What is Acupuncture? How does it work?
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near the surface of the skin via insertion of very fine needles, (sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus), in order to influence physiological functioning of the body. Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain reducing neurotransmitters and regulates levels of the hormones associated with the body’s healing process.
The classical Eastern explanation for how acupuncture works is that channels of energy, or “Qi” (pronounced "Chee" as in chief), run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up, creating imbalance and pain. Stimulating the acupuncture points influences the meridians; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians.
Historically, acupuncture points (acupoints) have been described as energetic pores that allow entry into meridians. This has been substantiated by modern science in that acupoints are found to have lower electrical resistance than other areas of the body. These energy pores provide gateways to influence, redirect, increase, or decrease body's vital substance, qi, thus correcting many imbalances.
What are the needles like? Do they hurt?
Only single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used. Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are ultra thin and flexible, thereby permitting a nearly painless insertion. After insertion, patients may feel some heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling along the affected meridian. A typical response to acupuncture is a feeling of deep relaxation during and following the treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Harmful side effects to acupuncture are very rare. Occasionally there may be a small drop of blood when the needles are removed, and slight bruising may infrequently occur at the point of the needle insertion.
How Deep do the needles go?
The depth of the needles depends on the nature of the problem and the location of the points, Usually, needles are inserted from 1/4 to 1 inch in depth.
What do I need to do to prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
Before you come to the clinic, make sure to eat a light meal and drink enough water. Wear comfortable clothes. Also, bring the names and dosages of all medications and dietary supplements that you are taking.
How long will treatments take?
The initial consultation and treatment will take two hours. A complete medical history will be acquired, followed by a comprehensive evaluation, treatment administration, and, if needed, herbal prescription preparation. Follow up visits typically take an hour.
Can I combine acupuncture with other medical treatment?
Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with conventional western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important to inform your acupuncturist of all other treatments.
How many treatments will I need?
Because each person is unique and types of conditions differ, the number of treatments varies. Generally, chronic conditions require one or two treatments per week for several months. Those with acute illnesses can expect a change within a few visits. Bi-weekly or monthly acupuncture treatment is a popular and effective means of optimizing mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes we do. As a convenience, in most cases, we will bill insurance directly for our clients. Please call our offices for a free, no obligation verification of benefits.
Will acupuncture help me?
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and oriental medicine’s effectiveness in treating a wide range of disorders, including:
- Digestive disorders: food allergies, gastritis, hyperacidity, digestive weakness, constipation, diarrhea, and ulcers.
- Respiratory Conditions: allergies, sinusitis, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma.
- Neurological & muscular disorders: migraine, stroke, facial paralysis, neck and shoulder pain, tendonitis, sciatica, arthritis, back pain, neuralgia, dizziness.
- Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive dysfunction: urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, PMS, infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea.
- Stress Related Conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia.