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What is acupuncture?
Does acupuncture hurt?Acupuncture needles are thinner than a human hair (usually 0.12-0.2mm), and insertion of the needles is usually painless. You may feel a slight sensation when the need is inserted,like a pinch or plucking a hair. Once the needles are placed, patients report a variety of sensations, including tingling, deep pressure, achiness, heaviness, and sometimes nothing at all. These sensations that accompany needling are called "hibiki" in Japanese, and different style of acupuncture bring about different sensation; however the clinical efficacy dose not depend on the intensity or type of “hibiki”, so do not be concerned if you feel something in one session,but not in another. If you feel any pain or discomfort, let your acupuncturist know and he or she will make the necessary adjustments. It is very common for patients to feel relaxed and fall into a light sleep during the session.
Is acupuncture safe?When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. In Japan, acupuncturists are licensed by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare after passing an examination and graduating from an accredited technical school or college. No other health care providers except medical doctors are legally allowed to practice acupuncture and moxibustion in Japan. Only sterile and disposable needles are used at this acupuncture clinic so there is no risk of infection. If you have a pacemaker, have a tendency to bleed or bruise easily, or if you are a hemophiliac or pregnant, you need to notify your acupuncturist before receiving treatment.
Are there any side effects?There are very few side effects to acupuncture. That said, a few patients experience drowsiness after treatments. Other acupuncture side effects include fatigue, soreness, bruising at the insertion site lightheadedness. A small number of patients will find that their symptoms worsen after the initial treatment, but it is often followed quickly by improvement.
How many treatments will I need? How often do I have to come?While it is fairly common to feel relief immediately or after a few treatments, patients with chronic or long-standing health problems may require more visits to achieve lasting change. Frequency of visits varies widely, depending on your condition. For severe, chronic conditions, scheduling several treatments close together is often more effective. As the condition improves, treatments are needed less frequently. After seeing how your condition responds to the initial treatment,your acupuncturist can figure out roughly how many visits you will need.
How is Japanese acupuncture different from other forms?Acupuncture has been practiced in Japan since it was introduced from China in the 6th century. While many of the principles of traditional Chinese acupuncture are still applied in Japanese acupuncture, over time differences in techniques have developed. Although there is great variation in the styles of acupuncture that are practiced in Japan, a few characteristics are shared by many styles. There is a tendency to emphasize palpation and gentle stimulation in Japanese acupuncture styles. Most Japanese acupuncturists use very thin needles and guide tubes called "shinkan" to help make insertions painless insertion, so patients often feel no needle sensation throughout the entire treatment. Most people find Japanese Acupuncture very relaxing and soothing. Other forms of acupuncture practiced in Japan and based on modern anatomy and medical science. They are often combined with the traditional forms to best fit the patient’s conditions and needs.
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