Ask the Doctor

Dr Raman Kapur, Head of the Department of Acupuncture at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, answers your queries every alternate week

Published: 22nd August 2015 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2015 12:38 AM   |  A+A-

Ask the

I am 27 years old and have been suffering from acute backache since the last two years. I have tried physiotherapy, pain killers and traction but with no relief. I have been diagnosed with lumbar spondylitis. It is crippling me and I am unable to go to work regularly. I wish to get acupuncture done but I am afraid of needles. Kindly advise.

Lumbar spondylitis is treatable with acupuncture. For patients who are afraid of needles we use a device called Acutron. In this treatment, instead of using needles, special electrodes are placed at acupuncture points and micro-current and milliamp currents are used to stimulate these points and get the same effect. This device can be used for treating all painful musculoskeletal conditions and arthritis pains.

I am an 18-year-old girl and am suffering from severe joint pains since the last one year. The pain started from the joints in my hands and now have spread to the elbows, shoulders and knees. The doctors have diagnosed it as rheumatoid arthritis. Can acupuncture help?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease which generally occurs at a young age, gradually leading to joint deformities. Since your problem is chronic and has persisted for one year, we can hope to curtail the progress of the disease and give you relief from the pain by using acupuncture.

What determines the response of a patient to acupuncture?

A patient’s response to acupuncture depends on the severity of the illness and its duration.  Other factors are general health, constitutional type, emotional balance, diet, lifestyle, and any medication the patient has received or is receiving at the time of consultation.

What is essential for acupuncture to be effective?

The effectiveness of acupuncture depends on its ability to improve the flow of Chi (the life-force, vitality, or energy that keeps us alive) in the body. If Chi is depleted, or its flow is blocked, progress will be slow, even non-existent. If a patient does not follow the prescribed diet or lifestyle, it may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Patients under conventional medication, especially on a long-term basis, acupuncture treatment is likely to be difficult and prolonged.

How soon can acupuncture treat an illness?

The response to treatment varies with each individual.  Acupuncture’s speed is dependent on Chi, so children and those with good general vitality often respond faster. But older people and those with depleted Chi may expect slower results. The treatment depends on the duration of the illness. The less chronic an illness, the lesser is the number of sittings.

Readers can email their questions to Dr Raman Kapur at


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