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Acupuncture Archive Questions

Below are Dr. Lao’s answers to Acupuncture questions
received through the Ask the Expert feature.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended
to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a
health problem. Please consult with your physician about your specific health
care concerns.

Now displaying records 1 to 15 of 57.

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Q : 1

I would like to get information on acupuncture treatment for radiation proctitis. I believe that my elderly mother is suffering from it following the brachytherapy she had this summer. She has severe rectal burning and bleeding. Can acupuncture help relieve some pain? Where can I find out more about this.

Acupuncture usually works well to relieve any type of pain symptom. There are a lot of studies on acupuncture and pain in literature. For more information, try searching the PubMed database which is free for the public. However, there may not be any existing research on the efficacy of acupuncture for this particular condition.

Q : 2

Can pain from the pyriformis muscle pressuring the sciatic nerve and creating leg pain while driving be treated and cured by acupuncture?

Yes, this condition can be treated by acupuncture.

Q : 3

How do I find a good Acupuncturist? Does acupuncture work for sleep disorders or neck, shoulder and back pain due to a herniated disc?

Yes, acupuncture could help for these conditions. You can find an qualified acupuncturist through your state acupuncture board which controls the quality of licensed acupuncturists in the state.

Q : 4

Is there an herbal treatment for bad acid reflux or Barrett's disease?

Some herbs may be used to manage symptoms of this disorder, but it would require an experienced herbalist to assess the condition. Please consult an herbalist in your area.

Q : 5

I have a friend whose 9-year-old son has a concussion. Will acupuncture help him with healing and headaches?

Yes, acupuncture is a suitable treatment for this condition. But the results will depend on the severity of the concussion.

Q : 6

Can acupuncture remove unwanted body hair? I have a lot of it and I have tried many different things, but nothing has worked.

I can't give you a definitive answer to your question. However, you may want to try a few acupuncture treatments and see how your body responds. The body hair may be due to irregular hormone changes and acupuncture is known to treat hormonal disorders.

Q : 7

I am 48 years old and have chronic fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, and impotence (low libido). Could acupuncture help?

Acupuncture should help alleviate most, if not all, of the problems you are currently experiencing. You should check with the acupuncture licensing board for a list of acupuncturists in your area.

Q : 8

In two places in my spine, a couple of my vertebrae are too far apart. It feels like I have holes in my spine and has been this way for 10 years. I get a lot of muscle spasms near these "holes." Can acupuncture return the vertebrae to the correct positions?

Unfortunately, acupuncture does not work that way. However, acupuncture may help relax your muscle spasms and alleviate the pain which would provide good conditions for vertebrae recovery.

Q : 9

Can acupuncture improve or restore kidney function after kidney failure?

So far, there is no clinical evidence that shows restored kidney function after being treated with acupuncture. However, acupuncture helps to improve overall body function, quality of life and symptom management.

Q : 10

Is acupuncture an effective treatment for patients with hepatitis C? Are there specific points on the body to treat it?

Acupuncture can be used to manage symptoms caused by hepatitis C, and may also enhance one's immune system to better "fight" the virus. Therefore, the acupuncture points chosen for this disease would follow the basic principle of acupuncture treatment. There are no acupuncture points particularly designed for treating hepatitis C or any other virus.

Q : 11

I have been getting acupuncture to treat what my physician believes may be shingles. Is there any chance it could eliminate the virus?

Yes, there is definitely a possibility that a patient with shingles can completely recover from the disease following acupuncture treatments. However, it is also a possibility that the disease could develop into chronic persistent pain for a certain percentage of the patient population.

Q : 12

I am 29 years old and have been diagnosed with a sluggish gallbladder. An ultrasound did not show stones, but I had a HIDA scan that showed my gallbladder is "shot". I am looking for an alternative to gallbladder surgery and am wondering if acupuncture would be helpful.

Acupuncture may be helpful for symptom relief and improve your gallbladder function. However, you probably need to work with your doctor, who can closely monitor your progress. If it is necessary, you probably need consider the option of surgery.

Q : 13

Would you be able to tell me how I would go about finding a reputable, experienced, and legitimate acupuncturist in a location near to me? I don't know if there are any legal guidelines that are followed in this field, as there are by the AMA.

You are correct that there are laws in each state to regulate the practice of acupuncture. You can find a licensed acupuncturist from your state board of acupuncture. The other credential is that the acupuncturist graduated from an accredited school.

Q : 14

I have been receiving acupuncture treatments for menorrhagia for a few weeks. It may be due to fibroids and/or hormonal changes. After some of the sessions, I have had blurry vision that usually lasts about 45 minutes on average. I can't seem to find much information on this online. Could you offer any possible reasons? Should I be concerned? My acupuncturist reassured me not to worry but did not offer any explanations.

It is not usual that one's vision can be blurry after acupuncture treatment. If it happens each time after acupuncture treatment, you may stop treatment for a few weeks and see if you still have the blurry vision. If you still have the blurry vision without acupuncture treatment, it may not be related to acupuncture. Another option is to ask your acupuncturist to treat the blurry vision.

Q : 15

Should alcohol prep be done before having acupuncture? Seems to me, a newcomer to the process, that it should. The doctor I see in the Denver area does not wear gloves and does not do any alcohol prep. I'm concerned.

Yes, we usually use an alcohol pad to clean the skin before needle insertion. There is a course requirement for acupuncturists known as "Clean Needle Techniques". However, wearing gloves is not mandatory, though they should be used when there is anticipated risk. You should check if the doctor is licensed to practice acupuncture.

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