Monthly Archives: December 2016

How You Can Save Money on Health Care

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can save you money. A common misconception in the world of health care is that alternative medicine is expensive when compared to modern western medicine. Truth be told, it is actually much cheaper than conventional western medicine. This is true in two different ways. First, the actual cost of treatment with acupuncture and Chinese medicine is significantly less than modern medicine. Second, the preventative aspect of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is also much cheaper than the actual of the treatment of a problem when it does arise.

Several studies have actually been done, not just about how well acupuncture can work in treatment of disease, but also as to how much money can be saved by using it. A great example of this was a study published in Acta Anethesiol Scand in 1992. The study showed that of 29 patients awaiting surgeries 7 were able to cancel their surgery resulting in a cost savings of $9000 per patient.

Another study published in Neurology in 1994 showed that post stroke patients who used acupuncture were able to cut their hospital stay from 161 days to 88 days saving $26,000 per patient.

Another example of savings was published in the Journal Spine (5:279-291) in 1980. The study showed that 18 of 29 people treated with acupuncture for low back pain went back to work while only 4 of 27 people treated with standard therapy were able to return to work. Getting people back to work meant money savings for the companies, and less debt for the out of work patients.

Consider that there is a direct cost savings when seeking acupuncture treatment. A visit to a conventional doctor may run as high as $265 and visit to a specialist may run as high as $325. Compare that to a visit to an acupuncturist which may only cost $60-$70 on average. That is a huge cost savings. In fact, you can get about 5 visits to an acupuncturist for the cost of one visit to a specialist!

The second big way that acupuncture saves money when compared to western medicine is in the arena of preventive medicine. Western medicine’s focus is mainly on fixing things that are broken and dysfunctional. So, very little attention is paid to staying healthy and preventing disease beyond – lose weight, eat right, and take medications for the “pre-” problems. (pre-diabetes, pre-hypertension, etc.) Medications have become the new popular way of doing preventive medicine in the traditional western medical world. If you look like you might get diabetes, or hypertension etc. you might be medicated with low doses of the same meds that they use to treat the problem when it is full blown all under the guise of preventive medicine.

To and acupuncturist preventative medicine is a much more important topic. At its highest level Chinese medicine is used in the prevention of disease. There is an old saying in China that the best doctors catch the disease before it has showed up and the lowest level doctor only treats the disease once it has happened. An acupuncturist will help you figure out where your body is getting out of balance and adjust it before the imbalance gets too big. Once the imbalance is big, or gone on for a long time, then diseases and illness start. This prevention and balance restoration is done by acupuncture, custom herbal formula prescription, custom diet prescription, exercise prescription, and more. The beauty of this idea is that herbs, acupuncture, exercise, and food are much cheaper than treating cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In addition, there are no side effects!

The bottom line is that the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is much cheaper than modern western medicine. Second you are able to stay healthy longer and more consistently, thus not having to go through medical treatments for diseases. Finally, the treatments are pretty much side-effect free. You have nothing to lose!

Acupuncture History

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, it is used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has proven to provide pain relief, ease suffering, and reduce tension and stress. Looking at the popularity of acupuncture, many insurance companies have started to recognize it as a Complimentary Alternative Medicine and are offering this treatment within their health plans.
Today the world is moving at a very fast pace and there is very little to no free time available for the individual.

To remain fit and healthy has become a real challenge. Most of us often suffer stress related problems like the nausea, back pain, lethargy etc. There are prescribed medications available to assist with the symptoms but the available medications are not free from their own form of side effects. It is not always practically possible to go to work suffering from drowsiness or lethargy caused by the commercial medications for example. To avoid this situation there are only two ways available, one take time off work which is not possible on regular basis or the second is to bear the sufferings of the pain or the disease and keep on working, which is not possible for long periods. For these very reasons people started hunting for the alternative remedies and thus acupuncture gained its relevance and importance in the modern world.

In the Chinese language acupuncture is known as zhen jiu. Acupuncture is actually the technique of restoring the health and treating pain and diseases by inserting tubular needles into the different vantage points of the body known as the acupuncture point. Acupuncture works on the principle that nature flows within the human body and it is controlled by the vital life energy termed as Qi (pronounced chee). This energy, or life force, circulates around the body through invisible channels called meridians. If the flow of Qi in the meridians is disrupted, then disease may follow. By inserting fine needles into particular acupuncture points, the disruption can be corrected and the flow of Qi restored. To begin with, the acupuncturist questions the patient about the ailment and various other relevant facts and also performs a physical examination of the patient before starting the acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Depending on the location of the treatment, the patient will either sit or lie down. Properly done, acupuncture is painless because the needles are very fine (around 0.2mm in width). Once inserted, the patient may feel mild tingling around the site, warmth or heaviness, or even nothing at all.

An acupuncturist may use other techniques including:

1. Cupping – suction designed to bring Qi and blood to the acupuncture point.

2. Chinese herbs – either mixed by the acupuncturist or in pre-prepared tablet or granulated form.

3. Laser – used instead of the needles to activate acupuncture points.

4. TCM remedial massage – techniques applied to specific acupuncture points or meridians.

5. Moxibustion – burning herbs held over or applied to acupuncture points.

Does acupuncture hurt? That is the most common question asked.

The whole process may be termed as a painless process but the degree of pain bearing differs from person to person. Most of the patients have stated that there is virtually no pain at all or it is very minimal, like the pain you suffer while plucking hair. The other thing to keep in mind is that the treatment as a whole also depends upon the expertise of the acupuncturist. It should be made clear that acupuncture may not provide instant relief from the ailment or that only one visit to the acupuncturist would suffice.

Factors to consider is the severity of the ailment and also that the degree of recovery differs from person to person. Acupuncture is an alternative remedy so many people do not rely on the procedure completely. Some patients do report a noticeable difference with one visit to the acupuncturist, but usually it takes many visits to get satisfactory improvement.

Pharmaceutical companies are churning out drugs and medicines for possibly all ailments and diseases to meet the requirements of the people wanting a “quick fix”, but where is the warning about the dangerous side effects that these drugs and medications bring along with them? We have mentioned the side effects of the commercial drugs and other medications so it is practically correct to ask about the side effects of acupuncture. There is a risk of negative side effects from acupuncture, but the quantum of the risk is very low compared to the alternate commercial remedies.

The main side effects of this process is due to the improper sterilization of the used needles or placing the needles too deep in the body which can cause small bleeds, dizziness etc. These things happen when any poorly trained acupuncturist handles the patient. Therefore it is very important for you to go to a qualified acupuncturist and for the purpose it may require you to research as you do before going to the physician or the dentist.

Whether or not you believe in the philosophy of Qi makes no difference to the effects of acupuncture. Scientific trials around the world have found that acupuncture is a safe and useful treatment for many different disorders. Acupuncture is certainly worth a try. It offers relatively very low risk of side effects and may assist in reducing independence from the load of the commercial drugs and medications available. It is definitely worth a try.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an old Chinese tradition this goes under the alternative medicine category. This method of relieving pain, stress, illnesses and diseases has been used on people for thousands of years. It has also been used to promote good health, blood flow and apply relaxation in the body. Acupuncture has been used to treat stress because stress is something many people feel at some point in their life. Finances, jobs, relationships, tasks and chores can sometimes seem too much for some people to handle.

The benefits of acupuncture for stress are worth a little poking and prodding. Some people are not fond of needles, but this method of alternative medicine is done by professionals. There are specific pressure points on the body that hit the exact nerves to relieve pain, tightness and stress. Everybody’s body is different and of course everybody reacts differently to medications and treatments. Many women undergo acupuncture therapy while they are on fertility treatments. Stress levels, anxiety and pressure to conceive a child can take its toll on couples. Not only is it used on women trying to conceive, but many people who suffer from back injuries from falls and through work use acupuncture. Acupuncture needles hit the precise pressure point that will increase blood flow and relieve pain. It not only has great physical rewards, but psychological benefits as well. The mind feels the ease and calmness in the body after an acupuncture session. There are visible symptoms of stress, and it is important to know what they are. People who are under stress begin to make bad choices, suffer from memory loss, have mood swings, and feel lonely and depressed. They also begin to have a bad diet which can cause pain and increase illnesses in the body.

They begin to get sick because their immune system is weak from all the constant worrying and lack of a healthy lifestyle. Some people under stress begin a road of bad habits like drinking alcohol, using drugs and smoking cigarettes. There is good stress that can help people stay on their toes and complete hard tasks, but there is also bad stress. This kind of stress can cause physical and psychological harm to any person. It is unhealthy and needs to be treated soon. Everybody can use a little bit of stress relief to relax their minds and body. Depression is very real and stress is the beginning of it. There are many ways to reduce stress, and acupuncture is one of them. Along with this proven method, exercise, yoga, a good diet, support and some quiet time are other good ways in relieving stress. People get frustrated over school, work, family and other curve balls life might throw at them, but it is crucial to stay calm and to get treatment if necessary.