Steven Tan (Acupuncturist) gives expert video advice on: What kinds of needles are used in an acupuncture treatment? and more...
Can herbs be used to treat my condition?
When you go in to see your acupuncturist for a treatment, sometimes your acupuncturist will bring up the issue of herbs and may recommend herbs to treat your condition. This is because, back in Asia, where it's originally practiced, most people, when they present to their Eastern doctor, their Eastern doctor will use a combination of acupuncture and herbs. The pros of using acupuncture and herbs is that it may actually speed up your recovery and it'll make you feel better faster. The disadvantage is that herbs, since it's something that's usually taken orally, can have side effects more so than acupuncture alone and can interact with medications. So, depending on your condition, your acupuncturist may discuss the possibility of using herbs with your acupuncture therapy.
What is 'acupuncture analgesia'?
Acupuncture analgesia such a little first to cupules effects on controlling pain and this is done so because of the insertion of the needle into the body generally triggers to release of our body natural pain killing chemicals, these include endorphins, these includes natural opioids in our body and also includes our own bodies anti inflammatory chemicals.
What is an 'acupuncture point'?
The question of an acupuncture point is really a very complex and philosophical one. From the Eastern perspective an acupuncture point is a point on the body where our energies, our bodies energy or chi concentrates. It's a point that we can use to stimulate that chi so that our body can heal itself. From the Western scientific perspective it's hard to determine what that, what an acupuncture point actually is. It's probably a combination of some nerve tissue as well as some soft tissues such as tendons and muscles as well as some faschia. We're not quite clear yet exactly what determines an acupuncture point. When we look at the various acupuncture point locations on the body they don't really fall into any known pattern that we're aware of. For instance, it's not linked directly to a nerve branch or it's not linked directly to an artery or a Venus branch, so that part of acupuncture medicine still remains a mystery.
What is 'moxibustion' in an acupuncture treatment?
In acupuncture, moxibustion is an unusual therapy that's specific to Eastern medicine. The herb is and Artemisia species, and the common name for the herb is mugwort. And what this entails is burning of this herb over specific points on the body, over specific acupuncture points. And the idea behind this is the moxibustion helps to boost our body's healing capacity in a way that the needles don't necessarily do.
What is 'moxibustion' good for?
Moxibustion can be particularly good for conditions such as digestive disorders, and also for people who tend to be cold or weak or have certain vulnerabilities to infections, that sort of things. Moxibustion, from Eastern terms, is thought to be very warming and building to the body, so anybody suffering from weakened conditions or weakened constitutions may benefit from moxibustion.
Are there any side effects of 'moxibustion'?
Generally moxibustion is very safe. You just want to be cautious as to not get burned with moxibustion. So just make sure that when your acupuncturist or you yourself are applying moxi that you don't get too close to the skin and burn yourself.
What is 'cupping' in an acupuncture treatment?
Cupping is an unusual therapy as seen from the Western perspective but interestingly enough, cupping is a therapy that is used throughout the world in many ethnic medicines, not just in traditional Chinese medicine. It is also used a lot in Russia. It is used in Latin American cultures, as well. It is used throughout the Mediterranean, as well. The idea behind cupping is using vacuum stimulation. What we do is we evacuate the air from a cup and we place that cup on the body surface so that a suction immediately forms. And the idea behind that is to promote circulation and healing in that local area. Cupping is predominately used for managing pain. It can help for a lot of muscular pain or local pain for whatever reason. It can also help to stimulate the immune system and it is used a lot for a lot of acute infections particularly respiratory infections and colds. Cupping can also be used from the Eastern perspective as a form of detox. In the Eastern theory of it, the cup, the vacuum suction force, the cup sucks out a lot of internal toxins and can stimulate healing that way.
What are the side effects of 'cupping'?
The major side effects to look out for with cupping is because there is a suturing force being applied to your body you will have what looks like a hickey on your body. This is usually not dangerous, it's mostly a cosmetic issue and will fade in about six days to a week. But if you are going to be on the beach or wearing exposed outfits or just a backless dress you want to let your acupuncturist know prior to cupping.
What are 'the five elements' in an acupuncture treatment?
The five elements are fire, earth, metal, wood, and water. The five elements is an ancient theory in Eastern medicine. It goes back probably to the origins of this medicine. It describes interrelationships between various functioning systems of our body. So certain acupunctures rely on five elemental theory more than others and may use this to help determine how certain symptoms in your body affect other parts of the body. The five element theory can also be used to treat emotional issues. It is thought that each element correlates to particular organ systems and also particular moods, particular emotional states and so certain acupuncturists again, will emphasize the five elemental technique to try and address those issues more aggressively.
What is 'tuina' in an acupuncture treatment?
Tuina is a Chinese term that refers to the eastern technique of massage on the body and involves various techniques with the hand.
What kinds of needles are used in an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture needles are very specific needles. They're much thinner than any needles that most people are aware of, much thinner than hypodermic needles and the needles that are used to draw blood. Usually they're made of stainless steel, and, again, they're usually packaged, single use, sterilized and disposable, so the needle is used once then thrown away to minimize risk of infection.