Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions.
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites – commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.
Frequently asked questions
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture uses very fine needles inserted into various points on the body to elicit a response from our immune system, nervous system, and muscular/skeletal system. The objective is to move energy. The energy of a body part can become imbalanced after an injury, a surgery, overuse as well as neglect. Over time, people come to experience this imbalance as some sort of pain, or discomfort. Other therapists use more of their hands and other tools to move energy; acupuncturists use needles and pins.
What are suited benefits of acupuncture?
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
First, your acupuncturist will ask about your health history. Then, he or she will examine your tongue’s shape, color, and coating, feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition.
How many sessions will I need?
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture rarely hurts. Patients feel a brief sensation upon insertion and relax for 10-30 minutes.
How will I feel after acupuncture?
Mostly, relaxed. Patient’s experience the best night of sleep of their lives after their first session.
How does the acupuncturist know where to stick the needles?
After talking to my patient about their symptoms and what they would like to accomplish with treatment, and touching various muscles on the body (known as palpating) during a physical examination, I decide on a variety of points (usually anywhere from 2-20) based on a combination of what I’m feeling beneath my fingertips and a repertoire of tried and true points that are historically beneficial. I may also use distal points that have more esoteric reasoning behind their use.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
We try to work with as many insurance plans as possible as a convenience to our patients, the major ones being Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross / Blue Shield (BCBS), and United Healthcare. Many smaller companies are also beginning to cover acupuncture, but each has to be treated on a case by case basis. We would be happy to find out for you.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy & chemotherapy
Alcohol dependence & detoxification
Competition stress syndrome
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia & fasciitis
Heel & Foot pain
Leukopenia (low white blood cells)
Low back pain
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
Paralysis following a stroke
Periarthritis of shoulder
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine
Toothache (post extraction pain)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy.
Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness.
Philosophy of acupuncture
Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.