Below are frequently asked questions we get about Acupuncture and other holistic healing treatments. Simply click on each question below to jump right to the answer.
Who can benefit from Acupuncture?
How does Acupuncture work?
Why choose Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
Are treatments covered by insurance?
Is Dr. Ming Zou licensed by the state of Texas to practice Acupunture?
What is Cupping?
What is Ear Acupuncture?
What is Pediatric Tui Na?
What should I expect regarding Acupunture treatments?
Are Chinese Herbs safe?
How are Chinese Herbs administered?
Most people can benefit from acupuncture. Many use acupuncture to relax and alleviate the stress of life. Others use it to treat conditions they have lived with for years, or acute conditions that come up. Many people find that they have at least one friend who has had acupuncture and can share a story about their experience.
Studies show that acupuncture triggers the release of chemicals that control pain. It also appears to affect blood flow, though scientists do not know why. Inserting acupuncture needles shallowly in the skin also stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain to secrete hormones. And acupuncture seems to increase the release of neurotransmitters, though the reason is not clear. The effects of such hormones and neurotransmitters include increased relaxation and reduced swelling.
Acupuncture appears to improve hormonal balance and to reduce inappropriate inflammatory responses in the body. It also appears to improve digestive function, which helps the body to assimilate necessary nutrients. It seems to have an influence on the nervous system, and recent studies using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) show an immediate change in brain activity in patients receiving acupuncture.
More research will have to be done to explain how acupuncture works in western medical terms. Some good books about acupuncture are Between Heaven and Earth by Harriet Beinfield, Efrem Korngold and The Web That Has No Weaver by Ted J. Kaptchuk. The Way of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra is an introduction to Chinese herbology.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is effective for a wide range of disorders and works as a preventative. People choose to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for many reasons, such as: – Pain cessation or management – Improved healing of damaged tissue – Psycho-emotional issues of stress, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks – Addictions and detoxifying – Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue – Headaches and migraines – Allergies and immune disorders – Gynecological disorders – Gastrointestinal dysfunction – Cardiopulmonary dysfunction – Alleviating discomfort during cancer treatments – Restoring neurological functions after strokes and accidents – and many other chronic problems.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is used as an adjunct to other treatments or as stand-alone therapy. Many people use Oriental Medicine / Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to help maintain harmony and balance for general health and well-being.
Please review our Insurance Coverage page for more details. Insurance coverage is dependent upon the insurance policy and extent of coverage. Many policies do cover acupuncture, especially for disorders of pain. Many policies will cover the costs of the office visit and other types of therapies such as electrical stimulation, acupressure, and application of heat. Some policies require a referral from a primary care physician for the treatments to be covered and may have annual limits.
In order to perform acupuncture, a practitioner must be licensed by the State of Texas, according to the following: Licensed Acupuncturists have a long list of qualifications to meet, including: a minimum of 60 semester hours of basic college courses; a Master’s of Science degree in Oriental Medicine at an accredited school including a minimum of 1800 didactic hours in acupuncture, oriental internal medicine, western medicine, of which 450 hours must be in Chinese herbology; a minimum of two terms of resident course of instruction (internship); passage of the National Board Examinations in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, Clean Needle Technique, and Point Location; and are licensed through the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners under the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.
Licensed Medical Doctors need no formal training in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine to perform acupuncture and are licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Licensed Chiropractors need a minimum of 120 hours of continued education credits every two years in general acupuncture in order to perform acupuncture and are licensed by the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
Licensed Acu-Detox Specialists are licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. The acupuncture they may administer is limited to five specific points in the ear and is specific for the treatment of substance addictions. Qualifications for this limited license include a 70-hour training by NADA (National Acu-Detox Association), and the applicant must also be licensed as nurse, chemical dependency counselor, psychologist, professional counselor or certified social worker. An acupuncturist or physician must supervise Acu-Detox Specialists.
Cupping is another type of treatment. This is a method of stimulating acupuncture points by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it. Cupping is used for low backache, sprains, soft tissue injuries, and helping relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis.
Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Auricular therapy is widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and other conditions. This medical system emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body’s internal organs, structures, and functions. Auricular therapy has a long history of use in China. It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.” In modern times, auricular therapy has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s own feel-good chemicals.
Ear acupuncture is generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, your acupuncturist may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition.
Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. Ear tacks are very small needles with an adhesive backing. Ear tacks are inserted into the ear and left in the ear for a few days or up to one week.
Pediatric Tui Na is a very effective therapeutic massage or acupressure for children under 6 years old. Tui Na focuses on health maintenance and disease prevention. It can help promote the digestive system, strengthen the lung function, calm an irritable baby, improve the intelligence level, and maintain a healthy upper respiratory system.
According to Chinese Medicine babies are tender. Their organs and other body structures are not fully developed yet. Babies grow fast so their organs and body structure grow from immature to mature continually developing like the early morning sun rising from Yin to Yang. Because babies have weaker organs, body structures and undeveloped immune systems, they can more easily become sick. When they become sick, it is easier for complications to develop. Pediatric Tui Na provides a method to promote children’s health, and strengthen their immune systems. It is possible with this knowledge parents can help their children grow up healthier.
How does it feel? Is acupuncture painful? Many clients feel nothing, and others may feel a small pinch followed by a sensation of tingling. Other sensations to expect include numbness, ache, traveling warmth, or heaviness. Most clients find the sensation of acupuncture pleasant and leave feeling relaxed. We can adjust our needling technique for hyper-sensitive, weak, or older patients.
We use very fine, solid, high grade surgical stainless steel acupuncture needles about the thickness of a human hair to stimulate the acupuncture points. These needles are pre-sterilized and disposable. How fast will I get better? Many conditions may be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture and herbal treatments. However, some conditions that have arisen over a course of many years will be relieved only with slow, steady progress. As in any form of healing, the patient’s attitude, diet, lifestyle and determination will affect the outcome of a course of treatment.
We only use high-grade non-sulfured herbs in our herbal treatment. Herbs have a balancing or regulating effect on the body and are gentler than pharmaceutical drugs. Side effects from herbs are possible, but are usually minor. The most common problems may include gas and bloating due to difficulty digesting the herb. If this or any other problem occurs, discuss it with your practitioner so he or she may change your formula. Our practitioners keep up to date on any possible herb/drug interactions.
The Chinese herbal Materia Medica is composed of over 5000 plants, mineral and animal substances. Depending on your condition, we might recommend raw, tincture or a patent (also known as teapills or tablets) form of herbs. Although the taste is sometimes bitter, most people find this acceptable given the health benefits.