Vitamin Junkeys

Acupuncture-Getting to the Point Ep 01

Acupuncture: Getting to the Point (Pilot)
Vitamin Junkeys Episode #1 (running time 12:12)
Date: April 22, 2008

Podsafe Music: Ice Cream by Christopher Dale
Courtesy of the Podshow Music Network

Show hosts: Jennifer Lyall & Dr. Jean Jacques (Dr. JJ) Dugoua, ND HBSc PhD (Cand.)

This episode examines:
What is acupuncture?
What education is required to practice acupuncture?
Is acupuncture safe for everyone?
Are there particular conditions that acupuncture works well with?
When should you see an acupuncturist?
What happens during an acupuncture session?
Does acupuncture hurt?
How much does acupuncture cost?
How can you find an acupuncturist?

Vitamin of the day: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is good for
Treating SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Building bone mass and treting Osteoporosis
Preventing breast cancer
Vitamin D is taken orally, typically either as drops or pills.

Many people do not realize that in Canada and the United States, naturopathic doctors are trained in acupuncture. Dr. JJ Duguoa, is a naturopathic doctor and answers all of the questions about acupuncture, in this episode.

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is when you take very thin needles, and put them into points on the body to stimulate the Qi. According to Chinese Medicine, Qi is energy, health, nutrients and you want to stimulate the Qi in the body to cure disease.

Who can practice acupuncture?
Naturopathic Doctors, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupuncturists, some Chiropractors, some Physio-Therapists and some Medical Doctors.

What education is required to practice acupuncture?
Depending on the state, province or country, the regulations vary. Generally, practitioners have to fulfill a specified number of clinical hours, they need to know what points to do, what points not to do, and you need to know the safe needling techniques.

Do Acupuncturists have a special designation?
Depending on the type of license the practitioner has, they could be a LAC - Licensed Acupuncturist, or a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Jennifer shared her experience with acupuncture. She has used acupuncture to treat sinus infections and neck, shoulder & back muscle tension. When the needle goes into a tense muscle, it hurts. It is tolerable, but it hurts. The part Jennifer likes the least is when the needles are twisted to stimulate the points. The results afterwards are worth it- it releases the tension.

Dr. JJ explains that the reason for twisting the needles is to get a Qi response. When patients come in for an acupuncture treatment for a pain condition like head aches, tight traps, back pain, etc., there is usually a pain release when the needles are inserted, but afterwards the patient feels a lot better. The muscles relax and the pain goes away.

Is acupuncture safe for everyone?
Certain acupuncture points should be avoided during pregnancy. Acupuncture is not recommended for children, because you need to stay still during treatments. Around 16-18 years of age is a good time to consider acupuncture.

Are there particular conditions that acupuncture works well with?
There are great studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture on back pain. It is also good for knee pain and headaches and nausea (there are points on the wrist for nausea), just to name a few.

When should you see an acupuncturist?
If someone is suffering from back pain, knee pain, headaches, nausea, muscle tension, sinus infections, hormonal programs. Usually, people will see an acupuncturist, and the therapist will determine if acupuncture is the right treatment for that individual. People should see a holistic practitioner, someone who will look at thier health from head to toe.

How frequently should someone see an acupuncturist?
It depends on the individual and the condition that is being treated. Someone may get relief after one treatment, others who are suffering from chronic conditions (e.g. bad arthritis or nerve pain), would require more regular appointments (e.g. weekly or twice a week). Each acupuncture treatment builds on itself. For instance, the first treatment may last 1 day, then the subsequent treatments will provide longer relief, 3 days, 4 days or even 6 days +. The more acupuncture treatments you have for a particular condition, the more you will have a lasting effect.

Acupuncture Demonstration:
Dr. JJ demonstrates an acupuncture technique called Hua Tuo Jiaji on Jennifer. This technique consists of inserting a needle on both sides of each vertebra on the back.

The needles are put in fairly quickly. A common question is, does acupuncture hurt? Most people feel the needle being inserted, but don't feel much after that, until the therapist twists them after all of the needles are inserted. The twisting is to stimulate the Qi.

How much does acupuncture cost?
A typical acupuncture session in Canada costs $40-$60.

As the needles are inserted, you can feel different areas of tension. Dr. JJ could tell that some areas of Jennifer's back were more sensitive than others. Overall, Jennifer tolerated the session quite well. Dr. JJ then twisted the needles to stimulate the Qi. Jennifer rested with the needles in her back for 20 minutes.

After the demonstration, Jennifer reported that there was less tension in her lower back, but she didn't like it when Dr. JJ stimulated the Qi, by twisting the needles. Dr. JJ commented that this is a typical response.

How does you find an acupuncturist?
Go to the Find a Practitioner link on Vitamin Junkeys website. This is where you will find links to associations that you can contact to help you find a practitioner in your community.

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Camera: Jerome Marrin
Gaffer: Paul Zander
Editor: Jerome Marrin
Jerome Marrin Media Productions
Special thanks to: Slurp Medi a &

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About Vitamin Junkeys

Join Jennifer Lyall and Naturopath, Dr. JJ Dugoua as they have fun exploring alternative therapies and healthy living. Weekly episodes are released every Tuesday.

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