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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is Oriental Medicine?

A.  Oriental Medicine is a holistic medical system that has been used for thousands of years to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.  Oriental Medicine includes Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Holistic Nutrition Therapy, Medical Qigong, Tai Chi, Tui Na Massage Therapy and other healing modalities such as Cupping and Moxibustion.  Oriental Medicine is also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM.

Q.  What are the requirements to practice Oriental Medicine in Florida?

A.  A practitioner is required to complete a 4 year, post graduate, accredited Oriental Medicine program and pass a National Certification Test prior to receiving a Florida license. Note: Florida considers acupuncture a form of primary health care.

Q. What happens on my first visit?
A.  During your initial visit, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine will record your medical history, assess your overall health condition,
recommend a holistic treatment plan and begin your initial treatment. The first visit will take approximately 1 hour, and subsequent visits will generally take 40 minutes.

Q. What is Herbal Medicine?

A.  The practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine uses both single herbs as well as herbal formulas containing several herbs.  Ancient texts document various herbal formulas that may be used to treat various conditions.  When herbs are combined, there is a synergistic effect and this results in precise safe and effective treatment.  The oldest known significant Chinese medical text was compiled between 200 B.C. and 100 B.C. and forms the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  With an understanding of this foundation, a practitioner diagnoses a medical condition and then incorporates herbs and other TCM modalities into a treatment plan.

Q.  Where should I buy Chinese herbs?

A.  Although it is easy to find many Chinese herbs at health food stores and online, these products may be of varying qualities and may contain low concentrations of the pure herb.  These sources may contain heavy metals or dangerous fillers.  For this reason, and because everyone's medical symptoms are unique, and require a precise combination of several herbs, it is important that you consult with a certified specialist and purchase your herbs from a reliable source.

Q.  Will herbs interfere with prescription medications?

A.  Patients can generally take herbs and western medications concurrently without ill effect. Some situations, however, do require caution and that's why it's vital to have a certified herbalist who will work with you and your primary care physician to ensure that there are no complications. It is important to tell both your primary care physician and your herbalist about the medications, supplements, and herbs you are taking.


Q.  Does insurance cover acupuncture?

A.  Yes.  Many insurance plans cover acupuncture.

Q.  How many acupuncture treatments are needed to achieve an improvement in health conditions?

A.  The number of acupuncture treatments needed to achieve a detected and appreciated change in signs and symptoms is unique to each patient.  Some patients notice an improvement in their healthcare conditions after one treatment.  However, sustainable improvement for acute cases require 4-8 treatments and chronic cases take longer.  Excepting continual, longstanding health issues, most healthcare conditions are resolved within 15 treatments. 

Q.  Are there benefits to regular acupuncture treatments even if in healthy condition?

A.  Yes. Acupuncture treatments may be taken as a preventative measure to stay healthy.  Many patients find acupuncture treatments relaxing and beneficial in relieving stress.

Q.  What is electroacupuncture and what are its advantages?

A.  Electroacupuncture is similar to traditional acupuncture except that the needles are attached to a device that generates continuous low-voltage electric pulses using small clips. The device is used to adjust the frequency and intensity of the pulse, depending on the condition being treated. Electroacupuncture uses  a pair of needles so that the pulses can pass from one needle through the body to the other. Several pairs of needles can be stimulated simultaneously, usually for no more than 30 minutes at a time. 

Q.  How old is Qigong and Tai Chi?

A.  The early era of Qigong began in approximately 1,100 BC while Tai Chi's origins are estimated to be between the 12th and 17th centuries A.D.

Q.  What are the types of Qigong?

A.  There are three types of Qigong:  Medical Qigong, Meditation Qigong and Martial Qigong. 


Q.  What are the differences between Medical Qigong and Tai Chi ?

A. Tai Chi power is ‘dense’ whereas Qigong power is ‘light’. Tai Chi is intricate and advanced and Qigong is less intricate and less advanced. Qigong offers potent self-healing powers  and Tai Chi offers less self-healing powers. Qigong may be practiced by persons almost any age with little concern for disabilities while Tai Chi is more difficult for those with physical limitations.

Q.  Is Medical Qigong better than Tai Chi?

A.  No.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each.  Both Medical Qigong and Tai Chi should be learned if possible.

Q. How is Tui Na Massage Therapy different from western massage?

A.  Tui Na resembles conventional western massage in that many of the techniques are similar. Despite the similarities, Tui Na is a therapeutic treatment rather than a relaxation massage.  Tui Na is similar to an acupuncture treatment in that the practitioner utilizes Tui Na massage techniques to simulate acupuncture points. One of Tui Na's advantages is its ability to focus on specific problems such as chronic pain associated with the muscle, joint and skeletal system. It is especially effective for the treatment of joint pain (such as arthritis), sciatica, muscle spasms and pain in the back, neck and shoulders.

Q.  What is Holistic Nutritional Therapy?

A.  In Chinese medicine there is no clear distinction between food and medicine. They are considered to be one and the same. Holistic Nutritional Therapy utilizes food to promote health. A well-planned diet can reverse illness and heal the body from disease.  

Q.  What the difference between Holistic Nutrition and Western Nutrition?

A.  Western Nutrition describes food in terms of its basic nutrients (carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins and water) while Holistic Nutrition describes food not only in terms of its basic nutrients, but also in terms of temperature, energy, flavor and movement. A Holistic Nutrition Therapist assesses a patient's nutritional intake, health history and lifestyle needs and then prescribes a Holistic Nutrition Therapy Plan that emphasizes the use of whole foods to achieve health while considering the patient's health condition, age, constitution and environmental influences such as climate, season and lifestyle.

Q. What is Cupping?

A.  Cupping is a healing technique that uses small glass cups as suction devices that are placed upon the skin.  The suction causes the skin to be drawn into the cups.  The cupping technique is usually used in combination with Acupuncture. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available.

Q.  What are the health benefits of Cupping?

A.  Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, muscles stiffness and spasms, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, lung congestion and constipation.  Cupping improves blood flow, appetite, digestion and metabolism.

Q. What is Moxibustion?

A.  Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves burning moxa (a small, spongy herb known as Artemisia Vulgaris) to facilitate healing.  Indirect Moxibustion is the most commonly used.   There are two forms of Indirect Moxibustion.  One form requires the practitioner to light one end of a moxa stick and hold it close to the area being treated.  The other form requires the practitioner to insert an acupuncture needle into the treatment location while the the needle is wrapped with moxa and ignited, generating heat to the treatment point. 

Q.  What are the health benefits of Moxibustion?

A.   Moxibustion is used to treat joint pain, arthritis, diarrhea, kidney stones and menstrual cramps as well as to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth.

Q.  Does Dr. Hanoi make House Calls?

A.  Yes.  Dr. Hanoi makes House Calls throughout South Florida with a special focus on Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Miami Lakes, Weston, Parkland and Aventura. See:

Q.  Does Dr. Hanoi offer Acupoint Injection Therapy?

A. Yes.  Dr. Hanoi offers Acupoint Injection Therapy as an advanced form of acupuncture to increase the therapeutic effect of traditional acupuncture by injecting natural substances such a Vitamin B-12 adjacent to an acupuncture needle.  One study showed that this technique can be 100 times more powerful than acupuncture alone due to the prolonged stimulation of the acupuncture point. In order to offer this therapy in Florida, a doctor is required to complete 60 hours of additional specialized training and be certified by the State of Florida.  The needles used in this therapy are very small, similar to an insulin needle.  See:


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