Frequently Asked Questions
Originally a Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease or relieve pain. It is one of the oldest, most common and dependable medical therapies used in the world. It is by nature simple, safe and effective health care. Acupuncture practitioners use thin, sterile disposable needles inserted superficially into specific areas of the body in order to help the body's ability to heal itself.
Over the three decades or so in which acupuncture has gained popularity in the United States, it has been proven by an increasing body of scientific evidence to be not only exceptionally safe, but statistically effective as well.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile, single use disposable needles into points on energy pathways to regulate the flow of qi. Typically, little is felt as the needles adjust and regulate the flow of qi.
Sports and Orthopedic acupuncture includes the insertion of needles into joint spaces, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
You will be lying comfortably on a table during the treatment. The needles can be placed on the hands, feet, legs, arms, back, torso, neck, head, and ears. They are retained for approximately twenty minutes. Most patients find an acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing.
There are many other ways of working with acupuncture points and qi in the body. Other techniques we frequently use, include; moxibustion, tui na, plum blossom hammer, electro-stim, cupping, and gua sha.
Fear of needles is probably the number one reason why people do not try acupuncture. The needles are so very tiny that many times people have no awareness that they have been inserted. However, you can have sensation and that sensation can feel different or strange until you get used to it.
Here's what I’d like you to know: You may feel a bit of a pinch when the needles are tapped in, but this should ease right away. If you continue to feel a pinching or a burning sensation at the needle site any longer than this then the needle will be adjusted. If on the other hand you feel a slight ache or heavy feeling near the needle, this is a good sign – a clue that the body is reacting in a productive way.
Once the needles are in what you feel more than anything is deep relaxation.
This is really the million-dollar question. The easiest answer we can offer, in bio-medical terms, is that no one has a definitive explanation. According to traditional theory, the acupuncture system is an active circulatory system for mobilizing energy and for intercommunication throughout the body.
Chinese medicine is a systems based medicine. This means that we are a living organism, not a machine with a “thinking” computer that directs everything, but a living organism that is in a process of continual flow and change.
This means that there isn't one factor, but that many reactions going on at once involving different systems - including the central nervous system – that allow acupuncture to have such wide, strong and lasting effects.
This depends on the reasons why you're coming for treatment and where you are in your healing process. I recommend that you plan on three treatments. I have found that by the third treatment the acute issue has either resolved or we have a clear idea of what is going on and how your body is responding in order to make a treatment plan.
As a rule of thumb, plan on more treatments more frequently to quickly resolve an acute issue. Chronic issues require more treatments initially, and then treatments at regular intervals to maintain and continue progress. Preventative treatments can be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. People are always pleased that they have scheduled in advance and enjoy their tune-up!
Chinese medicine is designed to be used regularly to prevent you from becoming too out of balance. It is much easier to treat a person who is slightly out of balance. Recovery becomes much harder once a disease pattern sets in and begins to involve multiple systems. Even though most people think of using acupuncture and Chinese medicine for pain relief, a majority of my clients come regularly. Some do have pain issues that we address. Many are looking for stress relief and general balancing. A large portion of my practice are people who are managing chronic conditions, including emotional issues, and are incorporating acupuncture and Chinese medicine into their treatment plan.
As a practitioner, creating a lasting relationship with a person is invaluable. As I get to know a person I can see what is in balance and what is out of balance much more clearly. I also learn how their body responds to different kinds of treatments so I learn what works best for them. Most importantly, I watch for changes in their health that may need extra attention such as a visit to a Western doctor for further tests. Scopes, ultrasounds, x-rays, blood work, etc. all have their time and place. And I enjoy knowing what makes them comfortable -- a soft pillow, aa extra warm room, ocean sounds….
Acupuncture treatment and Chinese medicine is able to treat a wide range of acute and chronic disease. It can also be used to enhance relaxation and health, increase your sense of well being and promote a positive, optimistic attitude. It is also used to enhance athletic and mental performance.
The best answer will come from the initial evaluation. Based on your medical history, condition, and what other treatments you have been or are receiving, we can best help you decide whether acupuncture is suitable by itself or as adjunctive therapy.
I generally tell patients that if their treatment, according to a Western diagnosis with options, isn’t resolving the problem, is quite expensive, or has significant side effects or hassles associated with it, then clearly acupuncture is worth a try.
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common cold
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma
- Acute conjunctivitis
- Cataract (without complications)
- Central retinitis
Disorders of the Mouth Cavity
- Pain after tooth extraction
- Periarthritis humeroscapularis
- Tennis elbow
- Low back pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spasm of the esophagus and cardia
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Gastric hyperacidity
- Chronic duodenal ulcer
- Acute and chronic colitis
- Acute bacterial dysentery
- Paralytic ileus
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Facial paralysis
- Paralysis after apoplectic fit
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Paralysis caused by poliomyelitis
- Meniere's syndrome
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Nocturnal enuresis
- Intercostal neuralgia