Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Acupuncture?
A. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese system of health care and one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Acupuncture was developed in China 2,000 years ago and became widely know in the United States in 1971. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body in order to create a balance of energy. There are approximately 2,000 acupuncture points on the body which lie along the course of energy channels called meridians. There are fourteen meridians that course through the human body. A proper balance of energy in the meridians promotes and helps to maintain good health. Research shows that acupuncture is a safe and painless way to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions.
Q. How does Acupuncture work?
A. Acupuncture works with the body’s natural vital energy, Qi (pronounced “chi”) which flows throughout the meridians. Qi regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. According to traditional Oriental Medical theory, all disorders or disease are related to an imbalance in one’s qi, or vital energy. Acupuncture keeps the normal flow of energy unblocked and restores the normal balance and flow of qi throughout the body in order for healing to take place. When a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point along the meridian, all organs and bodily systems can work harmoniously.
It is often said, “When you listen to your body when it whispers, you don’t have to hear it scream.” If it could speak it would tell you to identify factors that may be leading to disease & take action BEFORE illness occurs, rather than after. An acupuncturist scans the body prior to needle insertion, carefully analyzing the flow of Qi along the meridians. 6 radial pulses are taken. The tongue is examined for color and texture. Abdominal examination is performed. Questions are asked of the patient about health history, habits and recent illnesses. Then the needles are inserted in appropriate locations along the meridians. During the session you may experience a feeling of deep relaxation and even sleep. This balances the body and can provide relief from stress and discomfort. Consistent treatments of this kind are highly beneficial in maintaining good health and cultivating longevity.
Q. What conditions can Acupuncture treat?
A. Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of many medical problems, including but not limited to:
- Addictions – alcohol, drugs, smoking
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Colds and flu’s
- Digestive disturbances – constipation, diarrhea, Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Emotional problems – depression, anxiety, stress
- Headaches and migraines
- Indigestion – heartburn, vomiting, morning sickness
- Musculoskeletal pain – neck, shoulders, knees, low back, wrists, elbows, etc.
- Sleep disturbances
- Tooth pain
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Musculoskeletal: pain of any kind (from injury, post-operative, fibromyalgia pain, headache or sinus pain, repetitive stress disorders, TMJ (jaw) pain
- Psycho/Emotional: depression, stress, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse
- Neurologic: post-stroke, vertigo, insomnia, headache, facial paralysis, neuropathy
- Infertility: non-implantation, anovulation, low sperm count or motility
- Gynecologic: menstrual irregularities, PMS, menopausal symptoms, cystitis
- Immune: the common cold/flu, frequent colds, chronic bronchitis, allergy, skin conditions, sinusitis
- Gastrointestinal: diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, reflux disease, nausea, ulcer
And others such as: chronic hepatitis, asthma, quit smoking, chronic fatigue syndrome, palliative care for cancer and so on
Q. Does Acupuncture hurt?
A. Acupuncture needles and very thin and flexible, about the size of a human hair. Some people feel a slight ache when the needle is inserted; however, most patients feel no sensation at all. Any sensation that is felt is usually mild and subsides quickly after insertion. Most acupuncture patients find the treatments to be very relaxing and pleasurable.
Q. Is Acupuncture safe?
A. Yes, acupuncture is an extremely safe form of health care. Licensed acupuncturists are required by law to be certified in Clean Needle Technique. Most acupuncturists use presterilized, individually packaged and disposable needles. There is very little danger of infection with acupuncture.
Q. How many Acupuncture treatments will I need?
A. The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. Some patients begin to see favorable results after only one or two treatments; however, most health problems take several treatments to resolve and many may require ten or more treatments to see significant results. In general, chronic conditions require more treatments that acute conditions.
Q. Why are needles put in my ears, hands and feet?
A. Ear acupuncture is a specialized therapy where acupuncture points on the surface of the ear are stimulated with either needles or tiny seeds or tacs. There are as many as two hundred acupuncture points in the ear which correspond to specific body parts or organs. Each point in the ear, when stimulated, triggers an electrical impulse from the ear, via the brain, to the specific body area. For example, stimulating the wrist point in the ear would help to alleviate wrist pain. Alcohol and drug addictions are generally treated with ear points as well.
Many conditions require needles to be placed in the hands and feet in order to be effectively treated.
Q. Why are acupuncture and massage performed in the same treatment?
A. Acupuncture and massage are commonly combined to bring about the ultimate holistic approach.