We are kicking off the first installment of our Ask the Expert feature today, where we speak with Hong Kongers about their profession. This week we discussed acupuncture with Judy Xu, Practice Manager at Oriental Health.</ em>
LOCALIIZ: Why would someone voluntarily request to be stuck with needles?
XU: Let me share a recent experience with one of our patients who had a needle phobia. After a careful and detailed explanation of the procedure and benefits of acupuncture the patient gave acupuncture a try. The person felt immediate pain release and in the end continued with two acupuncture treatments per week as part of a health program.
The patient’s whole energy level has increased along with a better well-being of body and emotions; it’s as simple as that. Acupuncture is an effective healing method with scientific research behind it.
We have patients that even come in regularly for acupuncture as part of their wellness and illness prevention program. Acupuncture can act similarly to massages that help maintaining a healthy balance and retain good looks.
LOCALIIZ: Is it a painful process?
XU: Generally, acupuncture is not painful. I have noticed though that people experience the needling sensation differently. The needles have a very narrow diameter of only 0.25 to 0.30 millimeter and can be quickly adjusted if the patient feels any discomfort. If any unpleasant sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a gentle electric or tingling sensation. The number of acupuncture needles used depends on the needs of the individual and can range from 2 to 30 needles or even more.
LOCALIIZ: What are the most common ailments?
XU: We often use acupuncture to release chronic pain and help with weight loss, insomnia, PMS, digestive issues, and depression. Acupuncture is successful in the treatment of many more types of diseases since [it] releases hormones that help to regulate the body’s health system and well-being.
LOCALIIZ: What questions should someone ask when first contacting an acupuncturist?
XU: Make sure your practitioner is licensed and a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor if practicing Chinese medicine acupuncture. Experience counts a lot, so I would ask for how long the acupuncturist has been practicing. It is good to know if the practitioner treated someone successfully with a similar specific condition and to find out his or her feedback. You might also want to ask in what type of acupuncture (TCM, auricular, facial, scalp, or Japanese and Korean) the practitioner has experience since some acupuncture styles are known to be more effective to treat certain conditions.
LOCALIIZ: How often should someone seek treatment?
XU: The number of acupuncture treatments depends on the condition of the person. For patients seeking to balance their health and to use acupuncture for well-being we recommend one acupuncture session per month. For chronic pain and serious diseases the treatment should be twice a week in the first month. Afterwards, the treatment frequency can be slowly adjusted to once a week and towards the end to once a month to maintain a healthy and balanced condition.
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