What is Acupuncture?
Several thousand years ago, East Asian practitioners discovered that the body forms disharmonies as a result of the various physical and mental stresses of life. Oriental medical theory explains these disharmonies as an imbalance of opposing forces called yin and yang. This imbalance disrupts the movement of the body's vital energy (qi) along the meridian pathways-- channels through which the body's energy is thought to flow. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi by inserting and manipulating needles at specific points on the body. Through acupuncture, the body is able to restore its natural balance and promote the ability to heal itself.
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't. Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that are hardly felt when inserted. When the needles are gently stimulated, the needles they may produce a unique sensation that Oriental medicine calls de qi. Patients often describe de qi as a heavy, achy pressure, or a spreading, traveling feeling. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common. Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Each case is unique and varies patient to patient. The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more than one treatment is recommended; however, relief can be felt after the first few treatments. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Acupuncture is also used as preventative medicine and treatment for general well-being, this may be scheduled on an as-needed basis.
Acupuncture as Preventative Medicine
Chinese medicine has long valued preventive medicine. Historically, each village was under the care of one doctor; his job was to keep the village healthy, to keep people from getting sick in the first place. With a combination of healthy life-style habits, acupuncture and/or herbal medicines, the body can be kept in balance to prevent disease— when “disease” is broken down, it is literally dis-ease and dis-ease is the result of an imbalance. When the body is at ease, in balance, we are living our best lives and thriving.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Yes. Acupuncture is used by millions of Americans every year. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. Licensed acupuncturists are required to pass comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and must be licensed by the state. As required by law, we use pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.
Your First Visit
When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment, you will be asked to complete a comprehensive intake form. The acupuncture intake form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.
After reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition and examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods of oriental medicine. The acupuncture points chosen will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 20 or more needles.
Once the needles are inserted, we will leave you to lie comfortably for 15-20 minutes with the needles in place. Sometimes, we will apply massage therapy on patients during the acupuncture sessions. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is common for patients to fall asleep during this time.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture works by activating the body's own healing powers, so it can be beneficial for many health conditions. Below are some common conditions that can be treated, but please feel free to contact us about your specific health condition.
- Sports Injuries
- Muscle Pain
- Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Leg, Ankle and Foot Pain
- Arm, Wrist and Hand Pain
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tennis Elbow
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Jaw Pain (TMJ)
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Headaches and Migraines
- Postoperative Pain-Digestive Issues & Nausea
- Heartburn, Acid Reflux
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic Indigestion
- Chronic Loose Stools or Constipation
- Acute and Chronic Gastritis
- Morning Sickness
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Mental and Emotional Well-being
- Respiratory Complaints
- Reproductive Issues
- Infertility -Increased efficacy of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)