What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is just a single modality within traditional Chinese medicine, but it is thought to be a key component. Acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,000 years, but did not become widely used in the United States until recently. It is a complete healing system, and is used to prevent & treat disease by strategically inserting very thin, filiform (solid) pre-sterilized needles at very specific body points to produce a therapeutic effect that will improve overall health & well-being, as well as natural healing abilities. The specific body points chosen generally depend on the issues being resolved.

How does acupuncture work?

Current western theories on the mechanism of acupuncture:

Neurotransmitter/endogenous opioid neuropeptide Theory: Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of beta-endorphins and enkephalins (the body’s own painkillers) in the central nervous system. The release of neurotransmitters is thought to influence the immune system.

Autonomic Nervous System Theory: Acupuncture stimulates the release of norepinephrine, acetylcholine and several types of opioids, affecting changes in their turnover rate, normalizing the autonomic nervous system and reducing pain.

Vascular-interstitial Theory: Acupuncture affects the electrical system of the body by creating or enhancing closed-circuit transport in the tissues. This facilitates healing by allowing the transfer of blood, organic material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissues.

Blood Chemistry Theory: Acupuncture affects the blood concentrations of cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides, suggesting that acupuncture can both raise and diminish peripheral blood components, thereby regulating the body toward balance.

Gate Control Theory: Acupuncture activates non-pain sensory receptors that inhibit the transmission of pain signals in the spinal cord, blocking or closing the gate on painful stimuli. This, in essence, makes it more difficult for the brain to register the experience of pain.
Resource: © 2013 Acupuncture Media Works.

How often do I need to be treated?

Every patient comes to our acupuncture clinic with a unique set of health related circumstances. The amount of treatment needed can vary from person to person depending on their genetic predisposition, age, weight, diet, stress factors, and exposure to environmental influences. The way each patient responds to acupuncture treatment can differ greatly based on these factors.

Some people may only need a minimal amount of treatment because it may be an acute situation and they are in good general health. However, others may have long persisting chronic problems that require more treatment time to show a significant improvement.

At your first appointment, each individual will have an initial exam or evaluation to determine their current situation and how acupuncture can help them. An individualized treatment plan will be recommended based on presenting symptoms, taking into consideration each unique health history and severity of the condition.

What conditions can be successfully treated with acupuncture?

While we specialize in pain management, acupuncture has much broader applications. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as an effective therapy for:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common Cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental Pain
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional Problems
  • Eye Problems
  • Facial Palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility Issues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • IBS
  • Insomnia
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Menopausal Syndrome
  • Menstrual Irregularity
  • Migraines
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sinus Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Sore Throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis Elbow
  • TMJ Issues
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth Pain
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)