What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – a diagnostic and therapeutic system of medicine that has been practiced and documented for well over 2000 years. Once a TCM diagnosis is made, Acupuncture can be used to treat the body, mind and emotions of the patient.
How does Acupuncture work?
|Acupuncture works because, according to TCM, there are meridians of energy that run through the body. Each of these meridians has its own special functions. If the meridian is blocked, then it can't do what it needs to do.
For example, there is a traffic jam on I-5. If you are in your car on the freeway, you have some choices: either stay where you are and hope it gets better, or try to get off at the next exit and go a different way to your
destination. Your body is the same way. The most efficient way to get from A to B is the main freeway, but if it is blocked, your body will compensate and work differently. Our bodies are amazing because they do this very well, but over time, this leads to greater disease because the body isn't designed to be in a state of constant compensation.
So, in a nutshell, Acupuncture is like the tow truck that comes and gets the stalled car out of the road so traffic can flow freely.
What conditions does it treat?
Acupuncture treats a variety of acute and chronic conditions including pain, fertility, menopausal symptoms, migraines, depression and anxiety, poor digestion, fatigue and insomnia, just to name a few.
How long is a treatment?
The treatments are an hour in length, with an intake and then time spent on the table getting the benefit of the needles.
I'm scared of needles. Will it hurt?
Our providers use only the highest quality, thinnest and give the most comfortable insertions. An Acupuncture needle is only about the size of a few human hairs and isn't hollow like a blood drawing needle. As a result, they are very comfortable for the patient and not very scary at all. Most people find that the thought of Acupuncture or the needles is far, far worse than the experience!
How do I know the needles are clean?
All the needles come in sterilized, single use packages. The needles that will be used during your treatment have never been used before and will never be used again.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is very safe when done by a qualified practitioner. The needles are placed in exact locations on the body and are adjusted for appropriate depth and stimulation to get the desired effect.
What will I feel?
Most people who have Acupuncture can tell when the practitioner is manipulating the Qi (the energy of the body), but this sense often takes one or two treatments to develop. Some treatments may be accompanied by a dull aching sensation that may or may not travel through the area. This is more commonly felt when the practitioner is trying to move Qi strongly.
How often will I need treatment?
If you have a sudden illness or trauma, you will have more frequent visits, up to 2-3 times in the first week or two. However, if your condition is more chronic, then weekly or bi-weekly, or even monthly is often the appropriate schedule. This can be discussed with your practitioner at your appointment, and a plan will be put in place to assess progress and determine the best schedule.
What is cupping?
Cupping is a common adjunct therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck and back pain, and the common cold. Similar to massage in its therapeutic nature, cupping helps to break up and release the accumulation of toxins, scar tissue and stagnant blood. Drawing these substances out of the muscles and to a more superficial layer enables them to be easily and quickly absorbed by the lymph system and then excreted from the body. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass ‘cups’ over specific areas on your body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction. They may be moved over an affected area or left in place. Cupping therapy often leaves large red or purple marks on the skin where the procedure was performed. There is no need for alarm! These marks are not painful and the slight discoloration usually dissipates in 3 to 5 days.
Why do you want to feel my pulses?
The pulse is a very important tool in determining an overall Chinese medical diagnosis, which helps to effectively choose appropriate acu-points and a potential herbal medicine prescription. There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. The quality of your pulse can actually change quite frequently throughout the day, depending on your constitution. And often times you pulse will change from the beginning of an acupuncture treatment to the end.
Why do you want to look at my tongue?
Believe it or not, the tongue helps to provide a glimpse into the function of your internal organs as they relate to your individual Chinese medical diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue. The characteristics that we look for on your tongue can actually change throughout the day depending on your overall health, body temperature, the food you eat as well as your current sleep patterns. It’s very important that when we ask to see your tongue that we’re seeing it in its most natural and organic state. Please don’t brush your tongue before your visit to the acupuncturist! Brushing your tongue may actually erase important diagnostic criteria that we look for when making a diagnosis. Just like feeling your pulses, reading your tongue is also a very important tool in determining an overall Chinese medical diagnosis.
Most insurance plans cover acupuncture. Call your insurance to inquire about your benefits including how many visits you are allowed per year and whether you need a prior authorization for treatment.
For patients without insurance benefits for acupuncture, we offer the following discounted rate for payment on the day of service:
Existing acupuncture patients: $100
New acupuncture patients: $153