Here are some frequently asked questions.  Please call us if you have further questions.

How does acupuncture work?

 

The Oriental people found that the body has 14 main meridian channels.  A meridian is the pathway which connects different parts of the body surface and certain organs.  Life energy (biological energy) is endlessly flowing through the meridian channels.  If the life energy is interrupted and misdirected (imbalance of energy), this will lead to disease or discomfort in the body.
 

A meridian channel has a series of meridian points which are activated by needling.  The doctor who is trained in acupuncture decides which meridians are imbalanced by using several diagnostic methods such as the color or texture of the tongue, pulse, palpation, inquiry, hearing, or more modern methods of electric stimulation of Ryodoraku.  After completion of the diagnosis, the doctor selects the meridian points to control the imbalance of the energy, using his particular technique.


More than 1000 acupuncture points over the entire body have been found at this time.  The modernized Oriental medicine is accepting the modern Western medicinal diagnostic methods including x-ray and laboratory testing in order to clarify the name of the disease and to prove the progress or the result after the doctor's services.

Does acupuncture hurt?

 

There are several methods or forms used for acupuncture.  The finger, thumb, small steel balls, laser beam, heat, electric impulse, or acupuncture needles can be used to stimulate the acupuncture points.  There is minimal to no pain involved, as long as the patient is willing and remains relaxed.  The acupuncture needles are as fine as a strand of hair.  Don't be afraid of needles as long as you go to a well-educated-trained-licensed doctor, such as an Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD)!

What is the Life Energy (The Mysterious Life Force)?

 

The concept of life energy is quite foreign to and little understood by Western medical thought.  According to Oriental hypothesis, the body is endowed with a fixed energy (invisible force) quotient at birth, which enables a man to breathe, to digest, to move, to think, etc.  At the same time, the body force is depleted through the change of daily living, and is augmented and transferred by energy obtained from food and air (food is considered to be a source of replenishment of depleated body energy rather than fuel to be metabolized by the body).  Energy imbalance -its excess or insufficiency -is the root of illness; its absence is death. This energy might in reality be a wave of electrical depolarization, and is considered to circulate through the body in a well-defined cycle, moving in a prescribed sequence from meridian to meridian and from organ to organ, flowing partly at the periphery and partly in the interior of the body.  Like the Western concept of "nerve-energy potential," life energy is a dynamic force in constant flux.  Energy is not only the force maintaining bodily process, but also the primary component of all physiological activities.  Life force activates all the processes of the body, the circulation, lubrication, sweating, urination, etc. In acupuncture, if the needle fails to obtain the life force, no effect is seen.  The acupuncture treatment will be fruitless.

Is Oriental medicine effective for allergies and asthma?
 

In terms of Western medicine, an allergy is a hypersensitivity to an agent (antigen) such as pollen, metal, or penicillin.  When an antigen is introduced to the body, an immune process is evoked which damages the host's tissues, causing a hypersensitivity to the antigen.  There is a loss of ability to distinguish between self and non-self, so a tissue or substance belonging to the host is perceived by the lymphocytes as an antigen, and is subsequently attacked. 

 

In Oriental medicine, we have the theory that exogenous factors get into the body and evoke allergic symptoms or diseases when the human body is in a state of weakness, with no defense power to protect the body from such factors.  First, we purify the body of such factors, expelling the factors and removing the remains through secretion.  Second, we fortify the body's defense power holistically.  If the body is strong enough, it protects itself from such factors, and we never fall into such diseases. After completion of treatment, there is no worry about reoccurrence.  As long as there is a strong immune power, no further treatment is needed.

Can Oriental medicine help with sports and auto injuries?

 

Western medicine is excellent in the area of surgery, which is used to treat many problems.  Oriental medicine tries to work out the problems as much as possible without using surgery.  Except in cases of severe bleeding, rupture of an organ, or broken bones which need emergency surgery, most problems caused by sports or car accidents can be treated successfully with Oriental medicine. 

 

A lot of patients treated by Western medical doctors based on x- rays or lab tests complain that they still have pain or problems.  In such cases, it is very difficult to find the cause of pain if they have soft tissue injuries or nerve damage.  Oriental medicine plays a big role in the treatment of these types of injuries, especially in cases of sprains, back pain, joint problems, headaches, and nerve damage. 

 

The principle is to manipulate the problem area through Oriental orthopedic method, together with treatments of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxibustion which remove the clogs including blood clotting and waste induced from impact that interfere with the flow of energy so the body is returned to the normal state in a short time.

Can Oriental medicine help me stop smoking?

 

Today, most people understand the health hazards of smoking.  Although nicotine is highly toxic, the amount inhaled while smoking tobacco is too small to cause death.  The nicotine in tobacco can, however, cause indigestion, increase blood pressure, and dull the appetite.  It also acts as a vasoconstrictor.  Medical authorities link smoking with heart disease, lung cancer, and other diseases. 

 

A lot of smokers want to stop smoking and try to do it by various ways including medication, habit control, and hypnosis.  Some smokers achieve success by such methods but there are a lot who fail. Acupuncture treatment is especially recommended to help those people who fail. 

 

Acupuncture is used along with special respiratory exercises to treat smokers.  In most cases, there is a reduced desire to smoke and smoking quantity is reduced by half after the first treatment.  The treatment principle is to return the body to the pre-smoking condition by shrinking the desire to smoke, cleaning the lungs, and expelling the remains of nicotine.

Can Oriental medicine help me control my weight?

 

Inserting acupuncture needles superficially into various parts of the body can facilitate weight loss by giving the person a feeling of well-being which can suppress the desire for excessive food.  Acupuncture can also stimulate metabolism and thereby enable the body to utilize food efficiently instead of storing it as fat.

 

The specific points used for each patient at each treatment depend on many individual factors.  The physician who examines the patient before treatment determines which points should be used with regard to the patient's fat distribution, emotional status, eating habits, and other factors. 

 

The use of staples in the ear for weight control is an American innovation which is often ineffective and dangerous.  Staples left in place for many days promote infection.  The cartilage of the ear does not replace itself after injury and has little resistance to infection.  We do not recommend the use of ear staples for weight reduction.  But one or two day's use of staples in the ear can be recommended. 

 

Diet and exercise are helpful in any program of weight reduction.  Each patient should discuss his diet and exercise habits with the doctor who examines him. 

 

Most people who come for acupuncture treatments, however, have been given diets and exercise regimens before.  They may have good knowledge of what they should and should not eat, but they feel depressed or irritable when they try to stay on a diet. 

 

Acupuncture should help relieve such problems and improve will power. 

 

The weight loss to be expected is about two to four pounds a week.  Six to ten acupuncture treatments are usually sufficient, and these can be given twice a week.

What about my back pain?

 

Back pain usually occurs in the lower back, but there is an increasing number of incidents involving upper back pain.  The pain is often dull and continuous, but sometimes sharp and throbbing. Backache or Lumbago is one of the most common ailments and can be caused by a wide variety of disorders, some serious and some not.  Occasionally backache is a symptom of spinal arthritis, peptic ulcer, enlargement of the pancreas, sciatica, disease of the kidney, or other serious disorders, but usually backache is caused simply by straining of the back in such a way that bones, ligaments, nerves or muscles of the spine are compressed or stretched.  A sudden action, using muscles that are already fatigued or out of condition, is particularly likely to cause acute strain.  A very sharp and persistent pain following the use of unusual force against something—for example, when trying to open a jammed window—could indicate a slipped "disc" or sacroiliac strain. 

 

Treatment usually consists of bed rest, a bed board under the mattress, muscle relaxant medication, analgesics, pelvic or cervical traction, or injection of steroids.  Surgical treatment is usually a last resort for back pain. 

 

Oriental medicine can be used to treat the patient who has stubborn backache in spite of various other treatments.  Such agonizing cases are usually cured by acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Oriental medical orthopedic manipulation.  We advise patients who are recommended for back surgery to try Oriental medicine before undergoing surgery.  Continuous backache is easier to treat before surgery than it is after surgery has been performed. 

 

In Oriental medicine, the backache is improved by eliminating the clogs over the meridian channels and collaterals of the problem area and activating energy circulation to recover from the abnormal state. 

 

Sometimes acupuncture is regarded as merely an anesthesia.  If that were true, the pain would return after treatment had ended.  But as long as there is not another injury or impact to the affected area, the pain will not return when treatment is completed.  This means that acupuncture works not only as an anesthesia action for surgery, but also as a cure action for most diseases, ailments, or injuries.

How can Oriental medicine help with paralysis?

 

Paralysis is loss or impairment of motor function in a part due to a lesion of the neural or muscular mechanism, with a wide variety of physical and emotional disorders, rather than a disease in itself.  Paralysis results from damage to parts of the nervous system.  The kind of paralysis resulting, and the degree, depend on whether the damage is to the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. If the central nervous system is damaged, paralysis frequently affects the movement of a limb as a whole, not the individual muscles.  The more common forms of paralysis are hemiplegia, in which the whole of one side of the body, including the face, arm, and leg is affected, and paraplegia, in which both legs and possibly the trunk are affected.  In central paralysis, the tone of the muscle is increased (spasticity). 

 

If the peripheral nervous system is damaged, individual muscles or groups of muscles in a particular part of the body, rather than the whole limb, are more likely to be affected.  The muscles are flaccid, and there is often impairment of sensation. 

 

Western medicine relies mainly on rehabilitative treatment in cases of paralysis.  In Oriental medicine, the cause of paralysis is believed to be stagnation of meridian channel systems and collateral systems for energy circulation that are distributed over the problem area.  The passage is opened up by eliminating the clogs and activating the energy system in order to restore the area to a normal state.  This is done by acupuncture treatment, moxibustion, and herbal medicine treatment.

How can Oriental medicine help with paralysis?

 

Paralysis is loss or impairment of motor function in a part due to a lesion of the neural or muscular mechanism, with a wide variety of physical and emotional disorders, rather than a disease in itself.  Paralysis results from damage to parts of the nervous system.  The kind of paralysis resulting, and the degree, depend on whether the damage is to the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system.  If the central nervous system is damaged, paralysis frequently affects the movement of a limb as a whole, not the individual muscles.  The more common forms of paralysis are hemiplegia, in which the whole of one side of the body, including the face, arm, and leg is affected, and paraplegia, in which both legs and possibly the trunk are affected.  In central paralysis, the tone of the muscle is increased (spasticity). 

 

If the peripheral nervous system is damaged, individual muscles or groups of muscles in a particular part of the body, rather than the whole limb, are more likely to be affected.  The muscles are flaccid, and there is often impairment of sensation. 

 

Western medicine relies mainly on rehabilitative treatment in cases of paralysis.  In Oriental medicine, the cause of paralysis is believed to be stagnation of meridian channel systems and collateral systems for energy circulation that are distributed over the problem area.  The passage is opened up by eliminating the clogs and activating the energy system in order to restore the area to a normal state.  This is done by acupuncture treatment, moxibustion, and herbal medicine treatment.

How can Oriental medicine help with paralysis?

 

Paralysis is loss or impairment of motor function in a part due to a lesion of the neural or muscular mechanism, with a wide variety of physical and emotional disorders, rather than a disease in itself. Paralysis results from damage to parts of the nervous system.  The kind of paralysis resulting, and the degree, depend on whether the damage is to the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system.  If the central nervous system is damaged, paralysis frequently affects the movement of a limb as a whole, not the individual muscles.  The more common forms of paralysis are hemiplegia, in which the whole of one side of the body, including the face, arm, and leg is affected, and paraplegia, in which both legs and possibly the trunk are affected.  In central paralysis, the tone of the muscle is increased (spasticity). 

 

If the peripheral nervous system is damaged, individual muscles or groups of muscles in a particular part of the body, rather than the whole limb, are more likely to be affected.  The muscles are flaccid, and there is often impairment of sensation. 

 

Western medicine relies mainly on rehabilitative treatment in cases of paralysis.  In Oriental medicine, the cause of paralysis is believed to be stagnation of meridian channel systems and collateral systems for energy circulation that are distributed over the problem area.  The passage is opened up by eliminating the clogs and activating the energy system in order to restore the area to a normal state.  This is done by acupuncture treatment, moxibustion, and herbal medicine treatment.

What is an OMD (Oriental Medical Doctor)?


Oriental Medical Doctors existed hundreds of years before Christ.  Formal medical schools may have existed as early as the l0th century. Western medicine was introduced to Oriental countries about 150 years ago. 

 

Oriental countries used Western medicine with good results for decades, but as time went by Oriental people realized that Western medicine was not perfect.  They found that Oriental medicine worked a lot better in certain health problems than Western medicine.  They began to modernize the ancient Oriental medicine by combining it with the new Western medicine. 

 

A modern Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) receives the same level and number of years schooling through a government - accredited Oriental Medical School as a regular doctor. OMD's are educated in both Oriental and Western medicine.  They are trained in Oriental Medical Hospitals, where patients can request Oriental or Western medical care, or a combination of techniques from both practices. 

 

The Oriental Medical School was founded with an educational objective to produce not only able, intelligent, well-trained medical specialists, but also pioneers devoted to the development of public health and social welfare.  Its major purpose is to develop cooperation in the field of Oriental and Western medicine, thus contributing to health and social welfare through a synthetic approach. 

 

Most American people do not know the difference between an OMD and an acupuncturist.  OMD's are educated as a physician, just like Western MD's.  An OMD takes care of the patient's health problem through general Oriental medicinal practice including acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, Oriental surgery, Oriental orthopedic manipulation, Oriental physical therapy, (cupping suction, acupressure, massage, exercise, hydro-therapy, electro-stimulation, light illumination, fasting, natural food diet), etc.  A Doctor of Acupuncture (or Acupuncturist), Doctor of Herbal Medicine (or Herbologist), etc., practices only a particular branch of oriental medicine. 

 

The State of Nevada is distinguishing Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) from Dr. of Acupuncture and Dr. of Herbal Medicine in licensing.  The State of Nevada has strict requirements for OMD's.  They must be graduated from an accredited Oriental medical school, must have six years of experience, and must pass an examination by the State Board.  With these strict requirements, Nevada has a number of highly qualified O.M.D.'s dedicated to serving Nevadans and society through their profession.