Acupuncture originated in China over 3,000 years ago and is still being practiced around the world. It works! Without the use of dangerous pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures, acupuncture gently and strongly encourages the body to recover its own healing abilities.
Treatments are tailored to you and your particular needs, not based on a group study of which you were not a part. You are unique, just like a snowflake, and as equally a part of nature. Chinese medicine uses natural law to understand how your symptoms point to an underlying imbalance in your whole being. It is, therefore, a process and not a quick fix. There are no formulas that fit everyone – your treatment is about you and you alone.
Acupuncture differs from other forms of medicine in another important way. The practitioner knows that all the symptoms you are having are related! You do not need one acupuncture specialist to treat your back pain, one to treat your arthritis, and another to treat your heartache as if each were a different condition. You are one organism, one being, and Chinese medicine treats your concerns as if all are part of the same underlying imbalance.
An Important Note:
Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.) offer their patients the greatest breadth and depth of treatment available. They have over 2,500 hours of study, over 1,000 of which are clinical hours. Some medical doctors who practice acupuncture can legally practice in Maryland with only 300 hours of study. They practice what is called “Medical Acupuncture.” Currently, physical therapists are practicing "dry needling," using acupuncture needles, though they are not acupuncturists and are not trained as such. Most have as few as 12 hours of training to do this.
Acupuncturists also have varying styles. Practitioners of Community Acupuncture operate in one large room, treating 10-15 patients at the same time; other acupuncturists see multiple patients at once, going between several treatment rooms; and, many acupuncturists treat symptoms only. Fixing a symptom may not be addressing the underlying cause of your concern. It is important to discover why those symptoms are there and why your body is not healing them.
When looking for an acupuncturist, ask about her training (number of hours), her experience (not just with particular conditions, but number of years in practice), and how much time she will spend with you. The answers to these questions may direct you to which type of treatment will benefit you the most. Asking many questions, based on who you are and what kind of interaction you would like with your practitioner, should help you find the right one for you…it is not a one-size-fits-all choice!