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Nihal Herath MD, FAASM
Dr. Herath is a board certified Neurologist and a Sleep specialist with over 20 years of medical
experience. He has completed fellowships in clinical neurophysiology
and epilepsy. He also had training in medical acupuncture and complimentary medicine, accredited by
Stanford University school of medicine/Helms medical
*Clinical neurophysiology/Epilepsy/Sleep Medicine at UW Madison.
*Neurological/Neurosurgical & Spinal injury Rehabilitation at University of Wales College of medicine,
Cardiff, Wales. U.K.
*Neurology/Internal medicine at UW Madison
*Internal medicine/Dermatology/Geriatric medicine, Royal college of physicians, U.K.
*Psychiatry, University of Cardiff, Wales,U.K.
*Autonomic Neurophysiology at Mayo clinic.
*Neurology, and Internal medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Frequently Asked Questions
~What is Medical Acupuncture?
Acupuncture physician uniquely offers a comprehensive approach to health care, which combines classic and modern forms of
acupuncture with conventional
biomedicine. " Medical acupuncture, then, is a modern hybrid of medical science and traditional acupuncture.
~How acupuncture feels like?
Acupuncture needles are made from stainless steel and are very fine. The sensation of needling varies depending on the
individuals and the accupunture- points. While most
patients feel some minimal sensation as the needles are inserted, some feel none at all. People may experience sore, numbness,
heaviness, and tightness locally
or spreading along the meridian, when the needle is manipulating.
~Is acupuncture safe?
In general, acupuncture is very safe when practiced by a full-trained acupuncturist. However, there are certain conditions
that you should notify your acupuncturist
about before receiving the treatment. For instance, electro acupuncture should be avoided if you are carrying a pacemaker. In
case you are a hemophiliac or have a
tendency to bleed or bruise easily, you may want to consider a different type of care, including the needle-less acupuncture.
The needles we use are sterile,
individually packed and disposable; therefore there is no risk of disease transmission caused by the treatments
~What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medical technique that involves the application of heat to the acu-points to promote Qi
flow and restore the Yang deficiency, or
remove the “Cold Pathogens". The heat is typically produced by burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate
healing. Moxibustion is as old as acupuncture. It
can be used independently or as junction to acupuncture by placing the heat to the distant handle of an inserted acupuncture
~What is electro acupuncture?
Electro acupuncture has been widely used for treating varies of clinic conditions, including pain relief, by the practitioners in
TCM in China since 1958. The only
difference of Electro acupuncture from traditional acupuncture is that, in electro acupuncture, the electric pulses rather than
a manual stimulation, are applied to the
inserted acupuncture needles. A special device is used to generates the adjustable electric pulses with desired amplification and
frequency patterns depended on
the disease features and the patient’s conditions. The pulses were delivered by a fine wire connected to the needle with a small
Alternatively, Electro acupuncture can be employed by using electrodes that are taped to the acu-points on the skin instead of
being inserted with acupuncture needles.
The procedure is especially appreciated by people who have a fear of needles or a condition that the needling is a
contraindication (e.g, hemophilic or other bleeding
~What is ear acupuncture?
The auricle of the ear is considered a complete micro system of the human body. Ear or auricle acupuncture is stimulation of
the special points, by needles or non-
needle devices, on the external ears to alleviate pain, dysfunction and disease as represented and manifest throughout the
Doctors of traditional Chinese medicine and practitioners of Japanese shiatsu therapy, place the cups at various positions along
the meridian lines. These are the
same lines used in acupuncture. There are five meridians on the back and these are usually targeted, particularly the bladder
meridian. Today, cupping is used for
respiratory disease, as well as digestive and gynaecological disorders, headaches and dizziness, and lymphatic blockages. The
common cold can be tackled with
cupping, as can insomnia and, of course, soft tissue injuries.
Gua Sha is a healing technique used by practitioners. It involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation where the skin is
pressured, in strokes, by a round-edged
instrument; that results in the appearance of small red petechiae called 'sha', that will fade in a couple of days. Raising Sha
removes blood stagnation considered
pathogenic, promoting normal circulation and metabolic processes. The patient experiences immediate relief from pain,
stiffness, fever, chill, cough, nausea etc.
~What may I expect from the treatment?
It energy Qi flow is restored, Yin-Yang starts to re-balance (which may be indicated by internal Chemical and hormone
changes) and thus healing begins to take
place. Most people may have experienced overall relaxation, symptom relief, and general well-being after the first few
treatments. Occasionally the original symptoms
may worsen for a few days, which usually should not cause concern, as they simply indicate that the acupuncture is starting
to work and your body is in the transition
of re-balancing process.
~How many treatments will I need?
It varies depending on the quality and course of the diseases, and the individual responsiveness to the therapy. In general, For
chronic and complex conditions, one to
three treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, fewer visits are usually required. An
individualized treatment plan will be
discussed according to your needs.
A committee of the United Nation's World Health Organization has issued a list of over 30 diseases that lend themselves to
treatment by acupuncture.
Neurological and Muscular-skeletal Disorders
Headache and migraine, Trigeminal neuralgia, Facial palsy (early stage), Paresis following stroke, Peripheral neuropathies,
Meniere's disease, Cervicobrachial
syndrome, Nocturnal enuresis, "Frozen shoulder", "tennis elbow", Sciatica, Low back pain, Osteoarthritis.
Acute sinusitis, Acute rhinitis, Common cold, Acute tonsillitis, Acute bronchitis, Bronchial asthma.
Disorders of the Eye
Acute conjunctivitis, Central retinitis, Cataract (without complications), Myopia (in children).
Disorders of the Mouth
Toothache, Post extraction pain, Gingivitis, Pharyngitis.
Hiccough, Constipation, Gastric hyperacidity, Diarrhea, Gastritis, Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief), Acute duodenal ulcer
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