What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a healing method approached by inserting fine needles into points to regulate body’s Qi (vital energy). It is an ancient medical art which started and has been practiced in China for over 2000 years.  Research shows that acupuncture not only provides pain relief but also enables the body to use its own healing power in the treatment of many diseases.

What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are sterilized, single use and disposable. Many patients say acupuncture is painless.  Some people may feel a slight pinch or sting upon insertion, which usually quickly dissipates.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory of the free flow of Qi and blood through meridians or channels that cover the body, similar to nervous system or blood vessels. An acupuncturist will observe the patients symptoms and signs of disease and be able to locate the points on the body that will unblock the meridian and allow the free flow of Qi to continue. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores the balance of the body.

Currently, there are a number of theories as to how exactly acupuncture works. It was once thought that inserting needles into specific parts of the body affected nerves and could inhibit their signal transmission. This was thought to explain why acupuncture could treat pain so well. But when doctors mapped the acupuncture points over the known nerve network they found that there was some correlation, but not nearly enough to explain most of its effects. Another theory stated that acupuncture stimulates the release of opioids and endorphins in the central nervous system. Although this could explain certain analgesic effects, it could not explain many others. The most current theory speculates that acupuncture points are actually strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates and resets the polarity of different parts of the body. This latest theory is by far the most comprehensive and most promising explanation for why acupuncture works in Western medical terminology.

What is a treatment procedure?

You should plan one and a half hours for your Initial  Acupuncture Treatment, 30 minutes for an Herbal Consultation or Cupping Therapy session. If you are a new patient, please arrive 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork. Eating approximately one hour before your acupuncture treatment is advised. Follow-up treatments last 1 hour.

What to expect in an acupuncture treatment?

The practitioner will ask you questions about your general health condition and symptoms you may be experiencing. Part of the diagnosis process in TCM is examining the pulse and tongue.  Based on a clear diagnosis about your condition, the treatment plan may include acupuncture,  herbal prescriptions, or life style modifications.  During your acupuncture treatment you may experience warmth, pressure, tingling feelings in the local area or along the meridians. These sensations are normally mild and subside quickly after insertion. Most patients experience a deep relaxation; many even fall asleep.

What should I know about my treatment plan?

Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem and what treatment is recommended. The amount of treatment depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. Your practitioner will explain to you the proposed treatment and discuss other available options.