FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of health conditions. This type of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) is based on Traditional Chinese Acupuncture that removes blockages of energy in the channels to help reduce pain, disease, and dysfunction through the skilled use of thin needle placement.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most complex of the medical arts. It is based on theories and observations made over thousands of years about a vital life force that flows through our body. This life force is considered an energy that flows through pathways called meridians, similar to an electrical current passing through a conductor. By manipulating the electrical current, we can change the intensity of light and sound. Similarly, certain points located along the energy pathways in our body can be used to manipulate associated energy fields. Acupuncture is the means through which these points are manipulated. Trauma, stress, environment, improper diet, or medications are some of the factors that can cause an imbalance in the natural flow of body energy, causing us to not feel well. Acupuncture focuses on correcting that imbalance and restoring our health.
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical history of over 3000 years. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs and bodywork, dietary therapy and exercise based on TCM principles. These therapies work with the natural vital energy inherent within all living things to promote the body's ability to heal itself.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, palpation of points and meridians, medical history and other signs and symptoms to create a composite Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body to a balanced state of health.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi (pronounced "chee"). In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called 'meridians'. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ.
Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients.
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping (火罐, pronouced "huo guan") is an ancient Chinese practice designed to release internal fire (inflammation), increase circulation to tight tissues, and relieve pain. It is like receiving a very deep focused massage as it improves circulation. A vacuum is created using plastic or glass cups. The cup will stick to the skin from suction that is created with either a hand held pump or heat. This lifts the skin and increases circulation which promotes a healing response from the body to the afflicted areas. The cup will not hurt, but a small amount of suction will be felt where the cups are placed.
Often cups will leave a mark on the skin that is not painful, but is evidence of the effectiveness of the procedure which is to release internal stagnation. This modality is a great way to detox your body!
You’ve Got Questions - We’ve Got Answers
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture works when the Qi (energy) flowing through the body can be moved and balanced by stimulating specific points (acupuncture points) on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect to all our major organs. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), illness and disease arises when the flow of Qi in the meridians becomes blocked or unbalanced.
Western Medical studies have recently shown that acupuncture "lights up" certain areas of the brain, and that induces the release of natural pain relieving neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain relieving hormones. Endorphins are 200 times more powerful than morphine and also play a major role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture is effective for pain management, arthritis, neurological and endocrine disorders, women's health issues, infertility and many others.
Acupuncture also releases the neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain, which plays a major role in mood and disposition. Disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress management, and psychological issues are often successfully treated with acupuncture.
Western Medical studies do not adequately explain the results we see in our office. What we do know is that patient's with many different types of complaints respond favorably to acupuncture treatments.
DOES IT HURT?
Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. The insertion of an acupuncture needle bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection which is given through a larger diameter hollow needle and the medication is being forced into the tissue by pressure. When performed by a skilled acupuncturist, you're likely to not feel anything other than slight pressure.
IS IT SAFE?
In the hands of a comprehensively trained acupuncturist, your safety is assured. We use pre-packaged, sterilized, disposable needles with every treatment. Licensed Acupuncturists are trained and tested in Clean Needle Technique (CNT) that includes sterilization of acupuncture needles (currently disposable needles are becoming very popular) and equipment, prevention of transmission blood-borne pathogens, disposal of contaminated waste, and other safety aspects of acupuncture.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
While acupuncture is effective for pain relief, it can take more than one treatment to provide long-term results. The frequency of visits depends on your symptoms and if your pain is acute or chronic. At each visit, the acupuncturist will discuss how your treatment is progressing to determine a schedule that will prove results.
IT CAN TREAT MULTIPLE HEALTH CONDITIONS
Acupuncture treatments are not only useful for pain management, but it can also be used for many physical, mental, and emotional health issues, preventive health care and health maintenance. The most frequent use of acupuncture is useful in the treatment of the following conditions and more:
* Acute injuries / Chronic pain
* Arthritis/Joint Pain
* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
* Internal Disorders
* Migraine Headaches
* PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
* Addictions to Sugar, Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs
Acupuncture Detoxification treatments have proven to help those with addiction problems.
Acupuncture helps support cancer patients and builds their immune system. Acupuncture helps to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, i.e., constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The World Health Organization recognizes Traditional Chinese Medicine’s ability to treat over 43 common disorders.
WHAT ARE SOME SIDE EFFECTS TO EXPECT?
In general, acupuncture improves your overall well-being along with feeling relaxed, rested, more energetic, less stressed, and able to improve your sleep. Depending on your body, some people feel energized after treatments, while others may feel more relaxed and sleepy. It's recommended that you rest and sleep more if needed after the treatment. On occasion, needles may leave slight bruises which will dissipate over the next day or two. Cupping may also leave slight to darker round markings which will also go away after a few days.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST TREATMENT?
Eat before you come!
Having eaten before an acupuncture treatment is strongly recommended in order for your body to have enough energy to move Qi (energy) through the channels. This helps reduce the risk of dizziness or lightheadedness after a treatment.
Wear Loose Clothing
Wearing loose comfortable clothing allows the acupuncturist to get to targeted areas without having to remove much clothing. If you do need to take any clothing off, expect to be fully covered.