You’ve been there. You’ve seen it either on TV, while accompanying a friend to the acupuncturist, or read a magazine article about it (complete with lots of photos). And you’ve always said, “No WAY will I EVER do this!”
Acupuncture is, as you probably know, one of the olddest forms of medical healing. It originated in China, but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, and, of course, America. Different styles have developed over the centuries based on different opinions as to theory and technique.
This might be the kind of thing you’d want to learn more about before you consider it; it’s just not for some people. But whatever your decision, remember: To be well informed is to be educated. So let’s get this all out in the open.
First, there are a handful of different styles to consider: Talk to your practitioner about his or her particular style and learn as much as possible about the treatment. While the basic theoretical principles of acupuncture remain the same, different styles differ greatly in technique and diagnosis. There is no evidence that one particular style is more effective than another, but you should know what you’re getting into.
First, all practitioners of acupuncture use sterilized, stainless-steel needles. That’s a requirement of the Board. Feeling a little easier about this? Now let’s go through the different “types” of treat- ments available to you:
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture — This is the most common form of acupuncture studied and practiced in the United States. Needles are applied to the skin’s surface, but it is not an invasive procedure at all. The corresponding “pressure” or “power” points in the body are affected, depending on your particular ailment.
Japanese Style Acupuncture – This procedure takes a more subtle route. Fewer and thinner needles are used, but there is less stimulation to the affected areas of the body that need healing.
Korean Hand Acupuncture – Pressure points in the hand correspond to areas of the body and to certain dis- harmonies in the body, thereby relieving it of stress and re-energizing that particular affected area.
Auricular Acupuncture – The ear’s involved here. Pres- sure points in your ear also correspond to areas of the body. This system is generally used for pain control and drug, alcohol and nicotine addictions.
Medical Acupuncture – This is the “Western” form of the ancient art, whereby medical doctors perform the procedure in their offices on an outpatient basis. It is certainly gaining in popularity, and physicians who practice this must, as all acupuncturists, meet the requirements to practice.
First, always choose a physician who is a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. This requires a minimum of 200 hours of training.
Today, this practice is definitely an acknowledged and respected field of medicine that requires formal training and certification in order to practice. In fact, in most states, provinces and countries, it is considered a surgical procedure that, legally, may ONLY be performed by a licensed doctor
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an art and a science that takes years to master. While any doctor can stick needles into your top layer of skin, for a positive, professional experience, find an acupuncturist with experience treating a similar condition (with acupuncture) as yours.
Still unsure? Again, ask questions, get information, and make your own decision. It just may open a whole new world of alternative healing for you.

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Submited By: Yvonne Volante

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