Natural Medicine Q&A
Ask Dr. P
by Kasra Pournadeali, ND
Natural Medicine Specialist
Greetings Journal Reader! What an amazing summer it’s been! As promised, this month’s Ask Dr. P is on Acupuncture- a method of treatment practiced in China for millennia. I’ve personally tried Acupuncture for injury-related back pain, and found it very effective. However, Acupuncture is not for everyone. If you decide to use Acupuncture, or any form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), find someone who is licensed through the Department of Health. This way, you’ll know that the person treating or advising you has met educational standards & passed board exams demonstrating competency.
Q: Dr. P, what is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is treatment, by either insertion of needles, heating of herbs, the application of pressure or faint electrical stimuli, at specific points on the body.
Q: Dr. P, what is the philosophy of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture’s is based on the idea that diseases are disruptions in the body’s energy flow or “vital force,” and, through treatment, these disruptions can be reversed, weak tissues can be tonified, and overactive systems can be calmed—restoring balance.
Q: Dr. P, what is an Acupuncturist?
The Washington State Dept. of Health defines a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) as those persons who have met NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) requirements, and passed both written & practical board exams in Acupuncture. The NCCAOM requires either attendance in a 3-4 year /1350 hours of formal education, or 4000 hours of apprenticeship training with 5 years experience prior to that. The credential provided by the Department of Health is “L.Ac,” (Licensed Acupuncturist). Others practice Acupuncture, but have not met the state requirements to become licensed if they do not use the L.Ac designation after their name.
Q: Dr. P, what are some treatments that Acupuncture has been shown to help?
If you accept Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) philosophy, Acupuncture can help nearly every condition, as it is thought to restore balance. The US-published research on Acupuncture effectiveness is conflicting, and more study is needed in this area. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) cites Acupuncture as a treatment for over 43 conditions including: allergies, asthma, back pain, carpal tunnel, colds, constipation, depression, headaches, heart problems, infertility, insomnia, PMS, sports injuries, tendonitis, and stress. What is amazing is that technological advances in imaging have shown that stimulation of vision-related Acupuncture points show same the reaction in the brain as stimulation of the eye. Clearly, Acupuncture has some effects that we are not yet sophisticated enough to fully explain.
Q: Dr. P, how can I find out more about Acupuncture?
I encourage you to visit the follsowing websites to start you research: www.acupuncture.com, and www.nccaom.org then contact me if you have further questions. For more information about natural medicine, or past articles, visit our website at www.ncoh.net Have a great month!
For more information or to schedule an
appointment, please contact the Northwest Center for Optimal Health at (360)