Even though Acupuncture is becoming more common in the United States, there are a lot of misconceptions and a lack of information out there, and people are curious. To help explain a few things, here is a list of five common questions and misconceptions regarding acupuncture. The answers might surprise you.

1. Acupuncture points are based on anatomical structures and are proportionate to each person. In Chinese medicine we use a measurement called a ‘cun’, also known as the Chinese inch. All people are similar anatomically, but not in height and weight. My 5’5” frame has the same measurements as a 6’4” frame, but our ratios are different. A great example is the forehead. It is 9 cun wide, from the corner of each hairline, and 3 cun tall, eyebrow to hairline. This description allows us to find a number of points on people who have large foreheads, small foreheads, or even bald individuals.

2. Acupuncture is currently being used in major hospitals and research hospitals to aid in the treatment of cancer patients. MD Anderson and Memorial Sloan Kettering are at the forefront of this integrative approach.

3. We are fascinated with your bowels for a reason. Everyone poops, but not everyone has a healthy bowel movement. Let’s start with the description of the perfect bowel movement: at least once a day you should have a long, completely formed bowel. There should never be blood, mucous, or any undigested food (except corn, we cannot break it down). You should never strain, bare down, or feel tired after going to the bathroom. It should always wipe clean (quickly and easily, never sticky). There should never be a strong odor and it should always feel complete. Any changes or variations can tell a lot about you. The whole of your digestion, your emotional wellbeing, and state of your overall health are all represented by your bowels. It is important to know about your poop!

4. Everyone always wants to know the number of treatments they will need and how soon they will feel a change. The unfortunate answer is that it will depend on a number of factors. There are no real generalized answers; everything truly depends on the individual patient. How long have you had the issue or issues?

What is the severity of the issue? How is the rest of your body, emotions, and life? All of this information will affect the answer. Some people respond faster than others to acupuncture and they will see changes more quickly.What is important to know is that when you are on any path that improves health, there will be progresses made and there may be a few setbacks. Re-evaluation is key. Watching for small and large changes will help to see improvement. After a few treatments, you may still have an issue, but is it at the same level as when you first came in? Can you do more in a day before pain and discomfort begins? Do you have more energy? Do you sleep a little better or longer? Are your bowels better? How are you responding to stress? A positive change in any of these things is a sign that your health is improving.

5. In the United States, to be an Acupuncturist you have to have a master’s degree and pass multiple national board exams to be able to even get a license. Each state has different laws, rules, and regulations that have to be abided by. While in graduate school, acupuncturists do a few years of internship; this means that they have been treating patients for years before getting out of school. So, you do not have to worry about being a real acupuncturist’s first patient.

I hope that these points were helpful, and shed light on an extremely beneficial form of healing that is picking up momentum here in America. If this has sparked your interest, call to schedule an appointment here at CentreSpring MD & Spa so that we can get you to feeling your best!

Allison Andersen, L.Ac., DOM, is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, who sees patients as a whole and provides treatments that complement their lifestyle, wellness goals and medical needs.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Allison Andersen.

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Categories: Acupuncture