What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a centuries old, complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. Qi (pronounced chee) is a vital energy that flows through specific pathways, called meridians inside the body. An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam on a river. When Qi becomes blocked in one part the body, flow is then restricted in other areas and cuts off vital nourishment to these regions. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, exercise, seasonal changes, diet, sleep, and activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Normally when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body is able to return to a state of health and wellbeing. However, when this disruption is severe and/or prolonged or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in. The insertion of very thin sterilized, stainless-steel acupuncture needles in specifically chosen points encourages the body/mind/spirit of the person to promote natural healing and improve function. In other words, acupuncture helps the body heal itself.

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes. The needles are safe since they are pre-sterilized, packaged, and disposable. Acupuncture practitioners who graduate from an accredited school have extensive training in anatomy, needle placement, and needle technique.

What conditions can best be treated by acupuncture?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of:

Addiction Fatigue Rhinitis
Anxiety Fertility Sciatica
Arthritis Fibromyalgia Seasonal Affective Disorder
Asthma Gingivitis Shoulder Pain
Bronchitis Headache Sinusitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Hiccoughs Sleep Disturbances
Chronic Fatigue Incontinence Smoking Cessation
Colitis Indigestion Sore Throat
Common Cold IBS Stress
Constipation Low Back Pain Tennis Elbow
Dental Pain Menopause Tonsillitis
Depression Menstrual Issues Tooth Pain
Diarrhea Morning Sickness Trigeminal Neuralgria
Digestive Trouble Nausea Urinary Tract Infections
Dizziness Osteoarthritis Vomiting
Dysentery Pneumonia
Facial Palsy Reproductive Problems

Links to Learn More:
NIH: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/
WHO: http://www.who.int/topics/traditional_medicine/en/index.html

Is acupuncture painful?

Everyone’s experience with needles is different. I have had patients report the following sensations to me: a slight pinching, a tingling, a buzzing, a feeling of spreading warmth, a heavy feeling. If discomfort is experienced it is negligible and quickly fades after, leaving you with a sense of peace and wellbeing.

Do I have to believe in it for acupuncture to work?

No, acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Animals are successfully treated with acupuncture; they do not understand the process, yet they get better anyway.

What is the acupuncture treatment experience like?

The first acupuncture visit includes a consultation and an acupuncture needle treatment. During the consultation we will speak at length about your health concerns and your health and personal histories. This discussion will be followed by a physical examination. The assessment will identify the underlying conditions that have led to your current concerns. This portion of the session takes 1 to 1 ½ hours.

The first needle treatment lasts about ½ hour. I will explain where the needles will be placed. Then I will insert very small (about a hair’s width), sterile needles into the points where they will be retained for about 20 minutes. I will read your pulses both before and after treatment to get information about changes in the flow of qi (energy force) in the body.

Together we will devise a treatment schedule and develop a picture of how improvement will manifest for you.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for acupuncture varies from policy to policy. Consult your insurer for the terms of coverage on your policy.

I am a preferred provider with Care First/Blue Cross Blue Shield,  Cigna and Aetna and can check acupuncture benefits with either insurer for you.

I feel pretty good already. Do I really need acupuncture or Zero Balancing sessions?

You don’t need to be sick or in pain to receive a Zero Balancing or an Acupuncture treatment.

Zero Balancing restores the relationship between the human energy field and skeletal structure through touch. This innovative therapy helps restore the body’s flow of energy, leaving you feeling relaxed, renewed and with an overall sense of wellbeing.

Acupuncture has been used traditionally as a preventive medicine. Research shows that acupuncture stimulates immune function which helps stave off illness. Treatment can also increase overall vitality and energy. It treats the underlying causes of what ails us, sometimes before we even know they exist, and results in a deep kind of healing. Acupuncture brings about changes on a mental and emotional level as well; the body/mind/spirit is one entity.

Many people find that regular Zero Balancing or acupuncture sessions, monthly or seasonally, keep them feeling vibrant and well.

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the burning of the herb mugwort, artemesia vulgaris, to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and to maintain general health. Moxa is generally used for cold and/or stagnant conditions.

In direct moxibustion, a small cone shaped roll of the herb is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. Indirect moxibustion is when a moxa stick is lit and moved over the point or area until the area is thoroughly heated. Moxa can also be placed on top of a needle in a point to more deeply penetrate an area.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha, sometimes referred to as scraping or spooning, is using a smooth edged instrument to apply strokes along the skin. Raising sha removes blood stagnation (it brings more blood to and increases circulation in the area) which results in relief from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, and coughs.

What is cupping?

Cupping is a technique in which a glass cup is placed on the skin and a suction pump is used to create a vacuum, which anchors the cup to the skin and pulls the skin upward on the inside of the glass. The resulting pressure encourages the flow of qi and blood in the area beneath the cup, which breaks up obstruction and stagnation so the qi can flow freely.

Cupping is usually done on the back or abdomen and is most frequently used for the treatment of pain; gastrointestinal disorders; and respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion.