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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture
Side Garden Entrance, 41 Demesne, Killester, Dublin 5.
Common Questions about Acupuncture

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions in relation to acupuncture. Click on any of the questions below to be taken to the answer.

If your question is not answered here, please feel free to ask me directly, either by phone, e-mail, or by making an appointment to come my Five Element Acupuncture Dublin practice for a consultation. The main question people have is “Can you help me?”. The answer to this is “almost always.” I will do my very best to use this effective and elegant system of medicine to help you.

Click on a question to see its answer!

Q1: Does Acupuncture Work?
Q2: How does it work?
Q3: What will it feel like?
Q4: What happens during the initial consultation?
Q5: How long does a treatment take and what actually happens?
Q6: Will acupuncture benefit someone who is very skeptical?
Q7: What about the needles used?
Q8: Is it safe?
Q9: What is moxa?
Q10: What should I do before and after treatment?
Q11: What are your professional standards?
Q12: How many treatments will I need?
Q13: How will I feel after acupuncture?
Q14: Should I tell my Doctor?
Q15: Why should I go to a BAcC member?
Q16: Does medical insurance cover acupuncture treatment?
Q17: What do we mean by body, mind and spirit?
Q18: How many treatments will I need?
Q19: Can it help with non-physical problems?

A1: Acupuncture has been used in China for over 3000 years for the treatment of various diseases and for health maintenance. The World Health Organization officially recognizes acupuncture as suitable treatment for over two hundred common clinical disorders. There have also been a number of studies which document the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of various disorders.

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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - Acupuncture Meridian A2: When very fine acupuncture needles are inserted into particular points that lie along the pathways of energy, imbalances are corrected and innate balance and harmony are re-established.

Classical Chinese medicine recognizes a vital force in the body that governs the balance and health of all your organs and systems of your body. This vital force, or qi (pronounced 'Chee'), energy as the Chinese call it, circulates from one organ to another along channels, or pathways, called meridians.

Each meridian is associated with one of the main organs/functions of the body: heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart protector (pericardium), triple-heater, gall bladder, liver, lungs, colon, stomach and spleen. The qi must flow freely and with the correct strength and quality through each of the meridians and organs in order for you to be healthy in our body, at ease in your mind and vibrant in your spirit. If you are sick, the qi is out of balance. The pain or symptoms you experience are a distress signal, which notifies your acupuncturist of this imbalance, be it due to physical, mental or spiritual causes.

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A3: Needles are inserted either for a second or two, or left in place for some time, depending on the result required. There may be a slight sensation (often described as a dull ache or a tingling) when the needle initially meets the acupuncture point: this quickly fades.

Both during and after treatment most people describe a feeling of relaxation and invigoration.

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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - Consult A4: The initial consultation, sometimes refered to as the Traditonal Diagnosis, takes up to two hours and includes a thorough medical and personal history, description of complaints, a review of the functioning of the systems of the body, and a physical examination. This includes the taking of the Chinese pulses [usually felt at the wrist] from which the practitioner can determine the state of the energy in each of the major organs and functions. Using the diagnostic tools of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture, an assessment is made of the condition of your Ch'i energy and the underlying cause of your condition is determined. From all of this information, a treatment plan is developed, unique to you.

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A5: The first treatment will be a traditional diagnosis and will require two hours. Thereafter appointments are generally scheduled for one hour. Prior to each treatment, you will have ample time to talk about how you've been, how you feel, and what's happening in your life, which is essential information for the practitoner to determine exactly the treatment that is called for at that time. The pulses are read and moxa and/or needles are applied. The response to the treatment will be assessed by reading the pulses. Dietary and other lifestyle recommendations will be discussed at appropriate times throughout treatment.

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A6: Yes. The healing process will not be affected in any way by the patient's skeptical attitude, though it does help to be favourably disposed to any treatment for which you are having for a health issue.

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A7: The needles I use are much finer than those used for injections or withdrawing blood. I use pre-sterilised disposable needles.

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A8: There have been three surveys in the last decade which have shown that acupuncture is amongst the safest therapies in use in the UK and Ireland today. Out of 68,000 recorded treatments in two of the 2001 surveys, there were only 14 minor (bruising, feeling nauseous) adverse events. There have been very few reports of serious adverse events, and most adverse effects are transient, lasting no more than a day or so.

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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - Moxa Cones A9: Moxa is a medicinal herb whose healing properties are activated when heated - it is wonderful for rejuvenating your energy on all levels and ensuring the smooth flow of energy. Moxa is made from the stripped and dried leaves of a Chinese mugwort-like herb called artemisia vulgaris latiflora. It is like a brown-coloured wool in appearance. The moxa is formed into cones and placed on the acupuncture point. Like needles, moxa revitalizes, reinforces, invigorates, and restores balance and harmony to the vital energy.

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A10: It is suggested that you eat only a light meal during the two hours before and after treatment and that no alcohol is consumed on the day of treatment, in order to maximise the effectiveness of treatment. Allow yourself to take things as easy as possible afterwards for at least two hours. Avoid having a hot bath following treatment.

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A11: I am a member of, and adhere to, the professional standards of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). The BAcC maintains common standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice to ensure the health and safety of the public at all times.

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A12: Most people will need treatment once or twice during the first week and then once a week thereafter until some improvement has been maintained. Then the treatments will be gradually spaced further apart until there is only a need for a check-up at the change of each season. Some people will need extensive treatment whereas others will need only a few treatments. The duration and frequency of treatment depends on the severity of the imbalance, how long the person has had it and whether there is anything in the person’s lifestyle that is interfering with the progress of the healing.

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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - Health Improvement A13: You may notice a marked improvement in your main complaint straight away. Often the initial improvements are in the overall state of health and the improvement in your main complaint will follow on quickly. In rare cases there may be a short-term flair-up of your symptoms, however this will quickly settle with ongoing treatment and is usually part of the healing process. The length of time a condition has been present is important in assessing how quickly you are likely to improve. Also, because this system of medicine is treating all of you - body, mind and spirit - you will often experience an enhanced quality of life and improved sense of well being.

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A14: It is sensible to tell your Doctor that you are having acupuncture. I see Classical Five-Element Acupuncture as COMPLEMENTARY to other systems of medicine or treatment. For instance, if your Doctor is treating you for the same complaint, I want to work together with your Doctor to get you better. As you progress, the need for certain drugs may decrease and it may become appropriate to reduce or even discontinue medications, which needs to be done only with the co-operation and approval of the prescribing physician.

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5 Element Acupuncture Dublin - BAcC Membership A15: British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) members have an extensive training in acupuncture (to undergraduate degree level) and in biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK and Ireland. As well as being covered by full Medical Malpractice and Public/ Products Liability Insurance, BAcC members are bound by codes of professional conduct and safe practice.

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A15: All the major health insurance companies in Ireland recognise that members of the British Acupuncture Council are properly trained acupuncturists. As a result these health insurance companies will contribute towards the cost of your treatments - the exact amount depends on what plan you are on and what other eligible costs you accumulate in a year. I recommend that you contact your health insurance company to verify if your policy covers you for acupuncture. I will be happy to issue you with a receipt for your treatments to support your claim.

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A17:
Spirit : is the divine sparkle within each and every one of us. It is the natural and spontaneous recognition we see in each other’s eyes. It is the part of us that gives purpose and meaning to our lives and our innate ability and need to love and to be loved. Without spirit, we’d be nothing more than clever robots. It fuels our lives and the clearer, stronger and more resilient it is, the better chance we have in resisting and/or coping with sickness and all the challenging situations that come our way.

Mind : this refers to your ability to think and understand. In the context of acupuncture, symptoms on the mental level include a person being obsessed, forgetful, indecisive, unable to concentrate, vague, inarticulate, dyslexic etc.

Body : this refers to physical symptoms such as aches and pains

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A18:
Everyone responds differently to treatment, but you may notice a marked improvement in your main complaint straight away. Often the initial improvements are in the overall state of health and the improvement in your main complaint will follow on quickly. In rare cases there may be a short-term flair-up of your symptoms, however this will quickly settle with ongoing treatment and is usually part of the healing process. The length of time a condition has been present is important in assessing how quickly you are likely to improve. Also, because this system of medicine is treating all of you - body, mind and spirit - you will often experience an enhanced quality of life and improved sense of well being. The aim is for lasting benefit, not just short term improvements.

You will need treatment once or twice during the first week and then once a week thereafter until some improvement has been maintained, with each treatment building on the previous session.

Once your condition has begun to improve the treatments can be spaced out to allow your body's own healing mechanisms to take over. This phase will prevent your symptoms from returning and will ensure a continued improvement.

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A19: Yes, definitely. Physical disorders can cause an imbalance in your mental outlook. This may manifest as depression, anger, sadness and the like. Mental disturbances, stress and emotional conflict can result in you experiencing a host of physical complaints. All the treatments aim to restore the harmony of your body, the mind and the spirit and as one improves, so do the others.

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Copyright ©2014 Seán O'Neill, 5 Element Acupuncture Dublin.
All Rights Reserved. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.
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