Frequently Asked Questions


   


For more information about TSI Therapy and the work we do here, please see the topics below.

Can You Tell Me About Acupuncture?

What is Acupuncture?
How Deep do the Needles Go?
Does it Hurt?
Are the Needles Clean?
How Big are the Needles?
How does Acupuncture Work?
What are the Advantages of Using Acupuncture?
Are There Different Styles of Acupuncture?
What Criteria Should I Use in Choosing an Acupuncturist?
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Is There Anything I Need to do Before Receiving an Acupuncture Treatment?
Is There Anything I Need to do While Receiving Acupuncture?
What Conditions are Commonly Treated with Acupuncture?


Can You Tell Me About Chinese Medicine?

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
What is Yin and Yang?
What is Qi, Blood and Body Fluid?
What is Qi?
What is Blood?
What are Body Fluids?
What is Jing (Essence)?
What is Spirit (Shen)?
What are Organs? (Zanf/ Fu)?
What are Meridians/Channels?




What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture literally means 'needle piercing," the practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acupoints) for therapeutic purposes.  These acupoints have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years.  Recently, electromagnetic research has confirmed their locations.  The acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of Energy (Qi) in the body to restore health.

Acupuncture is a modality that utilizes natural laws and energetic's with the application of needles or pressure to specific points on the body.  By stimulating these points blocked energy is released and regulated and health then restored.  Studies indicate that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous systems.  Evidence shows that endorphins are released from the brain which makes acupuncture particularly effective in pain control.  

Acupuncture works with the body, harmonizing and balancing Energy (Qi).  It allows the body to heal itself quickly and completely.  Acupuncture helps to reduce muscle spasm, pain and swelling as well as increase circulation, neural and energy flow.  In the past 40 years acupuncture has become a well-known, reasonably available treatment in developed and developing countries.  Acupuncture is used to regulate or correct the flow of Qi to restore health.
Does it Hurt?

If a practitioner has obtained the correct stimulus of the needle, the patient should feel some cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian or energy pathway.  In Chinese, acupuncture is bu tong, painless.  Some Western cultures may categorize these sensations as types of pain.  In any case, if you experience any discomfort, it is usually mild.  There are times during a session when you may feel a build up of tension in a region of your body.  This tension should rescind by the end of the session.  The tension usually means you have an area of the body in dysfunction.  This dysfunction should ease up with subsequent treatments.
Are the Needles Clean?

Florida State law requires all acupuncturists to use sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. Needles should not be saved and reused for later treatments. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.
How Big are the Needles?

The needles come in all sorts of sizes depending on the body region treated.  We use a 36-gage needle which is a very small diameter.  The needles can be ¼, ½, 1 and 1 ½ inches long.
How Does Acupuncture Work?

Modern Western medicine cannot explain how acupuncture works.  Traditional acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of  Energy (Qi) and Blood (Xue) through distinct Meridians (Channels) or pathways that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do.  According to ancient theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is Deficient and away from where it is Excess.  In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body.  In Chinese there is a saying, “There is no pain if there is free flow; if there is pain, there is no free flow.”  Need to add more info here and some western info on acupuncture.
What are the Advantages of Using Acupuncture?

The most prominent advantage of using acupuncture is its ability to relax muscle spasm, increase circulation, energy flow and decreased pain. Another advantage of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.
Are There Different Styles of Acupuncture?

Yes, there are.  Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, the British Isles and America.  In different countries, various styles have developed based on conflicting opinions of theory and technique. Patients should talk to their practitioners about their particular style and learn as much as possible about the treatment being proposed.
What Criteria Should I Use in Choosing an Acupuncturist?

Patients should ask about where the practitioner trained, how long the training was, how long he or she has been in practice and what experience the practitioner has had in treating the patient’s specific ailment.  Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated HealthCare profession in about half the states in the U.S.  Ask your practitioner if your state requires a license to practice. In states that do not currently require licensing, patients should ask their practitioner if they are certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. Acupuncturists who have passed this exam are entitled to add Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) after their name. In Florida, the a certified pratitioner requires schooling 4 ½ years of full-time education. The title is DOM, Doctor of Oriental Medicine and is regulated by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The number of treatments depends upon the duration, severity and nature of your complaint as well as your past medical history.  You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition.  A series of five to 15 treatments may resolve many chronic problems.  Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time.
Is There Anything I Need to do Before Receiving an Acupuncture Treatment?

Yes, the following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment.  Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection.  Remove your jewelry.  Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stockings.  Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset or shortly after sex.


Is There Anything I Need to do While Receiving Acupuncture?

Yes.  Relax.  There is no need to be frightened.  Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that you can get the maximum benefit possible from the treatment.  Do not change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.  Some people experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath or faintness during treatment.  This often occurs if you are nervous.  Inform your practitioner immediately so he or she can readjust or withdraw the needles.  Also let your practitioner know if you feel an increasing amount of pain or burning sensation during the treatment.  If you find your treatment unbearable at any point, be sure to speak up so that your practitioner can make the proper adjustments or stop the treatment.
What Conditions Commonly Treated with Acupuncture?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine's (TCM) ability to treat over 43 common disorders including:

·Accelerates Post Surgical Healing
·Addictions
·Abdominal Pain
·Allergies/Asthma
·Arthritis/Joint Problems
·Back Pain
·Bladder/Kidney Problems
·Carpal Tunnel
·Circulatory Disorders
·Common Cold/Flue
·Constipation/Diarrhea
·Cough/Bronchitis
·Disorders of the bones, muscles, joints and nervous systems
·Dizziness
·Drug Addiction/Smoking
·Emotional and Psychological Disorders
·Fatigue
·Gastrointestinal Disorders
·Gynecological Disorders
·Headache/Migraine
·Health Maintenance
·Heart Problems/Palpitations
·High Blood Pressure
·Immune System Deficiency
·Jaw pain (TMJ)
·Knee Pain
·Neck P and Stiffness
·Pain Relief
·Paralysis/Numbness
·Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
·Respiratory Disorders
·Sciatica
·Sexual Dysfunction
·Shoulder Pain
·Skin Problems
·Sports Injuries
·Sprains and Strains
·Stress/Anxiety
·Tendonitis
·Tennis Elbow
·Weight control
·Whiplash
·Traditional Chinese Medicine
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

TCM is defined as a medical science governing the theory and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It includes acupuncture, herbalogy, and  other oriental medical techniques (moxibustion, gui sha, cupping and tui na).A TCM examination is thorough, but noninvasive.  The practitioner will take a careful medical history, noting your body's reaction to stress and your tendencies toward illness symptoms.  He will observe the color and form of your face and body, note the condition of your skin and nails, check how your breath and body odor smells, and look at your posture and demeanor.  

The condition of your tongue--its shape, color and coating--also provides important data on the way your circulation and metabolism is affecting your internal organs. Your pulse will be felt at three different points on each wrist, each location corresponding to a different part of the body.  Considered together, this information gives the practitioner a sense of your body's current functioning.  From this examination, the practitioner will consider the patterns of imbalance in your body and will choose the proper type of treatment for you.  

Depending on the training of the practitioner, treatment may consist of acupuncture, massage, change in diet, herbal remedies, qigong or any combination of these.  Duration and frequency of treatment depends on the ailment and the person being treated.  Acute problems may require one to three visits over two weeks, whereas a course of acupuncture for a chronic problem may require 12 treatments in three months to see positive results.  Herbal tonics for restoring healthy internal organ function may require weeks of use, whereas herbs for colds and flu can show good results in hours. Practitioners with other skills in addition to their TCM training, such as chiropractic, homeopathy, Western physical medicine and drug therapy may integrate
these treatments with the TCM program.
What is Yin and Yang?

The root of many of the ideas within Chinese medicine lies in the concept of Yin and Yang.  These terms have been used in a somewhat technical sense for more than 2000 years, having expanded beyond their original meanings of the shady and sunny sides of a mountain, respectively.  Yin and Yang are emblems of the fundamental duality in the universe, a duality which is ultimately unified. It must be remembered that Yin and Yang are complementary and not contradictory. Nor is one regarded as “good,” and the other “bad.” Rather, a harmony is sought between them and any imbalance avoided.  Because, the Yin/Yang concept is all pervasive in Chinese thought, it was naturally adopted by the founders of Chinese medicine.
What is Qi, Blood and Body Fluid?

Qi, blood and body fluid are important substances and structures in the body. They sustain the vital activities and nourish the body, thereby keeping the functions of the tissues, organs and channels in good order.  The production and circulation of Qi and blood also depends on the health of the tissues and organs that are nourished by these substances.
What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced “chee,” as in cheese) is an untranslatable word in the Chinese medical lexicon.  It signifies a tendency, a movement, something on the order of energy.  There are two main aspects of Qi.  On the one hand, Qi is thought of as matter without form.  When this substance is diseased certain symptoms appear. Qi is also a term for the functional, active aspect of the body.  When Chinese doctors do the work of diagnosis (taking a history, feeling the pulse, etc.) they are measuring different types of Qi.

When acupuncture is used, the Qi is said to be ‘obtained’ and then manipulated.  Qi is thus an example of the absence of the matter/energy dichotomy in Chinese medicine.  Qi is a complex concept; it relates to both substance and function. Clean Qi (oxygen), waste Qi (carbon dioxide) and Qi (nutrients) are generally known as material Qi, and the existence of material Qi is shown by the functional activity of various organs. The function of an organ depends on the functional Qi of that organ.  For instance, Qi of xin-heart or Qi of pi-spleen is the vital energy and functional activity of the xin-heart or pi-spleen. The function of an organ, or its functional Qi, cannot exist without material Qi and vice versa.
What is Blood?
Although the red liquid that circulates throughout the body is called blood in Western medicine, that is only part of the Chinese conception of Blood.  In addition to being a substance, Blood is also regarded as a force, a level of activity in the body which is involved with the sensitivity of the sense organs as well as a deep level of the body in the progression of febrile diseases. T raditionally, it is said that Blood is manufactured in the Middle burner, using the Qi derived from the air in the Lungs and food digested by the Spleen.

The major function of Blood is to carry nourishment to all parts of the body. The nutrients from food are digested by the pi-spleen and stomach and they are then transported to the xin-heart and fei-lung and turned into red (oxygenated) blood by Qi. The essence of shen-kidney produces bone marrow and bone marrow uses the digested food to produce blood.  Qi of shen-kidney promotes digestion by pi-spleen, which in turn strengthens the xin-heart and fei-lung.  This interaction therefore promotes haemopoesis.

There is a close relationship between Qi and Blood. The formation and circulation of Blood depends on Qi, whereas the formation and distribution of Qi, as well as the health of the various organs of the body, is dependent on adequate nourishment from the Blood.  If the flow of Blood 'stagnates,' the circulation of Qi is 'retarded' and, conversely, if the circulation of Qi is 'retarded,' then the Blood flow 'stagnates'.
What are Body Fluids?

The fluids of the body include sweat, urine, saliva, tears and the various secretions.  Fluids are either thin (Yang) or thick (Yin).  The thin fluids moisten the muscles, skin, flesh and the membranes of the sensory and excretory openings. The thick fluids moisten and nourish the inner Organs and Brain, while simultaneously facilitating the movement of the bones and joints.  Body fluid is formed from food and drink. It exists in the blood, the tissues, and all the body openings and cavities.
What is Jing (Essence)?

Essence (a Yin characteristic) is that aspect of the body that is the basis for all growth, development and sexuality. Congenital Essence is that part of the body’s Essence that is inherited from the parents. After birth this Essence, which is akin to an inborn constitution, determines each of our growth patterns. Congenital Essence can never be replaced if lost, but can be supplemented by acquired Essence, which is derived from food. Essence also has the narrow meaning of semen.
What is Spirit (Shen)?

Spirit (a Yang characteristic) is the force behind one’s mental state and actions.  All forms of consciousness and thought are manifestations of Spirit.
What are Organs? (Zanf/Fu)?     

The concept of the Organs (also called Viscera) in Chinese medicine is radically different from that of contemporary Western medicine.  Understanding this difference is very important because the physiology and pathology of the Organs is fundamental to the understanding and treatment of disease.  Perhaps the salient characteristic of the Chinese conception of the Organs (to a modern Westerner) is the lack of emphasis on the physical structure. Although many of the terms for the Organs re similar to Western appellations, they do not refer to the specific tissue, but rather to semi-abstract concepts that are complexes of closely interrelated functions. These functions, which are fully described in traditional texts, are not based on surgical discoveries, but on clinical observation of patients over many hundreds of years.
What are Meridians/Channels?

The Channels are one of the most important and unique concepts in Chinese medicine.  The channels are regarded as three-dimensional passageways through which the Qi and Blood flow at different levels of the body. Therefore, it is inappropriate to refer to the channels by using the two-dimensional term “meridian,” as is common in English translations.  The channels are important to every facet of Chinese medicine, particularly acupuncture.  Their graphic ordering illustrates many of the linkages among the Organs and their respective openings and sense organs.  In some ways, the channels also delineate the Organs’ spheres of influence in the body.  This is particularly important in the selection of points to treat certain localized problems.

All Content © 2005 Therapeutic Systems, Inc.