Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used forms of medicine in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is currently one of the most thoroughly researched, practiced, and respected forms of complementary medicine available anywhere.
The many benefits of acupuncture include:
- Pain reduction
- Stress and tension relief
- Increased energy levels
- Stronger digestion
- Relief from bad habits and addictions
- Greater sense of overall health and well-being
According to the World Health Organization the following ailments and conditions generally respond well to Acupuncture:
- Muscle strains, pain
- Joint pain
- Acute & Chronic neck/back pain
- Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation
- Constipation & diarrhea
- Post-stroke paralysis
- Addictions – overeating, smoking & drug dependence
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. For safety purposes, the FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. This means they are disposed of in a medical waste container after one insertion.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Because acupuncture needles are extremely fine and flexible, most people do not experience discomfort when they are inserted. When Qi has been influenced, a sensation may be felt such as a tingling, heaviness , a sucking, or a slight flow of energy. The most common experience during treatment is a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
Q: What should I do before an acupuncture treatment?
A: Please wear comfortable, loose fitted clothing that can be rolled up, as access to the abdomen, back, arms, & legs is needed. Also, make sure to have a snack and some water before coming in for a treatment!
Q: What is Qi (Pronounced chee)?
A: Qi is a Chinese term for vital energy or life force. In traditional Chinese medicine, Qi is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance, and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang.
Q: How often will I need acupuncture?
A: A typical regiment consists of 1-2 treatments a week, for several weeks. Once results are achieved, the treatments can be less frequent.
Q: How many treatments are needed?
A: No two conditions or people respond exactly the same. The number of treatments required will vary depending on the severity, overall health of the patient, length of time you have suffered from the condition and nature of the condition. Your practitioner will be able to determine how many treatments are needed not only based on your individual health evaluation but on your willingness to participate in the process/progress of healing your own body.
Q: What happens during a treatment?
A: The acupuncturist will spend 60-90 minutes during the first consult, asking about your complaint, such as how long you’ve had the problem, your current symptoms, your health history, your diet, your sleeping habits and bowel movements and other information that may seem irrelevant to you – just remember that TCM is a holistic medical system that recognizes the link between body, mind and emotions. Your physical ailment may well have an emotional component too.
Depending on your problem you will lie on the treatment table face down, or on your back, or on one side. Usually 4-25 acupuncture points are selected. The most common points are on your arms below your elbows, on your legs below your knees and along either side of your spine from your neck to your sacrum. Each point is swabbed with alcohol before the needle is inserted.
The acupuncturist may ask you to report any sensations of tingling or warmth around the site of the needles. These sensations indicate that the point has been correctly located. Generally, the needles are left in place for about 20 minutes, but painful conditions may need longer treatment time. A common acupuncture benefit is that it’s usually very relaxing – all you have to do is lie still and it’s quite common for people to fall asleep during their treatment.
When you return for subsequent treatments–they will only last about 35-40 minutes.
Q: How should I feel during acupuncture?
A: People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no pain or minimal pain. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel deep relaxation. If you experience that type of deep relaxation, numbness, or heaviness it is known as “Deqi” (pronounced duh chee) and is a sign the treatment is working properly.
Q: How do I choose an Acupuncturist?
A: The National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies an Acupuncturist after completing an accredited Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program. Look for this certification on a practitioner’s credential list and website.