Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been in use as an effective medicinal therapy for over 2,000 years.  Originating in China, it has spread and grown throughout Asia and is now practiced world-wide.  Recent research validates the physiological effects and efficacy of acupuncture when practiced by a trained and licensed practitioner.

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Fine, sterile needles are inserted at specific locations on the body (acupuncture points).  Diseases and imbalances can be corrected by manipulating the body's vital energy - also known as Qi.  

  All needles are pre-packaged and pre-sterilized and single-use only to ensure clean needle technique.  Dr. Cindy uses a guide tube and caters to patients that are fearful of needles.    


 Chinese Medical Concept of HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS:

Just as you have networks of vessels in your circulatory system and nervous systems in which your blood flows and your nervous impulses travel,  you have an invisible energetic network in which your qi flows.  The vessels which qi flows through are known as meridians or channels. Meridians are named after the energetic organ system from which they originate.  Qi flows through the meridians, bringing this vital energy to all tissues and cells in your body.  When the flow of qi is disrupted, either because there is a lack of qi being produced, a trauma, poor lifestyle habits (smoking, overworking, bad diet, not resting/sleeping, etc.), or an external pathogen (virus, cold, heat, etc.)  disease or pain results.  By restoring the flow of qi, the body is able to get back into balance and health is restored.

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A Western Biomedical Theory of How Acupuncture Works:
 
When a needle in inserted into an acupuncture point, it triggers a whole cascade of changes in your biochemistry.  Your body responds as if there is  trauma (the needles causing a micro-injury). Essentially, your own healing chemicals are triggered in the brain.  Your body makes its own anti-inflammatory agents, pain-relieving chemicals, and new growth can be stimulated.  Acupuncture is basically manipulating these healing processes and the placement of the needles is directing and guiding them to a specific location/organ system.
 
Other modern research has discovered that acupuncture effects changes in the body's bio-electrical hardwiring, and that the acupuncture points have a significantly different electrical readings than other areas of the body.  One doctor has described acupuncture therapy as 'hitting the reset button on the hard-drive' - and that some of the 'kinks' can self-correct once the system is rebooted.


Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is virtually painless.  Most people think of hypodermic (the needles that nurses use to give shots) when they hear 'needles'.  But in fact, you can probably fit 30 acupuncture needles inside the hole of a hypodermic needle!  A guide tube is used during insertion to reduce the puncture.  You may feel a tiny pinch when the needle is inserted, but most often you do not feel anything.

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How long do the needles stay in? 

It depends upon the nature of your condition, the severity, and your age.  Generally they are retained for 15-30 minutes.


What if I am afraid of needles?

If you are afraid of needles, please let the acupuncturist know!  Believe it or not, many people are scared to try acupuncture.  Dr. Cindy works well with needle-phobic patients.  She walks you through and makes sure you are comfortable every step of the way.  We have helped many people overcome this fear!


How mant treatments will I need?

Again, this depends on the nature of your condition, and on how long you have had the condition.  A long-term, chronic ailment will require more treatment than a minor sprain.  Someone coming in for a head cold might only need 1 to 3 treatments while another person who suffered an auto accident may very well require months of treatment.  Chronic disease sufferers may reduce treatment frequency once they get stable, and then come in periodically for 'tune-ups' or when they are flaring up.  Fertility patients are recommended to commit to a minimum of 3 months, and ideally a 6-month course of treatment.  


What can I expect at my first appointment?

Your first office visit includes a detailed intake in which the acupuncturist asks questions, observes, palpates, and reads your tongue and pulse.  From this, she gets a clear picture of your constitution and your disease pattern can be assessed.  This inital visit takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours long.  Your follow up treatments are usually 30 -40 minutes long. 


Do I have to be 'sick' or have a disorder to benefit from acupuncture?

Absolutely not!  It is recommended that all people get an acupuncture seasonal 'tune-up' to stay in harmony with the changing seasons.  We also offer wellness treatments and sessions to de-stress (which promotes health)!


Can I get acupuncture if I am  taking medication?  What if I am getting other therapy like chiropractic or physical therapy?

Acupuncture is safe with medication.  It does not interact with prescription drugs.  Acupuncture can enhance the effects of chiropractic or PT - some of our patients report that their adjustments hold better and longer when they get acupuncture at the same time.  Patients with musculoskeletal disorders or those with trauma benefit greatly from getting acupuncture + chiropractic.