What is Acupuncture?
The theory and practice of acupuncture is based on a comprehensive holistic health care system that has been used in Asian countries for thousands of years to diagnose, treat, prevent illness and maintain health.
Acupuncture treats a wide variety of health conditions by stimulating points found at specific locations of the body. Acupuncturists stimulate these points by inserting very thin needles through the skin to elicit physiological effects.
Along with this method, acupuncturists also use heat, pressure, friction, suction or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points. The acupuncture points are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (qi) in the body to restore health.
The basic philosophy of acupuncture is that optimal health and proper physiological function depend on the circulation of energy (called Qi – pronounced “chee”) through a network of meridians that run throughout the entire body. This network connects with every organ providing balance, regulation, and coordination of physiological processes.
Illness often results when the flow of Qi through the body is disrupted or blocked. This can be caused by many things including: disease, trauma, injuries, stress, overwork, poor sleeping habits, emotions and poor nutrition/ diet.
By stimulating the appropriate points, acupuncture helps to restore optimal flow of Qi throughout the body; restoring health and balance to the body while relieving symptoms that are presented. Acupuncture includes a diagnostic system that considers the person as a whole, rather than focusing on each individual symptom in order to uncover the body’s pattern of disharmony. This method focuses on treating the underlying cause of illness, which ultimately helps alleviate the symptoms and increase the body’s optimal function.
The potential benefits of acupuncture are widely recognized, and it continues to become integrated with Western Medicine. More than 15 million Americans have tried acupuncture and Chinese medicine since it was introduced in the United States in the 1970s. The risk of side effects from acupuncture is low while the potential benefits are high.
Since eastern medicine believes most illness is caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy, we believe most conditions can be treated and/ or find significant relief from acupuncture.
Although well known in the US for pain relief, acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of problems. It has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health.
Conditions Treated By Acupuncture
Pain & Musculoskeletal Disorders, Arthritis, Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyalgia, Frozen Shoulder, Headaches, Joint Pain, Knee Pain, Migraine, Muscle Pain, Neck Pain, Postoperative Pain, Sciatica, Sprains & Strains, Sports Injuries, Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, TMJ
Acupuncture stimulation has been shown to release central nervous system endorphins, explaining part of its mechanism of action in reducing pain. It has also been shown to promote the release of the chemical (ACTH) that activates the adrenal glands, affect chemicals that are known to be involved in mood and pain perception (serotonin, GABA, catecholamines, dopamine, etc), and influence substance P, one of the body’s pain-generating messengers. While its effects have traditionally been explained in terms of energy flow, science has shown that acupuncture may work at least partly by directly affecting the function of the nervous system. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for chronic back pain. Many insurance companies in the U.S. also cover acupuncture for back pain (even when they do not cover acupuncture for other conditions) because of acupuncture’s good cost/benefit/risk ratio for treating back pain. Interestingly, a large study of acupuncture for back pain suggests that acupuncture is equally effective across all types of back pain with the strongest benefit being noted in patients with more severe back pain.
Amenorrhea, Difficult Lactation, Dysmenorrhea, Endometriosis, Infertility, IVF & IUI Support, Hot Flashes, Mal-Position Of The Fetus, Menopausal Symptoms, Morning Sickness, Night Sweats, PMS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Acupuncture has been shown through scientific research in the U.S. and in China to increase success rates for couples facing infertility. It is believed to increase blood flow to the uterus, increase uterine wall thickness, impact plasma levels of the fertility hormones such as FSH, LH, estradiol and progesterone, and lower stress hormones responsible for infertility.
Gastrointestinal & Digestive Disorders
Acid Reflux, Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Gastritis, GERD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Nausea, Peptic Ulcer, Vomiting
Allergies, Asthma (Chronic), Chronic Sinusitis, Cough, Meniere’s Disease, Nasal Congestion, Rhinitis, Sinus Headaches, Sore Throat
Bell’s Palsy, Insomnia, Hemiplegia, M.S., Peripheral Neuropathy Stroke Recovery, Tremors, Trigeminal Neuralgia
Physiological & Emotional Disorders
Addictions, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Stress Reduction
Dermatological & Skin Disorders
Acne, Alopecia (Hair Loss), Eczema, Hives, Psoriasis, Shingles
Adrenal Dysfunction, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Raynaud’s Syndrome
Anemia, High Cholesterol, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Poor Circulation
Cancer Related Problems
Chemotherapy Side Effects, Strengthen Immune Function
Chronic Urinary Tract Infections, Incontinence, Frequent Urination, Male Infertility, Painful Urination, Urinary Retention
As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as reducing nicotine cravings.
Acupuncture assists with weight loss but it is not a magic cure. Acupuncture is effective in making it easier to lose and maintain weight loss if the patient is willing to change their lifestyle. Acupuncture can affect the digestive and hormonal systems, re-balancing them to run more efficiently. It also provides a calming effect and makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration and anxiety that can trigger overeating.