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Top 10 Acupuncture Questions

At Lake Highlands Acupuncture, we want you to feel comfortable taking the plunge into an alternative method of healing. Below are the most common questions we hear in our Dallas acupuncture clinic.


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the oldest, continually-practiced form of medicine in the world.  It is a holistic form of medicine, meaning the body and mind are considered as a whole, rather than as a bunch of separate parts.  Your body is a healing machine.  It always has been, and it always will be.  However, it does not always function at its greatest healing potential.  Acupuncture works by stimulating the body's own innate healing resources, with precisely placed needles and correctly prescribed herbs, helping the body to heal itself. This is an overly simplistic description, but in order to understand this complex healing system in depth, you would need a lot more training, which brings us to the next question.


What training is required to be an acupuncturist?

Acupuncturists get a lot of training!  A clinician must complete 3-4 years of postgraduate work, log thousands of hands-on clinical hours, and take four (4) national board exams before becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) in the state of Texas.  Licensing is regulated by the Texas Medical Board, just as traditional medical doctors are. 


Why should I take herbs?

Chinese herbal medicine is also a very old, highly effective form of treatment that goes hand-in-hand with acupuncture.  Most Western pharmaceuticals are synthesized versions of compounds that are found in plants, minerals, and animal products that have been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years.  The Chinese herbal pharmacopia contains several thousand herbs that can be used for a variety of conditions.  Unlike Western pharmaceuticals that tend to focus on a single active ingredient, Chinese herbs are usually prescribed in a formula containing as many as 10 to 15 separate herbs.  Properly combined, these different substances balance each other, creating a formula that acheives the desired result, such as relieving pain or stopping vomiting, without the undesirable side-effects associated with most prescription drugs.  Licensed acupuncturists, including Bryan, are highly trained in this discipline.


How does acupuncture work with Western medicine?

Western medicine has saved countless lives and is invaluable in acute medical situations (think:  strep throat, heart attacks, accidents).  We know that putting a needle in a broken leg is not going to mend the bone, but after the cast is set, acupuncture and herbs can help speed recovery and reduce pain.  Further, acupuncture and herbs can reduce your need for medications or keep you on the lowest dosages possible.  Licensed acupuncturists are well trained in pharmacology and know which medications interact with which herbs.  Acupuncture is a complement to Western medicine, not a replacement.  Each does some things better than the other, and often the two work well together.


Can I have acupuncture if I'm afraid of needles?

Needles.  Sound unpleasant, right?  When we think of needles, we usually think of getting a shot or being pricked by grandma’s sewing pins.  This is not the same thing at all.  Acupuncture needles are very, very thin and do not hurt upon insertion.  There is sensation, but not pain.  Some people describe it as similar to being tapped with a toothpick.  One patient we have is so afraid of needles that she literally passes out at the doctor's office each time she has to get a shot, but she has had dozens of acupncture needles in her face and was never bothered!


Is acupuncture a legitimate form of healing?

Harvard thinks so.  So does Stanford.  And Johns Hopkins.  And MD Anderson.  These well-respected medical institutions believe in the proven power acupuncture so much that they have licensed acupuncturists on staff.  Get an unbiased sampling of the research by visiting the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization Web sites.


What does acupuncture treat?

There is increasing scientific evidence proving the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of:


What should I wear?

Any loose fitting, comfortable clothes are fine.  It is best if we are able to easily expose your arms just above the elbows, your legs just above the knees, and your torso without having to remove anything.  If your clothes aren't quite ideal, or if you'd rather not change before your appointment, don't worry!  We have gowns available for your use.


How many treatments will I need?

This is a good question, and a difficult one to answer.  Positive results are common in 3 or 4 treatments for newer and more acute conditions.  More chronic conditions may take longer to get on top of.  Your body needs time to heal itself, and boosting its healing ability to the maximum takes time as well.  But unlike steroid or antibiotic treatments, which leave the body's immune system in a weakened state, acupuncture treatments and acupuncture-promoted healing strengthens the body and its defenses, helping ensure that you are sick or injured less often.


Any other questions?  Still think it's new age trumpery?

Contact us or just drop by.  Lake Highlands Acupuncture offers a free, no pressure 30-minute consultation to discuss your specific health needs.  We don't want to waste anyone's time, and we will be honest as to whether acupuncture and herbs can help you.

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