How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to ancient Chinese medical theory there are 12 “meridians” or pathways that run through the body.  Blood, lymphatic fluid and vital energy called “qi” (pronounced ‘chee’) circulate through the 12 pathways.  Stress, traumatic injury and poor diet are just a few things that can cause the meridians to become blocked.  When the meridians are blocked, pain and disease arise.  Acupuncture can remove these blocks and restore health.

Recent Western studies have shown that acupuncture releases endorphins, decreases inflammation, regulates serotonin, increases blood and lymphatic circulation, stops muscle spasms, and increases T-cell count, which stimulates the immune system.

Does It Hurt?

No.  Acupuncture needles are hair-thin and flexible, unlike the hollow, thick gauge syringes we’ve all had painful experiences with.  Some patients experience a feeling of heaviness, itching or tingling around the insertion site, but these sensations pass within a couple minutes.  Most patients are surprised at how painless and relaxing the treatments are.

Is it Safe?

Absolutely!  Each needle comes pre-packaged in sterile bubble wrapping.  The needle is opened directly before inserting and disposed of immediately after using, thus eliminated the chance of cross patient contamination.

Can Acupuncture Help My Condition?

Acupuncture is a comprehensive health care system that can treat almost any illness.    When the body’s energy is aligned and the mind is a peace, the body can heal from almost anything.  However, the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture’s efficacy for over 40 common disorders, including:  Back/Neck Pain, Migraines, PMS, Menopause, Insomnia, Depression, Anxiety, Fatigue, Weight Loss, Digestive Problems, and so much more…..(click on “Can Acupuncture Help Me?” for a full list)

Will My Insurance Cover It?

Many insurance plans do cover acupuncture.  If you are unsure of your benefits, our office can verify coverage and handle all paperwork and billing on your behalf.

Will I Need to Take Herbs?

For some conditions herbal therapy is an essential component to treating the illness, while other conditions respond well to acupuncture alone.  For example, most skin conditions, asthma, and weight loss require internal herbal formulas.  Musculo-skeletal issues such as sciatica or neck pain usually do not require herbal treatment. 

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The number of acupuncture treatments needed depends on the length and severity of the illness.  Some acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle, may only require one treatment, while more chronic ailments may require weekly treatments over the course of several months.

After your initial visit, I will make a recommendation as to how many visits will be needed to treat your specific health concerns.

What Can I Expect From an Acupuncture Treatment?

On your first visit, I will conduct a thorough intake to determine the root of your illness. After a diagnosis is made, I will come up with a treatment plan tailored to your body’s specific needs.

After the needles are inserted, the patient is left to rest for 15-30 minutes.   The entire treatment takes about 60 minutes for follow-up visits, and up to 1 ½ hours for new patients.

Patients should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes, and make sure they do not have an empty or very full stomach. 

You should not plan any vigorous activities for the remainder of your day after an acupuncture treatment.  You should allow yourself time to relax so that your body can continue the healing process.


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