Who is licensed to practice TEAM or acupuncture?

From academic TEAM prospective, in order to study human physiology, as well causes of decease, a first year TEAM studentwould have to master thethree theories (of Qi, Yin-Yang, and the Five Elements (Wu Xing)).
Further on, the study covers Vital Substances, Internal Organs, Meridian System, Acupuncture Points, Pathology, Etiologyand, finally, the skill of differentiation, diagnostics and treatment methods of disease.

In addition, in order to reconcile an eastern as well as western medical knowledge,a prospective Chinese Medicine practitioner has to master fundamentals of western (allopathic) medicine.

All in all, an education leading towards Bachelor’s Degree in TEAM takes:
1. two (academic) years ofallopathicmedicine study, plus,
2. minimum three years of East Asian medicine (which includes acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina, etc.,), plus,
3. minimum two years of herbal medicine.

An education leading towards Licensed (Lic.) acupuncture therapistin TEAM takes:
The first two periods, listedabove.

Further on,an education leading towards Master’s/Doctor’s degree in TEAM correspondents to the similar academic duration and as that of medics in the West.

In Europe, at least 28 countries have regulatory associations for TEAM practitioners.
In order to ensure safe TEAM practice, regulation of acupuncture is maintained by governmental bodies that maintain standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice of TEAM and issues license (that is always required in addition to the possession of academic diploma) to a qualified TEAM practitioner after passing an examination by way of example, in Sweden this is Svenska Akupunktur Förbundet, in the UK ― British Acupuncture Council, in France ― Académie Nationale de Médecine, in Germany ― Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss).

ETCMA: European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association represents approximately 10,000 practitioners in 14 countries.
The purpose of ETCMAis to promote wider recognition of the practice, exchange information about education and statutory regulations.
Full members include: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Is acupuncture painful

TEAM acupuncture never targets or stimulates nerves intended for treatment.
Particularlys slender and fine acupuncture needles (about the size of a cat whisker) Japanese J type needles are used.
– Since 1978 Seirin has been setting the world's standards for high quality, uniform, painless acupuncture needles.
– Such needles are contained in a special guide tube.
This special method ensures a precision guided and distraction manoeuvred needle insertion, which patient may (or may not) experience as a slight initial prick, sometimes described as a mosquito bite.

While needling an acupuncture point, practitioner’s goal is to achieve the phenomenon of Propagation of Needling Sensation along the Meridian, PSM.
In Chinese medicine, PSM is associated with the phenomenon called De Qi, the "arrival of Qi" to the acupuncture point that is being stimulated, this is essential for the treatment effect.

The character of the PSM vary with each individual and method of stimulation
– There is often soreness, numbness and distension in the case of needling, a warm or hot flow in moxibustion, electrical numbness in electro-acupuncture, and a sensation of flowing water in point-injection therapy.
– There may be also itching or a sensation as of “creeping ants upon the skin”.
– Any discomfort will either fade on its own or ease up as your acupuncturist adjusts the needles.

Acupuncture (and other TEAM methods) effects see also sectioneffects of acupuncture

Scientific research (see sections acupuncture working mechanism References) has shown that acupuncture regulates several organ systems, namely:
– eliminates or relieves chronic and acute pain,
– regulates homeostasis,
– increases blood circulation locally as well as overall in the circulatory system,
– strengthens the immune system,
– provides calming affect,
– provides anti-inflammatory effect.

Today, regarding the healing mechanism of acupuncture ( and some other TEAM healing techniques) , modern science (in the West as well as East Asia) has elaborated on its modulating effect that involves four major signalling networks of the body, that is:
1) Central nervous system, CNS (electrical signalling),
2) Endocrine system (hormonal signalling),
3) Cell signalling system (autocrine and paracrine signalling),
4) Connective tissue signalling (mechanical signalling).

The regulation of the major signalling systems by acupuncture provides myriad of physiological responses all of which work in synergy to achieve homeostasis, that is, a balance in the flow of Qi and Blood, Yin-Yangand Internal organ( Zang Fu) functions, namely, in:
CNS: via regulation of neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones: e.g. endorphins, serotonin, GABA, oxytocin, somatostatin, dopamine,
Endocrine system: via regulation of hormones: e.g. adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol,
Cardiovascular activity, including regulation of blood pressure and blood vessel dilation: via regulation of e.g. bradykinin, dopamine, CGRP,
Respiratory activity,
Gastrointestinal activity: viaregulation of e.g. serotonin, galanin, VIP, somatostatin, dopamine,
Blood composition: via regulation of e.g. serotonin,
Immune system activity: viaregulation e.g. immunoglobulins, NK cells, dopamine,
Inflammation: viaregulation of e.g. substance P, cortisol, CGRP, histamine,
Pain perception: via regulation of e.g. endorphins, dynorphin, substance P.

Acupuncture (and other TEAM methods) safety and side effects

Acupuncture is safe (when performed by a qualified practitioner) and has few to no side effects.

Our therapists are fully registered with the Swedish Acupuncture Council (Svenska Akupunktur Förbundet) and fully adhere to their professional code of ethics and clinical practice as well as possess Liability Insurance(Ansvars försäkring).

Only disposable (single use), highest quality surgical stainless steel, sterilised needles are used.
Their manufacturing processes are certified by the ISO 9001and conform to European standards and the norms for sterilized medical equipment (Directive 93/42/EEC for Medical Devices).

Possible side effects include:
Skin redness on the site of a needle puncture,
Small bruising (hematoma of tissue) on the site of a needle puncture,
Sweating during acupuncture treatment,
Headache and/or tiredness following the treatment or during the day of the treatment,
Hypotension (low blood pressure),
Fainting (usually, this occurs as a result of patient’s fear of needles),
Inflammation on the site of the needling, if acupuncture was performed on your ears and semi-permanent needles have been retained for several days,
– In such case, remove the needles without delay and disinfect the inflamed site by applying following, antiseptics:
Chlorhexidine or,
Surgical alcohols:
– ethanol 60 -90%
– 1 propanol 70% -80%
– 2 propanol/ isopropanol 70% -80%
– or mixtures of these alcohols.

After cuppingor Gua Sha (press stroking) treatment, there can be a period of tenderness at the location where the cups or press stroking have been applied.

Occasionally, patient may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours after treatment, so please take extra care if you are driving home.

Acupuncture interaction with other therapies

Being an excellent adjuvant, acupuncture can be used alongside any other alternative medicine therapy methods as well as conventional medicine treatments, for example, physical therapy and medication.

Exceptions might include pregnancy, severely debilitated patients, and patients diagnosed with haemophilia, treatment of cancer (in Sweden).

For more info see acupuncture contraindications.

Treatment duration and frequency

The duration of a treatment session is 60 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the complexity of the condition.

The response to acupuncture therapy (and other TEAM treatments) always differ from individual to individual.
There can be a quick relief of symptoms and recovery– within one, two or three sessions.
Most cases require a full course of acupuncture, of 8 to 10 treatments.

Typically, after five treatment sessions body starts to respond to the therapy.

The most common protocol for the frequency of the treatment sessions is as follows:
acute stage → every day,
recuperation stage → every other day (or minimum twice a week),
chronic condition → once a week,
preventative stage → once a week to once a month (depending on the duration of the earlier disorder),
maintenance stage → once a month.

Acupuncture effects can be hindered (delayed), that is, the relief of symptoms can be experienced not immediately, but rather after some time following the completion of the acupuncture treatment course.

For persistent chronic conditions, some patients might stay on a maintenance schedule, such as returning once a month since acupuncture enduresits healing effect by way of example, if damaging effects cannot be eliminated (due to necessary routine of your profession, e.g. caring children, lifting weights, physical coaching, challenging tempo, excessive use of voice etc.), acupuncture ( or other TEAM treatment) would be required for as long as the harm is existent.

Acupuncture’s effects are cumulative, your therapist will assess its effects after you complete a full series of treatments.

Acupuncture therapists employ a variety of styles and techniques, consequently if you do not obtain the results with one clinician ― seek out another TEAM practitioner.

Acupuncture contraindications

– Children under 8 years (in Sweden),
– Pregnant women, except when treating morning sickness(nausea gravidarum), treating malposition of fetus, or to induce labor,
– Pregnant, cannot be treated with electrical acupuncture at all times,
– Acute infectious diseases (lung inflammation, bronchitis, meningitis etc.),
– However, initial stages of acute common cold (flu) can be successfully treated by acupuncture and other TEAM therapy methods,
– High fever,
– Treatment of diabetes (in Sweden),
– Treatment of cancer, tumors (in Sweden),
– However, following chemo and radiation therapy course, acupuncture and other TEAM therapies are an excellent therapeutic aid for recuperation of the immune system, to reverse cellular damage and improve general well being,
– Hepatitis,
– Site of unhealed injuries e.g. fractures,
– Open wounds/ulcers,
– Allergy to metal,
– Patients with heart disease, pacemaker (only with electrical acupuncture),
– Vessel spasms (only for electrical acupuncture),
– Patients using blood thinning medicine (only with electrical acupuncture),
– Acute injuries e.g. fractures (only with electrical acupuncture),
– Serious mental disorders (only for electrical acupuncture),
– Sites containing metal implants (only with electrical acupuncture),
– Severely debilitated patients,
– Coma.

Scientific evidence for acupuncture

Both Asian and Western acupunctureis a therapeuticapproachofvarioushealth care and medical institutions, military, sports physicians, etc.,
The National Institute of Health(NIH) funds many clinical research trials on acupuncture
Both the NIH and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide, range of conditionssee section Links,
For more info see section scientific evidence for TEAM and acupuncture.

Social security reimbursement

Acupuncture can be routinely reimbursed by social security when performed or prescribed by a doctor or practitioner in France, Germany (only for some ailments) US, and New Zealand

In Sweden, acupuncturethat is performed onlyby a licensed medical practitioner (sjuksköterska,sjukgymnast, napprapat),can be reimbursed as “friskvårdsavdrag” (preventive healthcare), a measure that can be provided by employer (arbetsgivare), thus, waving tax payment

However, depending on the health policy of your employer (in Sweden), massage treatments (Tuina, for example, which is always included in the acupuncture therapy session in our clinic) can besubsidized byFriskvårdsavdrag.
Please, contact your employer for more information regarding reimbursement.