Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine which enhances the body function and regulates the organs for any kind of condition you may suffer from.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture regulates the flow of Qi and blood to the tissue to increase its function.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers.
Why It’s Done
Acupuncture is used to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, including:
Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat Disorders
- Sore Throat
- Hay Fever
- Nerve Deafness
- Ringing in the Ears
- Poor Eyesight
- High Blood Pressure
- Angina Pectoris
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Spastic colon
- Food Allergies
- Abdominal Bloating
Gynecological / Genitourinary Disorders
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Irregular, Heavy or Painful Menstruation
- Chronic Bladder Infection
- Complications in Pregnancy
- Morning Sickness
- Kidney Stones
- Infertility in Men and Women
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Chronic Fatigue
- HIV and AIDS
- Epstein Barr Virus
- Smoking Cessation
Emotional and Psychological Disorders
Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders
- Back Pain
- Stiff Neck
- Bell’s Palsy
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Headaches and Migraines
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscle Spasms
- Colds and Flus
Acupuncture Also Treats
- Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects
- Dermatological Disorders
- Weight Control
What to Expect
To determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will help you the most, your practitioner may ask you about your symptoms, behaviors and lifestyle. They may also closely examine:
- The parts of your body that are painful
- The shape, coating and color of your tongue
- The color of your face
- The strength, rhythm and quality of the pulse in your wrist
This initial evaluation and treatment may take up to 90 minutes. Subsequent appointments usually take about an hour. The more chronic the condition the longer it can take to restore the body to health, but most often patients start to feel an improvement after 3-5 visits. Acute conditions can improve more quickly, sometimes within 1-3 visits. Children respond very quickly to acupuncture treatments.
During the Treatment
Acupuncture points are situated in all areas of the body. Sometimes the appropriate points are far removed from the area of your pain. There are over 300 points on the body and over 100 on the ear itself. Your acupuncturists will tell you the general site of the planned treatment. The treatment room is designed for your greatest comfort. Depending on what area we are treating you will lie face up or face down. The acupuncturist will ensure that you are comfortable and warm. A gown, towel or sheet will be provided. You lie on a padded table for the treatment, which involves:
- Needle insertion. Acupuncture needles are inserted at strategic points to treat your specific condition. The needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. People often don’t feel them inserted at all. Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.
- Needle manipulation. Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after placement or apply heat or mild electrical pulses to the needles.
- Needle removal. In most cases, the needles remain in place for 20 to 25 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.
After the Treatment
Some people feel relaxed and others feel energized after an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is a profoundly relaxing treatment. After treatment that relaxed feeling may continue for a while. Often people will then feel a sense of increased energy. Try to be aware of how you feel between treatments so you can report back to your acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is known to be very effective for treating pain. We expect for you to have positive results. Let your acupuncturist know what you are experiencing over the course of your treatments. Acupuncture is effective for treating many other conditions. Share with us other symptoms or conditions you are dealing with so that we may address them in your treatment.
Acupuncture doesn’t really have any side effects. You may notice some bruising or slight swelling at the acupuncture point but this happens infrequently. If is a very safe and effective treatment.