• Sun / 30 June 2019 / 14:49
  • Category: Science
  • News Code: 98040904519
  • Journalist : 99999

Everything you need to know about Acupuncture

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By Dr. Payman Doosti

Tehran (ISNA) - Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance. Acupuncture is done by putting very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.

Last summer, in my educational trip to China I had the chance to meet acupuncture students, instructors, the director and other authorities of Beijing Traditional Medicine Training Center of ‘the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies’. Because of a cooperative manner of the federation and the hospital staff, I managed to make some press interviews regarding acupuncture for people who are interested in this key component of traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment and an academic field of education as well. I made the first interview with the local acupuncturist, Dr. Luo who later helped me communicate with prominent acupuncturists in China.

Ms. Luo graduated from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a master degree in acupuncture. She did her postgraduate studies in Huguosi TCM Hospital, attached to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Now, Dr. Luo is working in China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences for the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies as an assistant researcher.

She attended most of our practical courses, so I was able to conduct the press interview during the break. The transcript of the interview is as follows:

1. What is acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture may correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin.

2. What problems can be treated by acupuncture?

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. Many people try Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as a "last resort" to serious and complex medical problems and find that it can help them when other treatments could not.

Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only 2-4 times a year for a "tune up" or "balancing" treatment. This can prevent diseases and promote health, energy and vitality.

The most common ailments presented to an acupuncturist tend to be pain related conditions. For example; arthritis, back, neck, knee and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system that is capable of diagnosing and successfully treating a wide range of conditions including:

Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, Eye and vision complaints, Respiratory Disorders, Colds and Flus, Sinusitis, Allergies, Immune Disorders, Vascular and Circulatory Disorders, Anemia, Gastrointestinal and digestive Disorders, Gynecological and Genitourinary Disorders, Sexual Dysfunction, Emotional and Psychological Disorders, Addiction, Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders. Acupuncture Also Treats Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects, Diabetes, Dermatological Disorders and Overweight Conditions

3. How many needles are inserted?

It depends on the specific condition, generally it could range from 5 to 30.

4. How long will it take to get better?

It still depends on the specific situation. For different cases and different patients, the course of treatment will be completely different. Generally, 10 times of acupuncture treatment will be considered a course.

5. Does acupuncture replace seeing a Doctor?

This is a bit confusing. There is no such a question. In China, seeing an acupuncture doctor is the same as seeing any other doctor.

6. Is Acupuncture practiced on the basis of medical sciences?

There are numbers of scientific researches which are now trying to explain the mechanism of acupuncture. The pain-relief mechanism has already been clarified.

7. What are the advantages of acupuncture over western medicine?

Still I believe the best way is to combine both. Yet acupuncture focuses more on the disease-prevention and it’s completely natural without any side-effects.

8. Have any side effects or risks been reported from acupuncture?

Puncturing a needle into the skin does have a certain degree of risk. People with different constitutions will have different reactions. There are risks such as pneumothorax, bleeding, etc.

9. What criteria should one use in choosing an acupuncturist?

This question is a little strange. In China, people usually go to public hospitals and all the doctors working there are licensed. We also have private clinics. Certainly it is better to see licensed acupuncturists.

10. What education, schooling, or skills are needed to become a licensed acupuncturist?

In China, the education for TCM including acupuncture is the same as that of western medicine. 5 years of undergraduate study, 3 years of postgraduate and 3 year of doctorate study including 3 years of clinical internships in the hospital. Then you need to pass the national board exam. After the exam, you will be a licensed TCM doctor and it is required that you have to take required scores of lectures and trainings to be evaluated annually.

11. How did you become interested in the field of acupuncture and what is your educational background?

I am a licensed TCM doctor with a master degree in acupuncture. I have seen many tough problems like cancers that can’t be cured by western medicine and patients suffering a lot after chemo or radiotherapy. Yet TCM is completely natural which focuses more on the body, to regulate the body rather than to fight against the problem.

12. What achievements and successes have you ever had in the field of Acupuncture?

I am still a very young practitioner and I still need much more experience. Currently I am doing an international cooperation research with my teacher to generalize acupuncture worldwide. If you have to ask the achievements, then I’m afraid that’s the only area I have a little experience.

13. Have you attended any Acupuncture courses in other countries?

When I was in the United States, I attended some classes in Austin and Chicago, both lectures and clinics. I even had my first Qi Gong class in Austin. It was a lot of fun and there were also some Japanese professors there teaching us Japanese acupuncture. It is great to see that acupuncture has benefited a lot of people and now it is popular all over the world.

14. What advice would you give people who are thinking of choosing acupuncture as a career?

Just like everything else, I think you have to love what you do.

15. What else would you like people to know about Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is more than just inserting the needles into the place where the pain is. You have to make syndrome differentiations and consider each different individual before starting to needle.

Dear Dr. Luo

Thank you very much for answering my questions patiently

Dr. Payman Doosti is Managing Director of "Kermanshah Health" News Agency.

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