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Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

 

With a history that dates back to at least 4000 years, longer than many Western civilizations, acupuncture is part of an ancient tradition known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Acupuncture has been used throughout Asia for centuries to treat problems as diverse as pains, strains and sprains, sinus congestion, stress, digestive problems, infertility, rejuvenation, etc.  It consists of inserting hair-fine needles into various parts of the body to restore the natural flow of Qi(pronounced as “chi”), or the life force within our body.

According to Chinese Medicine, the Qi flows through out the body along pathways called meridians, which are similar to your circulatory and nervous systems. They run up and down and front to back within your body, connecting all these different parts through this network of pathways. Acupuncture points are specific sites located along these meridians.

Acupuncturists agree with Western Medicine in their belief that in order to maintain health and optimal functioning of your body, it must be in a state of homeostasis. Sickness and pain is an indication that your Qi flow is interrupted and your body’s homeostasis is disrupted and is out of balance. The role of an acupuncturist is to find what causes this disruption, re-establish the balance through treatments with acupuncture, Chinese medicinal herbs, cupping, massage, etc., and help your body to naturally return to its optimal state of well-being.

What conditions respond well to acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

Numerous studies and prestigious resources such as The World Health Organization cite acupuncture as a suitable treatment for:

Nervous System and Muscular Disorders – headaches, migraines, some facial paralysis, nerve pain and inflammation, post stroke weakness, bed wetting, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, osteoarthritis, stress-related disorders such as insomnia, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, lack of mental sharpness, etc.

  •  OB-Gyn Disorders – infertility, heavy, scant, or irregular menses, PMS, menopausal syndrome, etc.
  •  Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders – toothaches, earaches, sinus, and nasal congestion or dryness
  •  Respiratory Disorders – colds, allergies, and bronchial asthma in children and adults
  •  Gastrointestinal Disorders – digestive tract problems, hiccups, chronic duodenal ulcers, colon inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery caused by certain bacteria
  •  Eye Disorders – conjunctive or central retina inflammation, nearsightedness in children, and uncomplicated cataract

What do acupuncture needles look like?

Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, flexible wires that come wrapped in sterile packaging. They are used only once, and then disposed of in a sealed container.

Does it hurt?

Some people experience no sensation at all, while some feel a dull ache, mild shock, or a pinch similar to a mosquito bite. Discomfort varies from person to person and from point to point. Once the needle is in place there should be no discomfort at all. In fact, the effects of acupuncture are so relaxing that many people fall asleep during treatment!

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments depends upon the nature, duration, and severity of your complaint, as well as frequency of treatments. Although you may only need one session, a series of treatments is generally recommended.  Acupuncture helps your body to help itself.

Is there anything I can do to prepare for my treatment?

If you take numerous medications, bring a list to your practitioner. If you have had recent x-rays or blood work you may also want to bring these results. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses or tight stockings. You will be asked to remove your jewelry, so leave it home if you are at all concerned about losing something precious. If you are excessively tired, hungry, or full, your treatment may be altered. Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine before and after your treatment.

Is there anything I can do during my treatment to enhance my experience?

This is your time to relax and heal, so enjoy it! Acupuncture is an extremely pleasurable experience. If you have questions about your treatment, feel free to ask them before you begin. On rare occasions, one may experience light-headed or dizziness. If this occurs, the needles can be removed or adjusted to make you feel more comfortable.

What can I expect after a treatment?

Everyone’s experience is different. After treatment, some people feel complete or partial relief from pain or other symptoms, most people feel relaxed, calm and at peace. For others, additional treatments may be necessary. Others report that they feel more focused and are able to sleep better after receiving acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Migraines

Both western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine recognize two categories of headaches: primary and secondary. A primary headache is a clinical condition, not a symptom of another disorder. Primary headaches include tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury or brain tumors. Acupuncture is used to effectively treat primary headaches, namely tension and migraine, which are the most common.