy and Physiology that maintains a system of channels and collaterals in the body. Acupuncture is a stand alone medicine in its own right with thousands of years of documented, empirical research and study. Its safety is beyond reproach. Dry needling is a recent invention, that is an adjunctive therapy to be used in combination with other forms of therapy. To be certified to practice dry needling requires less than 100 hours of training, in some states less than 50 hours of study. To be certified to practice Acupuncture requires at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice with didactic coursework. For more information read the NCCAOM link, written by an MD and DO on Dry needling.
What is Qi?
Qi is energetic action, or rather activity. The original pictograph of Qi illustrates the steam or vapor rising from a bowl of rice. Vital life force, heavenly and earthly energy, and breath have all been used to describe Qi. All are aspects of Qi, though still only partially describe this universal idea. It has been written that all living things have Qi, therefore Qi separates living from non-living. Qi is one of the Three Treasures in Daoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Take the example of a candle, the wax or substance that is the foundation of the candle is Essence (Jing), the flame or fire that delivers warmth and exhibits movement is Qi, and the brilliance or light emanating from the flame is Consciousness or Spirit (Shen).
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works via the meridian system that resides in all living bodies, the universal law of Yin & Yang as related to the Inner Organs, the universal law of the 5 Elemental Processes as related to Human Anatomy and Physiology which includes Western concepts plus Subtle Energetics, and more. The main instrument of acupuncture is the filiform (solid) needle and the hands of an experienced, highly trained professional medical practitioner. The acupuncture needle is a hair thin needle, not like the needles we remember as kids that stung as Nurse Ratchet gave us a shot. This filiform needle is so thin that it can be tied into a knot, literally. The needle is inserted to a specific depth that is unique to each point to stimulate the energy channels of the body. Energy is influenced by needling techniques to create a smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and Body Fluids. Recent research has demonstrated that acupuncture needling activates and attenuates specific brain regions, neuromuscular and myofascial networks, hemodynamics, hormonal responses, interstitial fluids, cellular physiology, organ functioning, and more. The real question is: Does Acupuncture work? The answer is resoundingly, YES!
Can children have Acupuncture?
Yes! Children are some of the best patients. Renowned to not be affected by the placebo and “no”-cebo phenomena, children are honest barometers of medical treatment. Acupuncture for children is a fun and less complicated experience. They require less needles and less time on the table receiving treatment. Since children are rapidly developing, the effects of acupuncture are generally immediately noticeable. As a preventive measure, acupuncture can guide the body towards homeostasis and away from disease processed. We encourage children, and adults, to receive regular acupuncture treatments to promote health and prevent disease.
Is Acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Yes! Actually, acupuncture is great during pregnancy. Reducing morning sickness, benefiting healthy fetal development, relieving back pain, promoting positive maternal emotions, even treating the dad-to-be! The classical physicians emphasized and innovated obstetric and gynecological practices through acupuncture. Think about it, thousands of years ago the importance of childbirth was different than in our modern culture. The population was much lower, so each person’s health was valued to contribute to the family, community, and local economy. A very strong mother delivering a very strong baby was necessary, needed, and nurtured. There are specific points on the body that are meant to be avoided during the majority of pregnancy, a qualified and Licensed Acupuncturist is very aware of these. Always, always make certain you are receiving acupuncture from a Licensed Acupuncturist. And ask questions! We are here for your well-being!
How should I prepare for my appointment?
Dress comfortably, you are coming in to relax into a healing treatment. Loose fitting clothing is preferable so we can easily and expediently get to the point, literally! Be certain to have eaten the day of your treatment. Do not arrive with a full belly, if possible, but have eaten a meal about 2 hours before the appointment. Do not brush your tongue or ingest anything that would stain your tongue. With that avoid coffee, tea, chewing gum, mouthwash, soda or any food or beverage that would add an unnatural color to your tongue. The tongue is very important to our diagnostic
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herbal Medicine is another stand alone practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves the application of herbal preparations for topical and internal use. Combining Chinese herbs with acupuncture is a very powerful and potent treatment. Chinese herbs augment the use of acupuncture and can be taken daily to continuously treat the pattern and constitution. The history of Chinese Herbal Medicine parallels that of acupuncture, it is just as ancient and authoritative. Working from the inside out, Chinese herbs directly benefit the internal organs and promote deep health. The practitioners at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness are equally master herbalists and acupuncturists.
Are Chinese herbs safe?
Yes! We even have herbal analogues here in the US that are still in use today, some of which form the basis of pharmaceutical medicines. That said, each herb is comprised of numerous compounds that work synergistically. Chinese Herbal Medicine primarily consists of formulaic preparations to support the functions of the herbs and diminish any harsh effects. Chinese herbal use is highly beneficial to the treatment of disease patterns with little to no side effects. As always, obtain the guidance from a licensed, trained, and experienced practitioner.
What is Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy?
Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy is a unique form of medicine that delivers specific homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, and herbal preparations to acupuncture points on the body. This is a very safe form of hypodermic needle use, and in fact the needles can be as thin as regular use acupuncture needles (hair thin). The clinicians in our office certified to practice this innovative form of medicine have post-graduate training to perform this technique. There are numerous medical protocols in this practice to treat the various systems of the body. So, it is an effective therapy for musculoskeletal disorders and internal medical conditions.
Do you offer nutritional supplements?
We are proud to offer many practitioner-grade supplements and nutraceuticals. That means, precision in quality, purity of ingredients, and effectiveness in medical treatment. Again, a trained expert makes all the difference! Our practitioners are educated and experienced in recommending nutritional supplements and administering nutritional counseling to our patients.
What are the credentials of Acupuncture Physicians?
In the state of Florida, Acupuncture Physicians are required 2 years of undergrad prerequisites and to complete 5 academic years worth of coursework. They are then required to take a national board examination and are required to purchase malpractice insurance. They will then be board certified and receive licensure from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
How many visits are required?
This depends on your condition, how long you’ve had it, and how quickly your body responds. Everyone is different, but usually for an acute condition, 4-10 treatments on a weekly basis tend to offer the best outcome. Usually one will start to notice a change in the first couple of treatments. Chronic conditions may need more time and treatments. It is important to be patient with treatment and to realize that with a chronic condition it may have taken the body a long time to get into the condition it’s in and naturally it will take the body time to heal and rebalance itself. Once the body is back in balance, a monthly tune-up is an excellent source of preventative care.
How will I feel after my treatment?
Most patients feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. At times however, some patients can feel a little tired after the treatment, particularly if the treatment was a little stronger. It’s important to rest if this is the case.
Does the clinic offer Chinese herbals? What kind?
Yes, we do offer Chinese herbal prescriptions in our clinic. We offer a couple of different kinds. We have tablets and we also offer herbal powder blends.
Do you take insurance?
Yes. Today many plans cover acupuncture. We would be happy to check to see whether or not you have coverage under your insurance plan. Just call us, or alternatively, you can text us a picture of the front and back of your insurance card, as well as the front of your drivers license and we can find out for you and call you back. Either way, the number to call or text is (941) 518-6237.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard. If you have a health savings account through your insurance policy you can use that here to pay for your treatments.