acupuncture nc

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Acupuncture NC Practitioner

When you’re searching for acupuncture NC clinics, keep in mind that not all practitioners are the same. Experience, education and even general methods and ways of practicing can affect how comfortable you feel during your sessions and how effective the treatment turns out to be.

Here are four things to keep in mind when searching for the right acupuncture professional:

#1: Ask about their experience treating a specific condition

Most, if not all, acupuncturists will know how to deal with general issues such as aches and pains, smoking cessation, and chronic fatigue syndrome. But if you need help with a particular problem – such as side effects of chemotherapy treatment or women’s reproductive health issues – you might want to look for a practitioner who understands that specific issue:

  • Ideally, you want somebody who has worked with those conditions before and already knows the best treatment course for them.
  • Your second best option is an acupuncture practitioner with a great deal of experience, who knows how to research treatment for specific issues and is willing and open to working with you.

#2: Find out about their educational background

It’s true that many acupuncture NC practitioners learn through hands-on experience, but that doesn’t mean that their education and licensure background are any less important. In fact, well-educated acupuncturists are also likely to know a lot about Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other complimentary theories. Many pursue additional certifications or even degrees in those areas, making them well-rounded professionals.

The highest level of training currently available results in the title of Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc). In order to become an LAc, an acupuncture NC practitioner will need a minimum of 1800 hours (and up to 2400 hours, depending on the state) of coursework and clinical training.

#3: Beware of medical professionals offering acupuncture as an afterthought

There are no standardized educational requirements to become an acupuncturist. In fact, it’s possible to obtain a basic certification as one in as little as 100 hours. This is why many chiropractors or other professionals involved in the medical profession sometimes offer acupuncture as an additional service in their practices. The problem with this, however, is that you’ll be receiving treatment from somebody who doesn’t specialize in acupuncture – and as a result might not have the experience or knowledge needed to treat certain conditions.

To be safe, always inquire about the educational background of anybody offering acupuncture services.

#4: Inquiry about styles

Another thing to keep in mind when searching for an acupuncture NC clinic is to look at the type of acupuncture being offered. While traditional Chinese acupuncture might be the best-known form of acupuncture, some practitioners specialize in:

  • Japanese style acupuncture
  • Scalp acupuncture, or
  • Ear acupuncture.

While each type focuses on very different treatment points, there is another important difference to keep in mind: some types of acupuncture are more effective than others for treating certain conditions.

For example, ear acupuncture has long been considered highly effective for functional disorders, weight loss, smoking cessation and the treatment of conditions related to the nervous system. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is usually the right choice if you’re searching for pain treatment or to control certain symptoms or side effects, such as nausea connected to chemotherapy treatments.



acupuncture for depression

5 Reasons to Consider Acupuncture for Depression

Acupuncture and depression have been closely linked for many years. In fact, the use of acupuncture to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders is becoming increasingly popular because of research supporting its efficacy. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider acupuncture as part of your treatment for depression:

#1: It’s Customizable – No “One Size Fits All”

A recent article published in the Medical Acupuncture journal pointed to the fact that part of the reason acupuncture is so effective in treating depression is that practitioners are able to customize treatment, selecting the best acupuncture points based on the symptoms of the patient, as well as his or her level of disharmony and imbalance.

#2: Acupuncture is Complementary

In addition to customizability, some experts are now finding that adding acupuncture to the scope of treatment might provide faster and more effective results than just using drugs alone to treat the problem. This makes it a complementary treatment, which means it supports the efficacy of the drugs used instead of the patient having to rely purely on one treatment or the other.

An example of this was research conducted at York University with patients who were using drugs and therapy or drugs and acupuncture or medication alone to treat their depression. They found that those receiving either acupuncture or therapy reported a higher level of improvement that lasted up to six months. The level of improvement in patients just taking medication was lower.

#3: Research is Promising

In 2008, Intervention Review looked at seven different studies and trials comprising over 500 patients using acupuncture to treat depression. This was an important systemic review because it allowed researchers to compare outcomes and weigh differences among patients, severity of depression, and whether depression returned after treatment stopped or the results were long-lasting.

The results? The researchers, although they were unconvinced of the efficacy of acupuncture, noted that medication did not seem more effective than acupuncture treatments when it came to results – which technically signals that acupuncture could provide relief in certain cases.

#4: It’s Safe and Has No Side Effects

It’s important to note that acupuncture is considered safe and produces almost no side effects in most cases. This means it could be easily added to current treatment without having to give up medication, therapy or any other form of traditional action being used to address mood disorders.

#5: Experts Support the Use of Acupuncture for Depression

While the current research has not been enough to change the status quo, many researchers and proponents of natural medicine do back acupuncture as an effective complementary treatment for depression.

For example, a small study (19 participants) published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal looked into the use of acupuncture to treat patients with mild to moderate levels of depression.

During the study, participants received either traditional acupuncture (where specific points connected to mood and the brain were targeted) or sham acupuncture (where needles were either applied superficially or applied to random points across the body)

By the end of 12 sessions, participants receiving acupuncture reported improvements in quality of life, depressive symptoms and level/intensity of depression. While the trial was very small, the researchers pointed out that it was conducted under strict supervision and following all proper protocols – making it a great guide to help design and conduct larger randomized controlled trials in the future.