After examining the patient, the practitioner decides the treatment then.
2) Sterilization: The site of needling is then sterilized with cotton and sprit or suitable medium.
3) Needle insertion: The needles are pierced at the selected points at the specific depth and direction.
4) Stimulation: The manual or electrical stimulation is given as per the requirement.
5) Duration: The session is continued for 20 to 45 minutes as per requirement. During the session the patient should not talk or make any movements unless he is asked to do so. The movements made by the patients, after needling can cause pain or some other complications.
6) Removal of Needles: At the end of the treatment, the needles are removed rapidly or gently as per the requirement of the treatment. The needled points are massaged with sterilized piece of cotton wool. This is done to prevent the infection and the escape of the vital energy.
7) In acute cases, 2 or 3 sessions are carried out in a day.
8) The treatment sessions are carried out for 7, 10 or 15 days, daily, or every alternate day or every third day. Then the period of 7 to 10 days rest is given to allow for further improvements and thereafter the patient is reviewed and if required, the further course of action is decided.
9) During treatment session the other ancillary treatment methods are used in combination or independently as per requirement.
When a needle is inserted at the acupuncture point, it leads to various types of subjective effects. The patient feels these effects. However, they are the pathological changes incidental to acupuncture and the changes themselves constitute the very basis of acupuncture
1) Pain: Whenever a needle is inserted in the body, pain like insect-bite is the first sensation experienced by the patient.
2) Numbness: When the needle is inserted at the specific points, the patient experiences the feeling of numbness along the meridian line.
3) Soreness: The patients may experience the feeling of soreness on needling on certain points.
4) Heaviness: The patients may experience the feeling of heaviness on needling on certain points. The feeling of heaviness is normally found on the extremities.
5) Distention: The patients feel something moving from the place of needling along and up to the end of meridian.
A combination of more than two types of feelings indicates that the needles have been accurately placed and the energy is properly stimulated. This is also known as P.S.C. phenomenon (Prolonged Sensation along the Channel)
There are some disorders, which do not respond to, or are adversely affected by acupuncture treatment. In such conditions, it is advisable to avoid acupuncture and patients are recommended to seek other appropriate treatment. A summary of these contraindications is given below.
1) Cancer and other malignant diseases: Acupuncture has no curative effect on malignant disorders. However, the secondary effects such as severe pain, loss of appetite, mental depression, lack of sleep can be effectively and safely managed by acupuncture treatment.
2) Mechanical Obstructions: These will have to be mechanically removed.
3) Clear indication for Surgery: The cases having clear indications for surgery such as fractured bones, dislocated joints, bleeding wounds, congenital defects (e.g. hare-lip) are to be treated surgically.
4) Fulminating infections: Antibiotics are preferred in such cases. However, acupuncture may be combined to drug therapy, especially to relieve symptoms.
5) Pregnancy: In the first three months and last three months of the pregnancy it best to avoid acupuncture. This is only relative contraindication. Vomiting of pregnancy and relieving pain of childbirth can be treated with acupuncture.
6) Drugs: The patients receiving drug treatment for certain diseases may suffer complications due to over correction of their condition by homeostatic action of needling e.g. High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Mellitus.
7) Miscellaneous conditions:
The miscellaneous contraindications are listed below.
a) Very old persons
b) Debilitated and dyeing patients.
c) Immediately after hot bath.
d) Immediately after sexual intercourse.
e) Patients sweating profusely.
f) Patients under influence of alcohol.
The acupuncture is very safe treatment, however it is not suitable for everybody. The exceptions are as listed below:
People who have a bleeding disorder
People who are taking blood thinners (such as Heparin)
People who have pacemakers, implanted electrical devices or infusion pumps.