About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is only one of many therapies used in the system of traditional Chinese medicine.  Therapies in this system include needling, massage techniques, herbal therapy and energy work.  Traditional medicine in China has been used to treat many health problems for over two thousand years and is used by almost a quarter of the world’s population.  The system of Chinese medicine we know today is a combination of the efforts of many different world cultures which have added their knowledge to this ancient method of healing.  Indian, Korean, Japanese and European therapies are just a few of the many traditions which have influenced this ageless form of medicine.

Chinese medical theory is based on the notion that the body knows how to heal itself, but sometimes it needs help in facilitating the healing process. Words such as ‘stagnation,’ ‘heat,’ ‘deficiency,’ and ‘cold’ or ‘excess’ are examples of how we look at the body diagnostically.  Disease arises when the smooth flow of blood, body fluids and energy throughout the body is interrupted. Acupuncture and other traditional therapies can be used to restore the proper ‘flow’ of these elements throughout the body.

Acupuncture involves placing very fine ‘needles’ in points throughout the body to try to coax the body’s system into balance.  The needles are nothing like a regular hypodermic needle, they are not filled with anything and are not being pushed into blood vessels.  They are gently placed under the skin to a depth that is therapeutic for the area.  Most patients feel very little during needle insertion, but some patients may feel slightly achy, warm, cool or ‘tingly’ sensations.  We take great care to listen to our patients and use their feedback to guide the treatment.

We want you to feel relaxed and comfortable and make every effort to make acupuncture a calming experience, not one to be feared.  We have treated many patients with ‘needle phobias’ who leave clinic saying, “Wow! That was nothing like I thought it was going to be.”  We take your safety into concern by washing our hands, cleaning the skin with an alcohol swab prior to insertion and using only sterile, disposable needles for treatments.

During a treatment, needles may be placed in points on the legs, along the back, in spots on the arms or wrists, on the scalp or in the outer part of the ear.  Most treatments involve letting the patient relax with the needles in place for about 20 minutes.  We may use a heat lamp over a certain area of the body to relax muscles or use a TENS unit as an electro-therapy option.

Most patients describe feeling incredibly relaxed after a treatment, many patients state that their sleep improves the night of a treatment and most leave feeling better than when they arrived.

Patients usually notice some change in pain or symptoms after 4-6 treatments, although each patient is different. Some feel relief within one treatment, others after several months of regular treatment. We can tailor a treatment schedule to your individual problems and assess your progress honestly as we work together using this safe and gentle form of medicine.