Why would I get acupuncture?

Many people think of acupuncture for back pain or pain relief, but it can be used to treat any condition.   Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective treatment for the following:

–       Neuromuscular and Joint Pain and Problems such as: Arthritis, Bells Palsy, Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Should Pain, and Tennis Elbow

–       Digestive Issues such as: Colitis, Constipation, Crohn’s, Diarrhea, Indigestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Nausea, and Vomiting.

–       Respiratory Problems such as: Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Common Cold, Pneumonia, Rhinitis, and Sinusitis.

–       Difficult to treat problems such as: Chronic Fatigue, Dizziness, Fatigue, and Sleep Disturbances.

–       Emotional issues such as: Anxiety, Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

–       Headaches, Migraine, and TMJ

–       Fertility issues, as well as Menopause, Menstrual Irregularity and Pain, and PMS.

–       Addictive Cravings, including alcohol, drugs, and smoking.

I don’t like needles. Will acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are extremely fine.  (Hypodermic needles, in contrast, are hollow and must be thick enough to carry a liquid).  There is normally no sensation when an acupuncture needles is inserted into a point.  If there is, it might feel like a mild pinch or a slight electric shock.  As the acupuncture needle stimulates the energy, or Qi, there might be a sensation of warmth.

Through acupuncture, we seek to find and correct the underlying imbalances responsible for many chronic conditions, and to establish and maintain optimum health.  And with our massage and spa services, we offer the opportunity to relax the mind, restore tired or injured muscles, and literally present a fresh face and body to the world.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture

Your insurance may cover your acupuncture treatment please call the PEMC to see if you are eligible.

What is the treatment like?

On your first visit, the doctor will assess your condition through a series of questions and examinations that are both subjective (what YOU feel) and objective (what the doctor sees and feels).  You will be asked about your food consumption, likes and dislikes, your digestion and your elimination, your emotions, your sleeping habits, even your dreams.  Your tongue is a mirror of your physical condition and will be examined.  In addition, the doctor will take your pulses, which in traditional Chinese Medicine consists of 3 different positions and 3 different depths on each wrist, for a total of 18 ‘bits of information’.

Initial intake is quite long and comprehensive, so your first visit will be longer than the subsequent ones.  However, a thorough subjective and objective review will be conducted each time.

After decided upon the approach for that day’s treatment, you will be asked to lie down, either face up or face down.  Acupuncture needles will be inserted into a number of points.  Once the needling is completed, you will be left to relax.   Typically, there is a feeling of extreme well being, and many patients drift off at this point in the treatment.   During this stage of the treatment, the doctor will return periodically to make sure you are comfortable.  Once the required time has passed – at least 15 minutes, but often more – the acupuncture needles will be removed.

How does acupuncture work?

Who knows?  Does it matter?  It does!

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the principal that energy, or Qi, flows through pathways in your body.  Each pathway is related to a specific organ within the body, and to specific physiological functions and emotions.  Stimulating points along the channels, through either acupuncture or acupressure, helps rebalance the energy system so that the body can heal itself.

While symptoms are an indication that something is wrong within your body, TCM is interested in treated the underlying cause.  For that reason, different people with the same symptom will receive different treatments, each designed for them as individuals.  And in TCM, the mind, body and spirit are inextricably connected, each influencing the other.   For that reason, an issue might manifest as a physical irregularity, or an emotional one, or both.

From a western, scientific standpoint, your brain is a ‘computer’ controlling the functions of your body.   Acupuncture points are where your peripheral nervous system surfaces.  By stimulating specific acupuncture points, you are ‘reprogramming’ or ‘rebooting’ the computer.  CAT scans have proven that connection.  In one experiment, needling the acupuncture point corresponding to hearing would show activity in the brain identical to what would appear if a person were listening to music or speech.

How long will it take before I’m better?

If you are coming for an illness or condition that has just started, chances are that relief will be quick.  You will typically experience immediate improvement, and then continue to get better as each visit builds on the previous one.  In this case, it might only take a few visits.  For conditions that are longstanding, the process will be longer.  Imagine that you have been walking into a forest for many, many days – it will take you a long time to get back out again into the sunlight.  However, you will typically experience a reduction in your symptoms within the first few visits.  If you are taking herbs, or have been asked to add or eliminate certain foods from your diet, you will experience even more improvement.

True health is not the absence of disease, but a state of vitality and emotional well-being.  Regular acupuncture, combined with the right kind of exercise, the proper diet for you, and other healthy habits like meditation, can keep you feeling your best.  As a result, most people who try acupuncture keep it as an important part of their lives.