Acupuncture (often misspelled "accupuncture") is the
insertion of very thin, stainless steel, sterile, disposable needles into the body at specific points that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. These points
are located along meridians of the body and have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of centuries. recently in this country, electromagnetic research has proven the existence of these
What conditions can Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat a wide range of medical conditions. A few of these include allergies, asthma, back pain, neck pain, insomnia,
menopause, sciatica, bursitis, stress, depression, anxiety, IBS,
headaches, sinusitis, chronic fatigue, and
MS. More Conditions
Many people are afraid of needles and they naturally assume that acupuncture must be
painful. Acupuncture needles typically are not much thicker than a hair, and the highest quality needles have extremely sharp tips that pass through the top layers of the skin smoothly. Most times
patients do not even feel the insertion, while occasionally they may feel a slight pinch or mild discomfort. Usually, the insertion is smooth and comfortable.
Yes, recent studies published in this country in the most respected medical journals
report that people who have tried acupuncture say they are extremely satisfied with the results 60% of the time, very
satisfied about 30% of the time, and satisfied 10% of the time. Those are excellent numbers!
Meridians (also called channels) are invisible pathways of energy coursing the body,
similar to the way nerves and blood vessels do. There are 12 primary meridians with over 300 acupuncture points along them, and each meridian is associated with an internal
What is Chinese medicine and how does it work?
Medicine (TCM) is the world's oldest professional medicine, currently used by more than one-fourth of the world's population, and
quickly becoming one of the most popular and effective medical systems in Western
culture.This ancient approach
healing combines a wide array of therapies
including diet, exercise, massage, acupuncture, moxibustion and herbal
Chinese medicine works by supporting the body's own ability to heal, and by
re-establishing harmony and balance. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat a broad spectrum of disorders. The focus is on improving the overall well-being of
the patient, and treating the whole person to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.
Acupuncture has been scientifically shown to stimulate the immune system. It has
balancing effects on circulation, blood pressure, rhythm and stroke volume of the heart, secretion of gastric acid, and production of red and white blood cells. Chinese medicine also stimulates a
variety of hormones that help the body respond to injury and stress.
How is Chinese medicine
different from Western medicine?
Western medicine treats a specific disease or
symptom, such as a headache, back pain, hypertension, depression, etc. and treats them primarily with prescription drugs and surgery. These treatments can
often control symptoms, but they usually do not alter the disease process.
Chinese medicine treats patterns of disease based on the person's whole picture of signs and symptoms, their emotional temperament, and
their bodily constitution. It treats not only the immediate symptoms but the underlying disharmonies that caused the symptoms. Chinese
medicine's holistic approach helps the body re-balance itself using safe, effective techniques and natural herbal medicines.
It is true that acupuncture and herbal formulas generally take longer to resolve imbalances, but they do it without side effects and they address the cause of the disease, thereby preventing a
What can you expect before, during, and after treatment?
Before treatment the acupuncturist determines
what is out of balance through four basic examinations:
1. Questioning about one's signs and symptoms, one's medical history, and the course of the present disease.
2. Inspecting the face, the body, and especially the tongue.
3. Listening to the voice and the breathing.
4. Palpating (feeling) any painful areas and palpating the pulse on both wrists.
During the treatment, you can expect to feel
very relaxed, almost euphoric. This is due to the overall increase in blood and qi energy flow and the release of endorphins in the brain and spine. A typical treatment lasts 20-40 minutes and many
people are so relaxed they fall asleep during that time.
After treatment, most people feel not only very
balanced and calm but energized. Occasionally they may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the treatment has been particularly strong, or there may be a short-term flare-up of their symptoms as a
natural part of the healing process.
How frequently should you get
Most people receive treatments once or twice a week for the first few weeks until their
condition has either resolved or greatly improved. Then treatments about once a month for maintenance and wellness are generally recommended.
How many treatments will you need?
This varies widely upon the condition and its severity and duration. Chronic conditions that
have continued for years can take months to resolve, while a recent injury or problem may take only a single treatment to correct. In general, for most conditions, 5-10 treatments are needed. The
effectiveness of acupuncture can be greatly increased with the concurrent use of an appropriate herbal formula.
Do you have to believe in it for it to
No, you don't. we know this because acupuncture has been used with great results on cats, dogs,
horses and other animals. Animal patients do not understand or believe in the process but they do get better. Even so, a positive attitude may greatly enhance the benefits of your treatment, while a
negative attitude may hinder your progress, just as with any other treatment.
Are there any side
Basically, no, as long as the acupuncturist is well trained and knows what he or she is
doing. In North America, there are some medical practitioners like M.D.'s, chiropractors, and nurses who start practicing after only several weekends of training. Limited training can lead to more
serious side effect like pneumothorax (collapsed lung), fainting, or a needle breaking off in the muscles.
Any risks associated with getting an acupuncture treatment by a qualified clinically trained practitioner with at least 3 years of educational training are minor and temporary. These include slight
bruising, a drop or two of bleeding at an acupuncture site, temporary fatigue, and light-headedness.
Does insurance cover
Yes! Most major insurance companies (Excellus, MVP, Aetna) are now offering many plans
covering acupuncture, but not yet herbal medicine. Usually, a 50% co-pay is required, an average of $30 per treatment and generally limited to 10-12 visits per
How long has herbal medicine
Herbal medicine has been practiced as long or longer than acupuncture has. It's written
history stretches back at least 2,500 years and its practice is much older than that. In this country, Chinese herbal medicine is very new, although its use in the last few decades has grown rapidly
as people search for healthier alternatives to prescription drugs and surgery.
How are herbs used?
Each Chinese herbal formula has its own unique individual properties, actions, and
therapeutic effects. The herbs are combined together into formulas of 6-12 herbs to enhance their individual effects, and they are chosen according to the patterns diagnosed by the practitioner.
Tonic formulas for example, restore weakened bodily resources while regulating and moving formulas decongest qi,
blood or moisture, relieving discomfort or pain.
Formulas are available in many forms; raw herbs to be boiled into a tea, liquid bottled extracts, ground herbs packaged into pills, and
powders. herbal formulas can be customized to match a patient's specific needs.
What are herbal formulas made of?
Chinese medicine formulas are made up of ingredients from the animal, vegetable, and
mineral kingdoms. Most are from vegetable sources like leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, roots, rhizomes, bark, and fruit.
Are there side effects to herbal
Herbal medicine is very safe and effective. If the formula has been prescribed correctly
according to the patient's Chinese medicine patterns, there are no side effects, only beneficial healing results. Most of the herbal medicinals in the Chinese Materia Medica have very low toxicity
compared to even common, OTC Western medicines.
What conditions can herbal medicine
Herbal medicine can treat all the same conditions that acupuncture can treat. They can
treat a full range of human disease including acute conditions like the common cold and flu, as well as chronic disorders like allergies, autoimmune disease, pain conditions, and degenerative