Q.
What is Oriental medicine?
 
A.

Oriental Medicine is both a science and an art that is over 5,000 years old. It encompasses the broad field of acupuncture, internal and external herbal treatments, tui na (Chinese massage), energy or qi building exercises such as qigong and t’ai chi, and nutrition/diet therapy. The key concept within Oriental Medicine is that of balance. The famous yin-yang symbol represents this relative state of balance. Yin and Yang are opposites; like fire and water or male and female. But within any yin there is yang and within any yang there is yin. They are opposites that cannot exist without each other; change in one causes change in the other. From the biggest to the smallest possible scale; the Oriental Medical practitioner always attempts to achieve a relative state of yin-yang balance within the body.
   
Q.
What is acupuncture?

A.

Acupuncture stimulates a healing response by insertion of stainless steel needles, not much larger than a human hair, at specific points located along acupuncture channels or meridians (pathways) on the body.
   
Q.
What does acupuncture feel like?

A.
 

Acupuncture stimulates a healing response by insertion of stainless steel needles, not much larger than a human hair. It is not painful like getting a shot in the arm. You may feel the initial sensation of the needle, mild warmth or a tingly feeling, or a dull, achy sensation. Most people feel a general state of increased relaxation.

Your HealthPoint practitioner is trained in many different techniques. Some disperse or unblock stagnant energy that has become obstructed. Other techniques strengthen and tonify deficient energy.

A variety of additional Oriental treatment techniques (moxa, cupping, tui na) may be used in conjunction with acupuncture. Your practitioner will explain each to you.
   
Q.
How many treatments are necessary to obtain relief or results?

A.


In order to be effective, acupuncture requires a series of several, regularly scheduled treatments. Usually one or two treatments per week, but this really depends on the duration and severity of your condition. Your HealthPoint acupuncturist will suggest a treatment plan for you that achieves the best results in the shortest time.
   
Q.
Please describe the treatment procedure.

A.


Your first appointment involves a thorough health evaluation as well as treatment, so plan for 45 minutes to an hour. Subsequent treatments run between twenty and thirty minutes. Acupuncture is typically administered with the patient laying comfortably either face-down or face-up on the treatment table. You will generally remain clothed, but you may be asked to change into a gown in order for the practitioner to access certain points more easily. If you should experience any undue discomfort, please be sure to let your practitioner know immediately so that adjustments can be made. After the needles are inserted you will rest quietly for fifteen to twenty minutes, depending upon your condition. During this time, it is common for your acupuncturist to leave you resting alone in your room, periodically returning to check on you.
   
Q.
How should I prepare for treatment?

A.


Come to your appointment rested and relaxed. If you have to drive through heavy traffic, take a few deep breaths prior to entering the clinic. Also, it’s helpful to have eaten a light meal or healthy snack at least an hour before treatment. The energy will help you heal.
   
Q.
How do I know if a practitioner is trained and board certified in Oriental medicine?

A.

Determining the competency of an acupuncturist can be confusing. Current Minnesota law permits individuals with little or no training in Oriental medicine theory (the basis for acupuncture) to insert acupuncture needles. All HealthPoint acupuncturists have completed four years of study at and graduated from fully accredited Oriental medicine learning institutions. In addition, each HealthPoint acupuncturist has successfully completed a series of examinations to become nationally board certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Each is licensed and regulated by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice – the same body which licenses and regulates physicians in Minnesota. Each carries the designations L.Ac. and NCCAOM behind their name, an assurance that you will receive competent, professional care from licensed, board-certified practitioners.
   
Q.
What is Chinese herbal medicine?

A.

Herbal medicine is a primary treatment modality within Oriental medicine. Although acupuncture was the first Chinese modality to gain wide acceptance in the West, Chinese herbal medicine is generally more effective for chronic, long-term conditions, or even for acute symptoms that result from underlying health issues.

There are over 5,000 identified herbs used for medicinal purposes in Oriental medicine. The herbs are used in the same way as acupuncture, to help re-establish a relative state of balance. Herbs are different from commonly used medications in that they are whole substances such as leaves, twigs, roots, flowers, and seeds. Chinese herbs are administered in a variety of ways.
   
Q.
What's the difference between western folk herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine?

A.

Western folk herbalism primarily treats diseases or symptoms, such as headaches, runny nose, menstrual pain, etc. Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced by a certified, licensed practitioner, is based on your specific pattern diagnosis that underlies your symptoms. The HealthPoint practitioner writes a prescription that addresses your specific physical signs and symptoms, emotional temperament, and body constitution.
   
Q.
Are there any other differences?

A.

Western folk herbalism primarily uses single herbs or groups of herbs which treat the symptom or disease. HealthPoint practitioners prescribe Chinese herbs in formulas consisting of between 6 to 15 herbs. This ensures a safe and balanced formula, one which gently tonifies and balances your body in order to return you to health.
   
Q.
Are all the herbs vegetable in origin?

A.

The majority of the Chinese herbs are plant-based. Leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, roots, tubers, rhizomes, and barks are some of the vegetable parts used. A considerably lesser number of “herbs” are from mineral or animal substances. HealthPoint obtains all its herbs from the best sources, and our suppliers adhere to strict importing and manufacturing guidelines to ensure unadulterated product and patient safety. Most also random-sample batch test each imported shipment at independently FDA approved laboratories.
   
Q.
Do Chinese herbs work for western patients?

A.

Yes, empirical evidence has proven that Chinese herbal medicine works for Westerners just as well as for Chinese. Chinese herbal medicine has been used successfully in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and all of Asia.
   
Q.
How are Chinese herbs taken?

A.

Today, the most common method of taking Chinese herbal medicine is in capsule or powdered extract form. These are convenient, have no unpleasant taste and the active ingredients are standardized to ensure good value for the price. HealthPoint also is able to provide traditional dried herbs to be taken in decoction (herbal tea). However, these require the herbs be cooked at a low boil for an hour or more and then strained and consumed 2-3 times per day, and some patients find the taste unpleasant. Finally, some herbs are administered topically (via the skin) for treatment of muscular pain.
   
Q.
What are the benefits of Chinese herbal capsules, tablets, or pills?

A.

Capsules, tablets, and pills are good for prolonged administration in the case of chronic disease where formulas do not have to be very potent or changed on a frequent basis. The "patent" or "manufactured" medicines may also be used to consolidate therapeutic results after a successful course of decoction (herbal tea) therapy.
   
Q.
What health conditions does Chinese herbal medicine treat?

A.

Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease. It treats acute diseases, like intestinal flu and the common cold, as well as chronic diseases, such as allergies, gynecological disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic viral diseases, and degenerative diseases due to aging. In particular, Chinese herbal medicine is especially good for promoting the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.
   
Q.
Can pregnant women take Chinese herbs?

A.

Yes, if prescribed by a professional Oriental medicine practitioner. Chinese herbal medicine has been used for over 2,000 years to treat various diseases and symptoms occurring during pregnancy without harm to the fetus. Likewise, lactating mothers can take Chinese herbal medicine safely as long as they are prescribed by a trained practitioner. Patients are always carefully monitored.
   
Q.
Can children take Chinese herbal medicine?

A.

Yes, most Chinese herbal formulas are safe and effective for youngsters. As always, your HealthPoint acupuncturist will assess whether an herbal formula is appropriate for your child. He or she will discuss their recommendations with you and you will make the final determination as to whether to incorporate these recommendations into the treatment plan for your child. It may also be helpful to know that in treating young children, HealthPoint often utilizes pediatric specific formulas specially compounded to be safe, effective, and pleasant-tasting to children.
   
Q.
Does Chinese herbal medicine have side effects?
 
A.

No, not if the formula has been correctly chosen, written, and formulated. Most of the approximately 6,000 herbs in the Chinese materia medica have very low toxicity compared to even common, over the counter Western drugs. Nevertheless, rare, unwanted side effects are a possibility if the herbs are incorrectly prescribed. It is important that Chinese herbs be obtained only from qualified practitioners.
   
Q.
What is Chinese dietary therapy?

A.

Ancient Chinese doctors avoided medical intervention before first attempting to properly regulate a patient’s diet. That is still a very safe and sound approach. Some foods are more yin (more cooling, calming and fluid nourishing) while others are more yang (energizing, warming and drying). As always, the goal is to achieve relative balance. Your HealthPoint practitioner will evaluate dietary/eating patterns and identify foods that may be causing problems according to Oriental medicine theory. Learn more here ...
   
Q.
What is tui na?

A.

Tui na is Chinese medical massage based on Oriental medicine theory that combines massage, manual manipulation, and soft-tissue stretching. Please click here for more information.
   
Q.
What is shiatsu?

A.

Shiatsu is a therapeutic bodywork technique of Japanese origin that combines the principles of traditional Chinese medicine with modern anatomy and physiology. Please click here to learn more.
   
Q.
HealthPoint offers other various forms of therapeutic body; what are these?

A.

Please click here to learn about the therapeutic body-work modalities available at HealthPoint.



HealthPoint Oriental Medicine
232 Snelling Avenue, South
Saint Paul, MN 55105
651-698-1404

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