Q: What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
A: Traditional Chinese Medicine has its origin in ancient Taoist philosophy which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike allopathic medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person. Many people have found Traditional Chinese methods of healing to be excellent tools for maintaining optimum health and preventing illness. It is effective for physical, psychological and emotional problems.
Q: What is Acupuncture and how does it work?
A: The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: For most people acupuncture is a painless process. There can be some mild pain associated with acupuncture, but most people find the experience deeply relaxing and restorative.
Q: How big are acupuncture needles?
A: Acupuncture needles are the size of a hair. They slide smoothly and don’t draw blood.
Q: Is Acupuncture safe?
A: When performed by a licensed Acupuncturist acupuncture is very safe. The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture for the treatment of many pain syndromes. Acupuncture has been used safely in China and all around the world. All needles are sterile and single use only.
Q: How do you know where to put the needles?
A: When we see patients we use an orthopedic evaluation and syndrome differentiation process to classify all disorders. We then diagnose which channels are out of balance and use acupuncture along the affected channels.
Q: How many treatments does it take to achieve results?
A: Each situation is unique. Generally speaking, acute conditions often resolve within 4-6 treatments, while chronic pain and complicated illness may take up to 10-12 treatments. We will work with your budget and schedule to design the best treatment plan that is cost effective and result driven.
Q: How often do I need to come for treatment?
A: This also depends on the condition. Acute conditions respond well to 2-3 treatments per week for a short period of time. More intense situations and chronic conditions often warrant weekly treatments for a period of time. After their chief complaint is resolved many patients opt to come once or twice a month for wellness and prevention.
Q: How do therapeutic lasers work?
A: Therapeutic medical lasers heal tissue ailments by injecting billions of photons of visible and /or invisible laser light deep into tissue structures. Tissue naturally contains protein strands called chromophores and cytochromes located in the mitochrondria of a cell, which have the unique ability to absorb laser light energy and transform it into chemical energy for the cell. This chemical energy is utilized by the tissue to significantly accelerate the healing process and reduce pain in the body naturally.
Q: Is Low Level Therapy (LLT) scientifically documented?
A: There are thousands of published studies that describe the positive effects of laser therapy. These studies range from studies on individual cell types to in vivo double blind control studies. The areas of study range from wound healing to muscular skeletal conditions and have been conducted on different types of laser devices. Medicine is a very good medical database search engine that can provide abstracts and can sell literature. There are also many books on the subject. One very good text is “Low Level Laser Therapy – Clinical Practice and Scientific Background”, written by Jan Turner & Lars Hode.
Q: How deep into tissue can a laser penetrate?
A: The depth of penetration of laser light depends on many parameters such as the laser’s wavelength, the power, the type of device driver (pulse or continuous wave mode) and lastly the technique used. The higher the wavelength typically, the deeper the penetration; however, with wavelengths greater than 950nm the water in the tissue absorbs light and the depth of penetration is drastically reduced in addition to causing heat. Secondly, devices of greater power can provide better penetration. Thirdly, the peak power of the unit is the most critical factor in providing depth of penetration. Thus, devices which are true pulsed have better penetration versus continuous wave devices because they have greater peak power densities for superior photon concentrations at depth.
Q: What is the relationship between Peak Power and Average Power?
A: Average power is computed by multiplying the device’s peak power by the pulse frequency and the pulse duration. Since continuous wave units are not pulsed, the pulse duration and the pulse frequency are both equal to 1 and thus the unit’s average power. Some manufacturers of continuous wave devices have chopped the output to create a pulsing effect. It is important to note that in continuous wave units with a fixed 50/50 duty cycle that the average power of the laser system is reduced to ½. In a true pulsed laser system, increasing the frequency, increases the number of super pulses and hence, increases the average power output. The peak power of a continuous wave device is typically measured in milliwatts whereas in a true pulsed laser the peak power is measured in watts or thousands of milliwatts.
Q: What factors are considered in calculating the appropriate dose?
A: Since laser energy is absorbed by water, hemoglobin and melanin, different people will require different dosages so that the target tissue of interest obtains the desired energy density. The depths of the target will also play a major part in this decision. Since light energy will be absorbed by other tissues that lie between the target tissue and the skin surface, one should increase the dose to obtain the desired dosage at the target site. In order to bio-stimulate the tissue, light must reach the target in a sufficient dose otherwise bio-stimulation will not occur.
Q: Are there any harmful side effects/contraindications?
A: No, although one must never shine the laser directly into the eye. Otherwise, we recommend that laser devices not be used on the abdomen of a pregnant woman, in the presence of photosensitive compounds or directly on any cancerous tissue.
Q: Does it have to be a laser?
A: Some manufactures produce devices with super-luminous diodes instead of true laser diodes because they are much cheaper to produce. Super-luminous diodes produce monochromatic light, but it is not coherent and hence scattered in all directions. Studies have shown that lasers are much more effective because of their superior photon density. The most common application for super-luminous diodes is for superficial wounds and surface dermatological conditions. Since these devices are very low powered, (approximately 5 to 15 mW rated and only 1 mW actual) and much of the energy they deliver is scattered, they will require much longer periods of treatment time. Most importantly, super-luminous diodes because of their low photon density will not be effective at delivering energy to tissues below the dermis.
Q: What is the difference between normal light and laser light?
A: The major difference between laser light and normal light is the laser beam’s ability to travel long distances without being dispersed. This is known as coherence, and it enables the laser to focus its power within a small circumference. Pulsated laser light has been shown to have a strong therapeutic effect on cells and muscle tissue. A cold laser, for instance, doesn’t produce heat or cut organic tissue like industrial lasers or surgical lasers. Instead, it pulses a focused or culminated light beam at body tissue (bone, skin, muscle, etc.) which in turn has profound beneficial effects on the functioning of human cells the building blocks of the body.
Q: How does cold laser help in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints causing swelling and tissue damage. RA is different than non-inflammatory problems of the joints and often mistaken for Osteoarthritis, which is inflammation caused by wear and tear on the joints.
Cold laser treatment works by reducing the pain and inflammation caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. The initial treatment schedule can vary dependent upon the severity of the condition and the length of onset, though the average patient will receive 2-3 treatments per week for a duration of 10-25 treatments. Since RA is an autoimmune disorder and is non-curable, in order to maintain quality of life a patient is placed on a maintenance program of one to two treatments per month thereafter to maintain pain reduction, inflammation and increased range of motion.
Q: What is photon dosage?
A: Photon dosage is defined as the amount of light at tissue depth determined by the amount of light delivered to the tissue surface, affected by both power and time.
Q: How do you get better treatment outcomes with deep tissue?
A: The attenuation or diminishment of light through tissue follows a 1/e formula significantly reducing the amount of light at tissue depth. To provide better treatment outcomes a practitioner needs to maximize the amount of photon light at the tissue surface by increasing the power of the laser and time of the treatment. The limiting factor with laser is the amount of light that tissue can absorb non-thermally, this is known as the Maximize Permissible Exposure or MPE. To date, a super-pulsed laser, flickering off and on, delivers the most amount of photonic energy without exceeding the MPE.
Q: How long before benefits are realized?
A: Following a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. The more chronic and severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions will take from 4-5 or 10-18 treatments.
Q: How do I book my first session?
A: Simply call our office at 941-321-9267.
Please note: Doctor Sewell is very busy. To ensure timely access please call soon. We understand the suffering of our patients and we do our best to schedule new patients as quickly as possible. If our phone is busy, please call back.