What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system.  Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnosis and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.  An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body.  This activates the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”) and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, natural immunity and physical well-being.

What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced “chee) or vital energy is at the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  This river-like flowing energy animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease.  Circulating through pathways or meridians, these rivers of Qi influence every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.  Free flowing Qi promotes good physical health, mental and emotional wellbeing.  The quality, quantity and balance of one’s Qi have a direct influence on health and energy.

How safe is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe.  It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no negative side effects, just feelings of relaxation and well-being.  There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once and then discarded.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture should not be painful. Compared to needles used for injections, acupuncture needles are extremely thin.  It is important, however, that you feel the sensation of Qi, called ‘de Qi’.  You may feel the arrival of Qi as a slight cramping, a dull achy feeling, a feeling similar to electricity, a tingling, or sensation of heat or cold.  None of these sensations should be very uncomfortable.  On rare occasions you may feel as if you have been stung by a bee.  This should pass very quickly.  If it does not, tell your practitioner.

Why check my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body.  It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians.  Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why check my pulse?

Your Acupuncturist will check twelve pulse positions, each corresponding to a specific meridian and organ.  Any imbalances within these meridians or organs will appear in your pulse.

How many treatments will I need?

Treatment frequency and number of treatments needed depend on a variety of factors like your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi.  Some people experience immediate relief while others may take months or longer to achieve results.  Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones.  Individuals should plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.  We usually suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

What is Moxabustion?

Moxabustion is the burning of the leaves of the mugwort plant (Ai Ye; Folium artemisiae).This therapy is used to improve circulation and warm the local area or meridian.  Common disorders that benefit from moxabustion are poor digestion, menstrual complaints, fatigue, and pain which worsen with the exposure to cold.  It is used in a variety of forms and is often combined with acupuncture.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a therapy that uses glass or plastic cups to create a vacuum type effect on the skin.  It is often used in cases of colds, chest congestion, fever, muscle tension and to reduce cellulite.

What is Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbs have specialized functions that send specific messages to the organ and meridian systems.  Once a diagnosis is made a personalized formula is constructed from the thousand of herbal combinations.  Herbal medicine works well in conjunction with acupuncture and gives the patient the opportunity to extend their healing sessions at home when in between acupuncture sessions.