Q: Does acupuncture hurt?

A: Acupuncture is a very gentle procedure. However, sensations at the stimulated points of the body are common and often necessary in order to achieve the therapeutic goal. Overall, most people find it to be an extremely relaxing and comfortable procedure.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: The rate of healing and frequency of treatment is dictated by the severity and duration of the illness and the strength of the appropriate treatment. Often it is necessary to be more aggressive in the initial stages of treatment. The use of herbal medicine, appropriate excercise, relaxation techniques, and dietary modification can often greatly enhance the speed of recovery. Traditional Chinese medicine is a fast acting system of healing and changes in the illness should be noticed within the first few treatments. After your initial evaluation a straightforward treatment plan will always be explained to you.

Q: Are there side effects of acupuncture?

A: Occasionally a person may get a small bruise at an acupuncture site, although this is fairly rare. Some people feel a little light headed after treatment, especially if they have not eaten adequately that day. Some of the points simulated may be a little sore for 24 to 48 hours following acupuncture. The majority of people just feel extremely relaxed.

Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture works through generating signals from the peripheral nervous system into the central nervous system in order to elicit a targeted and restorative reaction from the central nervous system. This central nervous system function can reduce pain and inflammation, normalize body processes, deeply calm the body, and promote healing. This peripheral nervous system signal is generated through inserting a hair thin sterile acupuncture needle into a specific acupuncture point.

Q: Is acupuncture safe?

A: Acupuncture is one of the most conservative and safe therapies in existence. We use only single use sterile disposable needles. Because acupuncture uses the body’s own healing power to restore health, it is minimally invasive.

What is Acupuncture?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a nearly 5,000-year-old system of natural medicine. Originating in China, it spread to all of the Asian countries and it is based on a complex theory of energy flow in the body.  Techniques in TCM regulate the energy that ideally flows smoothly through 12 primary pathways (meridians), many connecting channels, and to all organs and tissues of the body. The mind, spirit and physical body can never be separated in TCM.

There are many techniques in TCM in addition to acupuncture. Refer to the “treatments” page on this website for more information regarding other Oriental Medicine treatment techniques.

The TCM practitioner evaluates where and why the energy is obstructed, deficient or excessive through the diagnostic tools of pulse reading, tongue appearance, touching, and questioning. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of single use sterile needles at the appropriate points. The acupuncture points are located along the meridians.  The energy at these points can be measured and detected by electronic resistance meters because the energy flows closer to the surface at the location of the points. One of the functions of acupuncture is to regulate the flow of energy or qi (pronounced “Chee”) as it flows in the meridians. The needles can be stimulated with twirling, rotation, heat, or electricity to correctly balance the energy.

Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture needles stimulate the production of endorphins which are morphine-like chemicals produced by our brain to relieve pain and relax muscles. The scientific belief is that the needle stimulates the peripheral nerve at the acupuncture point and signals are sent to the brain. The region of the brain called the hypothalamus acts as a link between the nervous system and the endocrine system. The endocrine system is in charge of many hormones and chemicals that help regulate all systems of the body.