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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineSeveral 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, which are 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, I am able to return the body to its natural balance and promote the body's  ability to heal itself.

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineMany 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 you will hardly feel when I insert them. When I gently stimulate 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 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 Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more than one treatment is necessary.  Since individual responses vary, it is difficult to state definitively how many treatments will be required.  In general, acute conditions you can expect to have 10 to 15 treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after just the first few. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition.

Preventative treatments and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.  Some people return periodically for a "tune-up".  Some come periodically for stress management, some wait until they have another problem to address.

How quickly can I expect to feel better?

If your condition is painful, you can expect a decrease in pain during the first treatment.  It can come and go during an acupuncture session and during the course of treatment.  For other problems, most people feel better after the first or second treatment and continue to improve.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineYes. 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. I have passed comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and am licensed by the state. As required by law, I use pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.

Does acupuncture always help?

No, but is usually does.  If you do not feel any benefit after 10-15 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.

Do I have to believe in it for it to work?

No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will.  Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children.  They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better anyway.  A positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.

Acupuncture and Modern Science

To the human body, acupuncture needles
are a physical stimulus. Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineIn Western science,
a stimulus is defined as a detectable change in either the external environment or within the body itself.  When the body detects change, it produces a response.  Although
acupuncture is not yet fully understood by Western science, with modern technology scientists can now actually begin to "see" the
body's response to acupuncture.  For example, using an MRI (a very sophisticated x-ray), researchers have shown that when a
needle is inserted at specific acupuncture points on the body, corresponding changes occur in the brain.

In the West, acupuncture is most well-known for its ability to relieve pain so the majority of research thus far has been done in this area. Acupuncture points are now believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release pain-relieving chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain.  Acupuncture may also stimulate other chemicals to be released by the brain, including hormones the influence the self-regulating system of the body.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture works by activating the body's own healing powers, so it can be beneficial for many health conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented many symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be effectively treated with acupuncture. Below are some common conditions I can treat, but please feel free to contact me about your specific health condition.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Pain

  • 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)
  • Dental pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • 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
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Respiratory Complaints

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies

Reproductive Issues

  • Infertility
  • Increased efficacy of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

 

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