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 Acupuncture

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medmisfit
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PostSubject: Acupuncture   Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:10 pm

Acupuncture and IIH
Acupuncture for headaches


I've only had a few acupuncture treatments at this point, but I've been surprised at how unintrusive it is. The needles are solid steel, but only about as big as a hair. I usually don't notice needle placement, but occasionally one will hurt. My practioner has explained that we usually have pain in areas where there are blocks and the pressure has built up..the pain comes from releasing that tension. He's convinced he can help me, but also doesn't know anything about IIH..that was disappointing. He did say that once my energy has become balanced it should at least help improve my sleep, digestion, and increase my metabolism..that alone would be worth it for me! Of course like the symptoms of IIH, it's different for everyone. I found the best summary on the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture site and have included exerpts below..hope it's helpful!

..Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.

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 irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the Nervous System to release 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 which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

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

WHAT IS MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE? IS IT DIFFERENT FROM ORDINARY ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Such a doctor can use one or the other approach, or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness.

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?

Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:

promotion of health and well-being,
prevention of illness,
treatment of various medical conditions
.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.

ARE THERE ANY "DO'S AND DONT'S" FOR ME ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT?

Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture reatments.
Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem

IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy.

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PostSubject: Re: Acupuncture   Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:29 pm

I tried acupuncture weekly for 3 months, and unfortunately, got no pain relief. I did enjoy visiting with my acupuncturist and found the session very relaxing. If I could afford $240.00 a month, I would continue to do it just for the relaxation. I have a number of issues apart from IIH -- fibromyalgia, severe insomnia, severe dry eyes, IBS. None of the conditions improved with treatment. BUT, just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean someone else could be helped with it. It's so relaxing, I say give it a try.
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PostSubject: Re: Acupuncture   Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:10 pm

I'm sorry to hear it didn't really work for you, but I'm glad you were able to at least relax for awhile!

I once had a pain specialist tell me that chronic pain can take a huge toll on a body. He said even if you only get relief for the 30-60mins you're on the table it's 30-60 mins that your body gets a break and is able to start healing. The acupunturist said it may take longer because I've been dealing w/ it for over a decade, so I didn't have much pain relief either. He suggested a couple visits a week in the beginning, then we had a plan to eventually work into a maintenance schedule of every 4-6months. Unfortunately, I've had complications w/ my shunt and haven't been able to physically get there, so I'm not sure about the pain management either. I really enjoyed the relaxation, but since I've stopped treatment I've gained back my weight, started having issues w/ insomnia and bladder again. I guess I'm wondering if you would find more relief w/ longer treatment?? I'm also wondering if you had an acupunturist or a medical acupunturist..there is a difference in training, so you may want to look into it. Just something to think about..but you're right, I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone.

I know that it can also be expensive, especially when insurance doesn't cover any of it. Most of the practioners I know will offer reduced prices for patients w/o insurance, but I understand that doesn't happen everywhere. You could try a student clinic, if you're interested in continuing. I have friends that have both worked and participated in them. If you live near a university or alternative medicine institute, you may want to look into it. They usually offer free initial visit (so you can check it out before committing), reduced costs, and even some have free limited sessions. It's my understanding that students start by answering phones, scheduling appts, and learning the business aspect, then get more hands on experience as they move through training. There should be instructor/practioner on site for questions or additional assistance.

Whatever you decide, I hope you're able to find relief soon..thanks for sharing!!!
Take care,
Julie
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PostSubject: Re: Acupuncture   Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:20 pm

At this point, it's just not financially feasible for me. I do have a teaching clinic here which offers reduced rates of $45.00 a session, but it's over 40 miles away. Right now, with the incredible head pain & pressure I'm having, I'm just not up to making that kind of drive in Houston traffic. I'm going to a new neurologist on Feb 6 and will see what she recommends.

As far as weight loss, I didn't experience any with acupuncture. I am losing by counting carbs and calories. I also go water walk for an hour a day. That probably relaxes me more than the acupuncture. And, the gym membership is only $30.00 a month. So, that's what I'm going to stick with for now. When I'm water walking and listening to my praise music, it does get my mind off the pain and it's definitely helping with the weight loss.

I don't want to paint a negative picture of acupuncture. Just want to be honest in what it didn't do for me. But, everyone is different and treatments vary from one person to another. I'm sure someone else could do it and have great results.

Thanks for your input!

Violet
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PostSubject: Re: Acupuncture   Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Absolutely Violet, I'm glad you've found something that works for you! I just wanted to mention options and possible longterm benefits in case you were discouraged and the relaxation aspect appealed to you.

Thanks for posting your experiences!
Take care,
Julie
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