Alternative Medicine

Fine Points for Health: Medical acupuncture provides alternative answers for patient needs

2012-12-19T00:00:00Z 2012-12-19T15:39:09Z Fine Points for Health: Medical acupuncture provides alternative answers for patient needsBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Dr. K. Doshi, a board certified anesthesiologist practicing in Northwest Indiana for 25 years, discovered the value of medical acupuncture from her own need for relief.

"It worked for me and I wanted to be able to share this option with others," said Dr. Doshi, who launched Munster Medical Acupunture and Wellness Clinic, 1630 45th Ave. Suite 103, in Munster.

She received special training in medical acupunture from UCLA's Helms Medical Institute and is now a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

A centuries-old practice, Dr. Doshi defines acupuncture as "a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning, done by inserting needles."

Many prospective patients ask questions like, "Does it hurt?"

And, "I don't like needles, is this still an option for me?"

And of course, "Is it safe?"

Others are always intrigued and curious about this procedure, and Dr. Doshi is always ready with the answer to an assortment of questions like these:

How does acupuncture work?

ANSWER: The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surfaces. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up. The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points and the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal court and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of paoin or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones that influence the body's own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities and in promoting physical and emotional well being.

What is medical acupuncture and is it different from ordinary acupuncture?

ANSWER: Acupuncture is a very old medical art. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western Medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice.

What is the scope of acupuncture?

ANSWER: Medical acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems including digestive disorders (gastritis, hyperactivity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrha...), respiratory disorders (sinus, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections...), neurological and muscular disorders (headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain...), urinary and menstrual problems and other problems related to tension, stress and emotional conditions.

How many treatments are needed?

ANSWER: It differs from person to person. Dr. Doshi emphasizes that if progress is not gained after the first treatments, there is no need to continue.

What are the needles like and do they hurt?

ANSWER: People experience acupuncture needles differently. Most patients feels only minimal pain as the needles are inserted, while some feel no pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth, rather than hollow with an edge like a hypodermic needle. Insertion to the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hypodermic needle. Because the needles are disposable, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

Will insurance cover acupuncture?

ANSWER: At this time, very few insurance companies or health plans fully reimburse patients for acupuncture treatments. Partial reimbursements may be available, depending on various insurance companies and health plans.

For more information and details, visit or call Dr. Doshi at (219) 595-3369.

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