Acupuncture | Herbal Medicine | Cupping
- What is Acupuncture?
- Does Acupuncture hurt?
- Is Acupuncture safe?
- What conditions does Acupuncture treat?
- What is a typical Acupuncture treatment like?
- How much does Acupuncture cost? Does insurance reimburse for it?
- What should I do before an Acupuncture treatment?
- How many treatments will I need?
- What can Acupuncture be used for, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)?"
1. What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a vital component of a complete medical science called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is the oldest healthcare system, dating back more than 2500 years. It is both a Science and a Philosophy of health, wellbeing and wholeness.Just as your body has a circulatory system and skeletal system, you also have an energy system. Each cell and organ produces a specific energy. These combined energies are circulated throughout the body via meridians. When there is smooth flow and even distribution of energy, there is health. When the energy flow is disrupted, there is pain, dysfunction or disease. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points along these meridians to restore the smooth and even flow of energy, thus improving health and reducing pain and dysfunction. In this way, Acupuncture helps your body to heal itself.
2. Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture is usually painless. Acupuncture needles are very thin and fine, about the size of a hair. Acupuncture needles are designed to glide into the skin with little discomfort (unlike syringes used in doctors’ offices which puncture the skin to inject or withdraw fluids). Because Acupuncture needles are so thin, they cause little if any discomfort. Upon insertion, you may feel a heaviness, pressure or tingling. Most people find Acupuncture treatments to be relaxing.
3. Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. Acupuncture needles are sterilized and are used only one time. Acupuncture needles are never re-used. The U.S. Government’s National Institute of Health (NIH) has found Acupuncture to be safe & effective, saying that Acupuncture may be a safer alternative to Western Medicine because the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other procedures.
4. What conditions does Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can safely & effectively treat many conditions including
- Pain, head to toe, including headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel, shoulder pain, sciatica, joint pain, arthritis
- Respiratory conditions including allergies, asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis, colds, flu
- Gynecologic conditions including infertility, menstrual issues, menopause symptoms, PMS
- Emotional conditions including stress, depression, anxiety, sadness, worry, irritability
- Digestive conditions including poor digestion, nausea, vomiting, IBS, constipation, diarrhea
- Insomnia, poor sleep
Acupuncture can also be used to maintain good health including boosting the immune and facial rejuvenation.
5. What is a typical Acupuncture treatment like?
Your first visit will include both a comprehensive assessment and a treatment. The assessment will include information about your body’s various functions and Tongue and Pulse diagnosis. This total picture of your condition will be used to determine your TCM ‘pattern’. A unique treatment plan will be developed specifically for you which may include Acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, ear Acupuncture and electrical Acupuncture which are all included in the price of a treatment. If your treatment plan includes Herbal Medicine or supplements, there is an additional charge. The first visit usually lasts about 60-90 minutes. Subsequent treatments will last about 30-60 minutes.
6. How much does Acupuncture cost? Does insurance reimburse for it?
Each treatment costs $80.00. Herbs and supplements are an additional cost.
Some insurance policies do reimburse for Acupuncture treatments and others do not. We encourage you to check with your insurance plan. We do not accept payment from the insurance company but we will be happy to provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your plan for reimbursement.
7. What should I do before an Acupuncture treatment?
Eat a meal or snack within an hour or 2 before your appointment. Dress in loose fitting clothes that allow easy access to your forearms and lower legs. If possible, print and complete the Patient Form before your first visit. The form includes a thorough inventory of your symptoms. Completing it before hand may be easier for you and may allow you to provide better information.
8. How many treatments will I need?
This varies with the individual and the condition. Generally, acute or short term conditions require fewer treatments than chronic or long term conditions. We will recommend a course of treatments that will provide the quickest response.
9. What can Acupuncture be used for, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)?
Please download the following list of "Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture".
Herbs are derived from naturally occurring whole substances, mostly from specific parts of plants and from minerals. The flowers of one plant may have very different pharmacologic properties from the leaves, bark and roots of the same plant. For example, the flower of the magnolia tree is very effective for treating nasal symptoms while the bark is used for abdominal distention.
Over thousands of years, hundreds of Chinese herbs have been studied, used and documented. A great deal of modern scientific research has been conducted and extensive scientific documentation now exists regarding their use. For example, 40 Chinese herbs have been found to have strong anti-viral effects and 15 are considered to have antibiotic effects.
The use of Chinese Herbs is similar to Acupuncture in two ways. First, herbs are strategically used to cause specific changes in the body, similar to the way Acupuncture is used to effect changes. Second, in the same way that an Acupuncture treatment is individualized, each herbal formula is very individualized. Based on each patient’s pattern of signs and symptoms, an herbal formula can be devised specifically for that patient. Acupuncture and herbs reinforce each other and produce the strongest effects when used together.
In addition to Chinese Herbs, we also use Western Herbs and Botanicals, Nutritional supplements and Chinese Food Therapy.
Cupping has been used for thousands of years by several cultures. Cupping is a suction technique designed to lift skin and underlying tissue, allowing qi and blood to circulate more freely through the tissues.
Your cells use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Normally, cell waste is processed through your circulatory system and your body gets rid of it. However, carbon dioxide and other cell waste like lactic acid can become stagnant in the tissues. In addition, food additives like preservatives, dyes, colorings, pesticides, steroids, antibiotics, hormones, aluminum and nitrates can also become stagnant. When cell waste and toxins stagnate in muscles or joints, it is difficult for the body to get rid of them and if they remain there, they can cause pain and dysfunction. When qi and blood circulate freely, they remove this build up. Cupping pulls the stagnation out of the tissues and brings it near the skin level. The toxins are not pulled out through the skin but are returned to the body’s circulatory system where it is much easier for the body to properly process them. In addition, cupping brings fresh blood to the stagnated area, revitalizing it.
The effects of cupping include clearing stagnation, decreasing inflammation, calming the nervous system, decreasing congestion, lifting and stretching muscle and connective tissue, increasing local blood supply and moving blood up through the tissues and back into circulation. Depending on the therapeutic goal, cupping can be gentle or more intense. With children I use very gentle cupping which feels similar to a gentle, reassuring back rub. For adults, the intensity varies from gentle to intense, depending on the condition being treated. Cupping can significantly speed up the healing process and in many cases, cupping results in immediate improvement.
In addition to it’s therapeutic uses, cupping is also diagnostic. When treating pain, cupping can tell us where the problem is, what type of problem we’re dealing with and how severe it is.