Choosing an Acupuncture Practitioner

Choosing an Acupuncture Practitioner

Acupuncture, or the alternative system of healing done by insertion of fine needles into acupoints or meridians has gained worldwide popularity and is even being integrated with Western medicine for a holistic treatment. However it still remains to be a largely controversial method amongst medical researchers, physicians and clinicians.

Originating from ancient China, it is based on the principle that stimulating specific areas beneath the skin affect the physiological functioning of the body’s processes and hence result to certain therapeutic effects. It is said that acupuncture can provide symptomatic relief for a host of conditions and illnesses such as headaches, low back pain, menstrual cramps, migraines, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia among others.A�

There are those who criticize the method on the other hand, and say that the results are inconclusive and that its positive effects may be due to the placebo effect, whilst there are those who swear by its efficacy and have totally embraced the practice as a better option to taking medicines.

For those who are interested in seeking out this remedy, it is always wise to take certain precautions and select an acupuncture practitioner with utmost care and discernment. After all, there are still some potential risks in the process. The most apparent one is contracting infectious diseases from dirty or reused needles. There may also be possible soreness, bleeding or bruising where the needles are inserted. And the worst possible risk is having internal organ injuries if the needles are pushed in too deeply and in the wrong places.

So choose your acupuncturist like you would choose a doctor. The following are some considerations:

If you have any friend or relative who has already gone for an acupuncture and had favorable results from the experience, ask them for recommendations. However, keep in mind that their condition may not be the same as yours and results may differ.

Check for training, credentials and reputation of the practitioner. In the West, hospitals, universities and other accredited institutions offer traditional Chinese Medicine modalities. In the U.S for instance, nonphysician acupuncturists need to pass an exam and be accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Or make a search in the Internet for aprofessional and accredited TCM practitioner directory. A trained acupuncturist will not only make the experience a safer one for you, they will be able to answer your questions and concerns as well.

You don’t have to have your acupuncture session on your first visit. If it will reassure you, talk to the practitioner first. If he or she is trained properly, the first visit will typically be more of a diagnostic one where they ask you questions about your general constitution and certain areas that may be of concern such as the head, body, chest, eyes and others. This is your opportunity to ask them about the process, how long it will entail, what you’re expected to feel during the process, how likely is it to relieve your symptoms and how much the entire treatment will cost.

If you’re already consulting a doctor or a physician, ask for his advice as well whether acupuncture will be complementary to the treatment and if he can recommend a practitioner for you to try.

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