Why should I do Chinese medicine? In which cases can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help?
Chinese medicine is very effective for many problems and diseases, especially when it comes to their prevention. This is because we do not treat just the symptoms. As we always treat the root of the problem, many diseases can be actually cured.
Since most patients decide to try Chinese medicine after starting medication or surgical intervention, it is not always possible to see what helped. In terms of studies, many Chinese medicine successes can be seen in the following cases:
women's health (menstrual cramps, irregular menstrual cycle, menopause, and infertility);
indigestion (constipation, gastrointestinal ulcer, abdominal pain, chronic pain, anal fissure, fistula, problems in the oral cavity);
sleep problems and insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, awakening from sleep, fatigue due to poor sleep);
pain management (high efficiency in the treatment of pain: headaches, toothaches, muscle pain, pain in the wrist, pain in the hips joints, knees, backache, etc.);
mental and emotional problems (anxiety, fear, mild to moderate depression, anger, low self-esteem, sadness).
These are some of the areas in which Chinese medicine is very effective, as opposed to western medicine. It strengthens the immune system - in children, in elderly and in people who undergo cancer treatments, and in general. Chinese medicine also helps to improve sex life for men and women, and is very effective when it comes to anti-aging treatments: slowing the aging process and preventing diseases, so you can look and feel younger.
What is acupuncture? How exactly does it work?
Acupuncture is a treatment of more than 3,000 years old, based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of seeing man as part of nature and therefore influenced by nature. People are influenced by the climate and weather, the food they eat, as well as, to a great extent, by their inner feelings.
All of these can create serious disruptions and disharmony in the body and soul. For instance, dry climate causes skin dryness and constipation, a very humid climate causes arthritis, and being angry all the time causes chronic damage to the stomach, intestines, and liver.
Throughout history in ancient China a great deal of knowledge got accumulated about methods of healing through diet, herbs, acupuncture, massage and movements such as Tai chi and Qigong. The Chinese saw many systems in the human body connected to one another through blood channels, nerves, digestive tracts, fluid channels, and more. They also found that there are certain points between blood vessels and nerves that when pressed, heated and needled, can cause changes in blood, nerves, digestive system, hormones, and emotions.
Thousands of Chinese doctors and millions of patients have led us to a place and time where accumulated knowledge has been proven to be effective in modern studies with control groups. Acupuncture causes an increase in blood flow to the affected areas and tissues, creates the secretion of endorphins in the brain to relieve physical pain, and in combination with heating certain points, can even help the fetus to roll over when it’s needed.
The effects of acupuncture can be simply perceived as opening blockages in the body, just like a plumber eliminates the pipe’s obstructions, and by restoring natural movement, the body succeeds in returning to the normal functioning and self-healing. The acupuncture process is very complex. The art of diagnosis and treatment constantly surprises patients, Western doctors and even the healers themselves.
How many acupuncture treatments should I have?
Chinese medicine therapy is a process. In this process the therapist helps patients clear physical and emotional blockages from their body and mind. At the beginning of treatments, there is relief and sometimes slight aggravation until you reach full recovery and healing (in mild or acute cases) or balance in cases of systemic diseases, like blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and others.
In most cases it is recommended to undergo at least 10 treatments. In case of chronic diseases, emotional problems and complex diseases, this involves a longer process of at least 20 treatments. It is important to remember that at first the treatments are repeated once a week, but later the frequency is reduced to once every two or three weeks.
Patients who have been healed and cured are recommended to come back every 2-3 months to get a few treatments to help achieve balance and harmony in life. Most of my patients have been with me for years because they feel and see the advantage in preventive treatments. They come not just to treat the disease, but to stay healthy.
Is acupuncture safe?
Treatments of Chinese medicine in general and acupuncture in particular are considered to be fully natural treatments with no side effects. Today there are hundreds of studies in China and in the Western countries, proving the efficiency and safety of these treatments. It is very important to choose certified therapists who have studied for several years.
An unqualified caregiver may harm mainly to himself, because the effectiveness of his treatments will be very low. In addition, they may damage the blood vessels or tendons, and the acupuncture process will be unnecessarily painful. The needles must be sterile, disposable and discarded after each treatment. Overall acupuncture treatments are completely safe and can not cause any harm to the patient.
Is acupuncture painful?
When you think of needle acupuncture, you immediately think about a blood test or an infusion. In acupuncture we use very thin needles, about the thickness of a hair. But for some patients only the thought of inserting a needle causes great anxiety.
Instead of convincing you that acupuncture does not hurt, I will try to explain what you might feel. Because the needles are thin sometimes you might feel a slight pinch on the skin, but a trained therapist knows how to insert needles without any sensation to the patient.
I am known as an extremely gentle and sensitive therapist who also treats babies and children. So when patients share with me their concerns about acupuncture, I use needles for children (especially thin) and make an effort for the patient not to feel the needles at all.
After insertion, the needles should be kept for about 10-20 minutes. At this time there are patients who feel a pleasant flow that goes through the body, a general feeling of relaxation or even a floating sensation.
Are there any side effects to the treatments?
In contrast to the Western medicine, there are no side effects to acupuncture treatments, and if the therapist is qualified and skilled, it is not possible to cause harm. It is important to understand that a therapist can not make patients recover against their will. Similarly they can’t cause them to be sick or feel pain that does not already exist in the body. Many times in treatments we can diagnose an obstruction in the natural movement of fluids, blood, or digestion.
When we unblock a patient’s stagnation, they can feel a variety of sensations: great relief, peace, reduction in pain, but sometimes in less common cases a worsening of the symptoms is also possible. This is not necessarily a mistake. Sometimes, a place that has a blockage or a short-term disruption will feel less good. The longer the blockage or the disease persists, the more likely it is that things will rise and surface during the treatment, since the purpose of the treatment is to locate the blockage and release it.
Here are some examples of normal side effects and even signs of healing. After the asthma treatment there might be a skin irritation. After the treatment that released a deep blockage, a patient can feel a lot of strong or unpleasant emotions for a short while, like crying, anger or confusion. Everything that comes up after the treatment should be accepted and even welcome. Allow things to be and let your therapist know about them. It is important to rest and not to respond right away to the pain and feelings that came up.
It is very important to inform the therapist of any supplement, medication, or treatment that patients are undergoing at the same time as acupuncture treatments take place. It has happened to me many times that patients have taken a new supplement or drug and have not reported it to me, and afterwards they complained about a new symptom, saying acupuncture has caused it. And in fact, it was caused by the new drug.
Patients who have been treated and not eating anything the whole day can sometimes feel dizzy. Those with diabetes might feel particularly tired after the treatment, and are advised not to be physically active and keep the stress down.
What should I do before and after an acupuncture treatment?
It is important to eat a light meal before the treatment. Please arrive a few minutes ahead of time to let your body rest and not be stressed. Avoid drinking coffee and smoking about two hours before and after the treatment. For more information, please visit the new patients page.
Can I get a refund from my “kupat holim” or private insurance company?
To the best of my knowledge, it is not possible to receive a reimbursement from the public health fund ("kupat holim"). The public clinics have their own centers for alternative medicine, but unfortunately they work in a very rushed manner, and treat each patient for 5 minutes, while continuing to care for another patient at the same time. In private Chinese medicine clinics, the treatment is very different, personal, and allows for a lot of time for conversation with each patient, massage and more.
Refund from private insurance companies:
Many of us pay for private health insurance every month and yet we’re often unaware of our rights. In most insurance policies there is an option of complementary (alternative) medicine. You can claim a reimbursement of between 100-150 shekels per treatment, up to 20 treatments per year, according to most insurance plans. It is advisable to check with your insurance agent. Sometimes they will claim that their policy has changed and refuse at first, but whoever insists will be normally reimbursed.
In newer insurance plans the alternative medicine treatments are supposedly handled through subcontractors, but you are still entitled to a reimbursement of about 50% (up to a certain cost) on treatments from a non-listed therapist, so it is worth checking with the insurance company and insisting on reimbursement.
For those who do not have complementary medicine as part of their insurance policy, it can be usually added at a cost of about 20-30 NIS monthly.
For those who do not have private medical insurance, you can purchase one at a low cost that includes alternative medicine. You are encouraged to check with several insurance companies. I am also happy to recommend the insurance agent that I trust and work with for many years.
How should I choose a therapist?
Chinese medicine therapists should study not less than 4 years and pass the certification test of the National Association of Chinese Medicine. It is recommended to choose an experienced therapist that has professional insurance. I am a senior professional who has been healing patients since 2000. In the past I was also a teacher at the "Medicin" and the "Riedman" Colleges. I was trained by the best doctors and healers in Israel, Europe and China.