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Akupunktur Heidelberg

 

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture

Acupuncture: a brief overview
What is medical acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
Is acupuncture really effective?
How many treatments are needed?
What is the scope of medical acupuncture?
Diseases treated by category
What is a typical acupuncture treatments like?
What should I expect after the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the needles like?
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
What should I do on the day of a medical acupuncture treatment?
Conclusion
Is acupuncture treatment covered by medical insurance?

 

 

Acupuncture: a brief overview

Acupuncture has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice for thousands of years. It is still one of the most frequently practiced forms of therapy in the Eastern Hemisphere. Many diseases may respond best to the combination of acupuncture used together with Western medicine. In the West, acupuncture is best known for its potential anaesthetic properties.

In 1977 scientists discovered that the brain releases natural pain-relieving molecules known as endorphins. These are very similar to opiates (such as morphine), which are potent anaesthetic agents. It has been shown that one possible mechanism of acupuncture is to increase the release of these endorphins by the brain. This may provide one explanation of how acupuncture can help alleviate pain. However, acupuncture has other physiological effects besides pain relief. It often increases local blood circulation to areas of muscle spasm, and can decrease tonic muscular contraction that often causes or contributes to painful conditions. Thus, the local actions of decreased tissue swelling (due to better blood circulation) and less muscle spasm may release pressure on nerves or interior organs leading to relief.

The Chinese do not limit the use of acupuncture to only alleviating pain, however. They use combinations of herbs and acupuncture for the treatment of the entire variety of diseases which they encountered. There are traditional Chinese medical therapies for high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, stomach ulcers, depression, infections, etc. While in some cases the Western therapies for these conditions may be superior, in some cases acupuncture may be a reasonable alternative for use or for use in conjunction with other treatments.

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What is medical acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is a science which promotes the natural healing of the body. This is accomplished by inserting thin acupuncture needles at very precise points.
Medical acupuncture is acupuncture practiced by a medical doctor who is licensed and trained in western medicine. As practiced in the modern western world, medical acupuncture is actually a combination of European, British and North American techniques based on 200 years of western medical investigation into traditional Chinese acupuncture.

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How does acupuncture work?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to nourish the tissues. Acupuncture needles stimulate points on these channels to correct imbalances in the circulation of energy through these meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release endorphins, which are chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones that influence the body's own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulation of the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

 

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Is acupuncture really effective?

Yes. In the past 2,000 years more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health methods combined. Today, acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and Europe. It is now being used more and more in the United States. Acupuncture treatment complements conventional western medical methods.

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 How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person according to medical need. In most cases, you will experience significant relief after a few acupuncture treatments. Many people experience relief almost immediately, especially from some acute conditions. Treatment of other, long-term (chronic) or complex conditions will probably require several treatments over time before significant relief is apparent. The goal of treatment is to bring permanent relief from the condition, if possible.

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What is the scope of medical acupuncture?

There are three main areas of health care in which medical acupuncture is used:

While acupuncture is most often associated with pain control, it has broader applications. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:


Additionally, acupuncture has been found by the USA National Institute of Health (NIH) to be beneficial in treating:

Both the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health approve acupuncture for:

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 Diseases treated by category

Pain Disorders:

Emotional Illnesses:

Various Medical Disorders:

Other Types of Conditions Treated:

If you are suffering from another medical condition that is not mentioned above, it is likely that we will provide an alternative treatment including acupuncture; don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Borozan.

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What is a typical acupuncture treatments like?

Different people have different experiences, but some generalities can be stated. In preparation for the treatment the patient is placed in a reclining position, either on their back, side, or belly (the position used depends on the points to be treated). A typical treatment takes between 15 and 30 minutes. It usually takes around 5 minutes to place all the needles and about 2 minutes or less to remove them at the end of the treatment.

All needles used are used only once and then discarded. Each needle comes individually wrapped and has been pre-sterilized at the factory; it is discarded in the medical waste after a single usage and is never used again. The placement of the needles follows certain principles. Points are often treated bilaterally, which means that the same point is treated on both the right and left sides. Acupuncture needles are much thinner than needles used to take blood or even those used in sewing. As a result, they are less painful and in some cases you may not even feel the needles going through the skin.

Dr. Borozan may decide to manipulate (rotate) the needle after insertion for a few seconds until you feel a sensation. The reason for doing this is based on traditional Chinese theory which suggests that the creation of a sensation yields superior results. The sensations which you might feel could be a brief electric shock lasting only an instant, a deep ache, or a spreading sensation of warmth.

After the manipulation ends, you will lie relaxed for about 15 minutes with the needles in place; during this phase you will probably not feel the needles at all. Most people find this period to be very pleasant and extremely relaxing and it is not unusual for people to fall asleep at this time. Some people report feeling pleasing sensations like a tingling or soothing wave circulating around their bodies while they are relaxed. After the treatment has been completed Dr. Borozan will remove all the needles.

 

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What should I expect after the treatment?

In general, chronic conditions are more difficult to improve than acute conditions are. So that the longer you have suffered with a condition the more resistant to treatment it is, and the more treatments may be necessary to cause sufficient improvement. Some people, however, are especially responsive to acupuncture and may notice a complete or near complete resolution of their pain or complaint after only a single session; they are in the minority however (maybe only 5-10% of all patients). Some people will have minimal or no improvement (around 15-20%). Most patients will notice some improvement after a single or a few acupuncture treatments although the improvement may not always be complete; sometimes the improvement is enough, however, so that with the addition of other adjunctive therapies the situation can be managed satisfactorily.

It should be noted that a very few people might have a worsening of their condition which is usually temporary and may be followed by a subsequent improvement. If not, then further acupuncture is usually not advisable in such a case. Most likely, you will require more than one session for optimal management of your condition. The frequency of treatments may depend on the characteristics of the disease. All the figures given in this paragraph are based on the personal experience of Dr. Borozan as well as other acupuncturists. Unfortunately there are few scientific studies which are designed well enough to answer all the questions regarding variation in a patient's response.

In the case of addictions, such as treatment for smoking cessation, the percentages quoted above may be somewhat less in some cases. Success rates are reported to range from between 40 - 60% for smoking cessation at least in the short run.

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 Are there any side effects?

Usually not. Occasionally, slight discoloration at an acupuncture site may occur. This is temporary and not dangerous. It is common to have a sensation of deep relaxation immediately after treatment.

 

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What are the needles like?

People experience acupuncture differently. Most patients experience a slight pinch as the needle is inserted. Some feel nothing at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid stainless steel needles. The point is smooth (not hollow or with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle). When inserted into the skin it is less painful than an injection or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation are much less than when using a hollow needle. Because your doctor uses only sterile, single-use, disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from treatments.

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Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

No. Just like other medical procedures, medical acupuncture is effective with or without "belief". Acupuncturists have successfully brought relief from medical symptoms in dogs, cats, horses and other animals "patients" that clearly have no notion of "believing" in acupuncture. Additionally, thousands of people who did not "believe" in acupuncture have experienced complete relief of their medical symptoms.

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What should I do on the day of a medical acupuncture treatment?

There are a few guidelines that should be followed to enhance the value of the treatment:

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Conclusion

The purpose of this summary is to give you some perspective on acupuncture and some background regarding the rationale for its usage. Currently, acupuncture is not recommended by any medical guideline for any condition and the decision to use it rests with the patient and physician. Dr. Borozan is recommending its use to you because he has found it to be useful in cases where other therapies have failed, and believes that it can be helpful in conjunction with Western medical therapies. There is very little Western scientific proof available currently to demonstrate that it can
be helpful for internal medicine diseases other than pain relief.

Please feel free to ask any questions you might have about acupuncture to Dr. Borozan at any time, either before, during, or after a treatment.

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Is acupuncture treatment covered by medical insurance?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture treatments, others do not. Review your health policy to determine if you will be reimbursed for your acupuncture treatments.

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