Ozark Integrative Medicine - Acupuncture - Herbal Medicine -  Nutrition
What Is Acupuncture?
Does It Hurt?
Can you cure my migraines?
How does acupuncture work from a “traditional” point of view?
How does acupuncture work from a modern, scientific point of view? 
Is It Safe?
Is acupuncture safe for children? 
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Is acupuncture just placebo?
How should I prepare for a treatment?
How many treatments will I need? 
How much does acupuncture cost? 
What’s the difference between a Licensed Acupuncturist and other healthcare professionals?
Can Western And Chinese Medicine Be Combined?



What Is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a therapy in which needles are used to stimulate points on the skin in order to treat specific conditions.  Acupuncture is just one modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also includes moxibustion, herbal medicine, dietary, and exercise prescriptions.  These techniques have been developed and refined over the past 4000 years.  Acupuncture is extremely safe and effective when provided by a qualified practitioner.



Does It Hurt? 

Generally speaking, no.  Acupuncture is done with extremely thin, sterile, flexible stainless steel needles.  As an individual, your experience will vary depending on the location of the point, and the condition being treated. You may experience brief discomfort as the needle pierces the skin followed by sensations of numbness, heat, cold, dull aching or tingling.  Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing and enjoyable. 



Can you cure my migraines?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat virtually every ailment humans experience.  While we do not claim to be able to cure every disease, we have experience treating a wide range of illnesses.  A list of conditions for which the World Health Organization has found acupuncture useful can be found here.  http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html 
We will discuss in detail your individual needs at your first appointment.



How does acupuncture work from a “traditional” point of view? 

Traditionally, acupuncture works by balancing the subtle energies of the body.  Examples of these energies are Yin, Yang, Qi, Blood, Shen and Jing.  These terms describe observable, functional aspects of human physiology.  When one or more of these aspects of human physiology become imbalanced, many different diseases can arise.  Once the body is in a balanced state, it can heal itself more efficiently.



How does acupuncture work from a modern, scientific point of view? 

Modern science is still struggling to completely understand how acupuncture works.  Scientific studies have shown acupuncture causes a multitude of varied effects in the human body.  Nervous system effects include, releasing neurotransmitters in the brain, modulating pain signals, and changing brainwaves.  Other physiological effects include reducing inflammation, increasing the circulation of blood and body fluids, modulating hormone production and immunological responses.  There are gaps in the theoretical basis to explain how acupuncture accomplishes these things.  We believe the concepts of Yin, Yang, Qi, Jing, Shen, etc. are metaphors for describing these biological phenomena and that these gaps will be filled by further research and advancing medical technology.  In the meantime, we combine traditional practices with modern scientific theories. 



Is It Safe? 

Yes.  When performed by a skilled practitioner, acupuncture is safe and effective. Side effects are incredibly rare and minor compared with western medicine.  Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do happen.  Our needles are sterile, single use, medical grade stainless steel.  If you require herbs, we will thoroughly review of your pharmaceutical prescriptions to ensure against the possibility of adverse interactions.



Is acupuncture safe for children? 

Yes, acupuncture is safe for children.  However, due to needle phobia and the difficulty of having children lie perfectly still for several minutes we generally recommend treating children with herbs only.



Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy? 

Yes, acupuncture is safe during pregnancy but special precautions must be taken.  Always tell your acupuncturist if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.  



I heard that acupuncture only works as a placebo.  What if I don’t believe in acupuncture?

The idea that acupuncture only works as a placebo is a misconception.  You are not required to believe in acupuncture for it to work.  Studies have shown acupuncture to be very effective in treating a number of conditions in humans, as well as animals such as horses, dogs, and cats.  Animals are incapable of actually “believing” in acupuncture, yet it still works very well for them.  Testing for an acupuncture placebo in humans is much more challenging.  However, numerous studies suggest acupuncture cannot be explained as just a placebo.



How should I prepare for a treatment?

Wear or bring comfortable clothing to your appointment.  This will allow us to access the acupuncture points with ease, and it will help you to feel relaxed.  Please try to avoid eating a heavy meal or skipping a meal before coming to your appointment.  If you are seeing us for pain, try to avoid taking pain medication if you are able.  This will help us assess the efficacy of your treatment.  Please do not cause yourself unnecessary discomfort; this is just a suggestion.  Also, bring a list of medications you are taking and any labs, x-rays, or other relevant information you may possess.  Your first visit will take about 90 minutes.  Follow-up visits take about an hour.



How many treatments will I need?

Prior to knowing your specific medical history this question is impossible to answer.  During your first visit we will work together to generate a clear plan to suit your specific needs.  One can generalize; acute conditions tend to resolve more quickly with an intensive series of treatments, whereas chronic conditions may require a longer and more consistent course.  Unlike some other forms of healthcare, which lose efficacy with time, acupuncture's effects are cumulative.  That is, each acupuncture treatment builds upon the previous one.  The number of required treatments will also be determined the severity and cause of the health concern along with your individual constitution.



How much does acupuncture cost?

Our fees are competitive and reasonable.  Individualized treatment plans will naturally vary in price.  Healing you is our primary goal, therefore we will make every effort to ensure our services are accessible to you. Please call us for more information.



What are the differences between a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chiropractors, Naturopathic Physicians, Osteopathic Physicians, and Medical Doctors that practice acupuncture?

The difference is usually in the amount and focus of acupuncture training that the practitioner has completed.  Licensed acupuncturists are required to complete a program of training that is highly specialized in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.  To become a Licensed Acupuncturist in Arkansas, the Arkansas State Board Of Acupuncture and Related Techniques (ASBART) requires the completion of at least a 3 year postgraduate program in acupuncture that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).  Additionally, AR Licensed Acupuncturists must pass the national acupuncture exams administered by the National Certification Commission in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).  At Ozark Integrative Wellness Center, we have completed over 3,000 hours of postgraduate training that has included over 1,000 hours of clinical experience.  About 60% of that training focused on acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and 40% was devoted to Western sciences.  Moreover, our acupuncturists have passed the national NCCAOM exams in acupuncture, Oriental medical theory, Chinese herbal medicine, and biomedicine.  In contrast, Doctors of Chiropractic, Doctors of Naturopathy, Doctors of Osteopathy, and Medical Doctors usually receive only a very basic introduction to acupuncture.  It typically consists of around 200 hours of instruction in point location, which is devoid of the rich, and complex underlying theoretical basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  These practitioners generally use acupuncture only as an adjunct to their usual expertise.  You should always feel free to ask your practitioner about the extensiveness of their acupuncture training.  



Can Western And Chinese Medicine Be Combined? 

Yes.  Modern medical wisdom suggests that we combine the best aspects from each source.  Hospitals in China combine Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine effectively, benefiting their patients greatly.  Increasingly, hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating acupuncturists in their staff.  The reason for this is that Chinese medicine and Western medicine compliment each other so well.  Each system can be used to address the weaknesses and deficiencies of the other.  We believe every person is entitled to robust health and that both systems should be administered judiciously to ensure every person has access to the best medical care possible.



Other Questions

that were not specifically answered on this page, we would be happy to answer for you. Call or e-mail.


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