Why should I try acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used for centuries as a preventative medicine and as a treatment for acute and chronic illness. It is a “whole body” medicine, treating not just the symptoms of disease, but the root cause as well. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help resolve pain, boost energy, reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate depression, improve sleep and digestive functions, and restore a general sense of well-being. Furthermore, modern evidence-based research has demonstrated acupuncture’s positive effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. Acupuncture treatment, unlike more invasive techniques such as drugs or surgery, has an extremely low probability of side effects; it’s a more natural healing method that is gentle and relaxing to receive. These powerful treatments can be the answer to help with any health conditions you suffer from, as well as as powerful preventative medicine to support and maintain overall health and well-being. Your good health is worth this investment.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

First, your acupuncturist will take a full health history from you. Then he or she will feel your pulse and examine your tongue’s shape, color, and coating. Some additional physical examinations may also be performed depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition. You will then lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupuncture points are located and stimulated with needles on various areas of your body. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (as thin as a human hair) and most people feel little to no discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between 5 and 30 minutes. Patients usually report feeling very relaxed during this time.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When practiced by a licensed professional, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment modality with minimal to no risk of side effects. Acupuncture can be used alone, but is also safe and encouraged to be used in conjunction with other therapies. Only sterilized, single use, disposable needles are used in order to safeguard the patient from any communicable diseases.

How do I prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

Wear loose clothing (no tight pants or sleeves) so the acupuncturist can easily access acupoints on arms and legs. Please eat something prior to your appointment; it is best not to come on an empty stomach.

How many treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first few treatments, particularly if the problem is acute and therefore require fewer visits. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, a longer course of treatment over several months may be recommended. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed with you during your initial visit.

What conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture?

Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

Studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Auto-immune Disorders
  • Back Pain
  • Breach Baby
  • Colitis
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Digestive Disorders (IBS, etc.)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Frequent Colds and Flu
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Heartburn and Nausea
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual Disorders (PMS, period pain; excessive, lack of, or irregular bleeding)
  • Menopause Symptoms
  • Pain – acute or chronic
  • Pregnancy (morning sickness, etc.)
  • Repetitive Stress Injury/Carpal Tunnel
  • Sciatica
  • Skin Disorders
  • Stress Management
  • TMJ

How do I choose the right acupuncturist?

Like choosing any medical provider, it is important to find an acupuncturist with whom you feel comfortable. If you like and trust your practitioner, your experience will be more positive. It is also important to know about the acupuncturist’s training and experience, and what to expect from the treatment.

Some questions to ask: Where was he/she trained? How long was the training? How long has he/she been in practice? What experience does he/she have with your specific ailment?

Acupuncture is a respected field of medicine for which most states, provinces, and countries require formal training and certification. In particular, the U.S. has rigorous training standards for acupuncturists. Most states require a 4-year Master’s degree in Acupuncture (MSAC) or Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) from an accredited acupuncture school, as well as passing state and/or national board exams in order to become licensed. Training includes all aspects of Western medicine as well as Traditional Oriental Medicine. However, in some states medical doctors (MDs), chiropractors, and/or physical therapists can become licensed to insert needles into the body with just 200 – 300 hours of training; thus, it is important that you inquire about your acupuncturist’s schooling and if they are certified with the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), which requires its members to have a degree in Oriental Medicine (acupuncture and Herbal Medicine) from an accredited school and to have passed the national board exams.