As one technique of many in Oriental Medicine, acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points on the body in order to prevent and treat disease and improve overall health. It is a simple, safe, effective and economical therapy that is free from side effects. Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are superfine and often imperceptible upon insertion. National clean needle standards require that all acupuncture needles be pre-sterilized, disposable and individually packaged.top
"The body heals itself; acupuncture treatments aim it in the right direction."
Based on the principles of Chinese medicine, and in my clinical experience, acupuncture works by prompting the bodys inherent and profound ability to heal itself. Several concepts, including yin-yang theory, Qi and Blood flow, and the meridian system, are fundamental to the understanding of Chinese Medicine. If youd like to explore these principles, I recommend the book The Web That Has No Weaver.
From a Western perspective, researchers are increasingly examining how acupuncture works. Acupuncture efficacy is questioned less and less, as conclusive studies are done, but the physiological mechanisms of acupuncture are still poorly understood. To look for articles on specific diseases, search the keyword acupuncture at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH officially endorses acupuncture treatments, especially in the area of pain management.
Since acupuncture doesnt easily fit into Western scientific models of research, studies to determine how acupuncture works have proven somewhat challenging. So far, some of the explanations that have been explored include gate theory, endorphin releases and autonomic nervous system responses.
Trigger Point According to Dr. Janet Travell, a pioneer in the field of myofascial pain, a trigger point is a hyperirritable locus within a taut band of skeletal muscle. These bands of contracted muscle feel ropy and tender, and often create referred pain or pain in other areas of the body. Since the taut bands inhibit the normal functioning of the muscle, releasing the constrictions through treatment helps to restore the optimum performance of the involved muscles and muscle groups.top
"Acupuncture brings the body toward homeostasis, the state of physiological equilibrium."
Most conditions can be corrected or improved with acupuncture, since it works by promoting the body's natural ability to heal. Practitioners around the world treat a wide array of acute and chronic disorders.
My acupuncture practice attracts, but is not limited to, people with active lifestyles, who commonly experience muscular or myofascial pain related to their activities. Everyday complaints include back pain, neck pain, sciatica and hip pain, shoulder and knee joint pain, headaches and repetitive strain disorders. I also have success treating patients who suffer from internal problems including common gynecological, digestive and respiratory conditions. In the realm of more complex and chronic conditions, a number of my patients are in recovery from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, both of which respond well to my treatments.top
Needle Insertion either feels like a small pinch or nothing at all. Patients often say, "I didn't even feel that needle go in." Since acupuncture needles are superfine and solid, unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture feels nothing like getting your blood drawn or getting an injection.
Needle Manipulation, or the way a needle is stimulated after placement in the body, can create a variety of sensations. Commonly, these include heavy, dull, achy, tingling and spreading sensations. Practitioners manipulate needles and then look for these sensations as indications that the body's own healing powers have been activated.
Trigger Point Release using an acupuncture needle feels like a quick spasm or jump of the muscle and the surrounding connective tissue. Sensations commonly travel to the surrounding areas. The immediate effects of treatment can feel like post-workout soreness, but as the soreness fades, the benefits of the therapy are lasting.
See the testimonials section to find out what my patients say about their experience of acupuncture.top
Your first acupuncture visit will take about one and a half hours, while subsequent visits typically last an hour. Its best to arrive in the office after eating at least a light meal. Receiving treatment on an empty stomach can occasionally interfere with treatment. After you fill out a comprehensive intake form, I gather more information about you through pulse and tongue diagnosis, as well as palpation. Of all the methods of assessment in Chinese Medicine, palpation is my preferred method.
Palpation is the examination of the body through touch, for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment. I examine the main areas of complaint for size, consistency, texture, tenderness and exact location. With a background in massage therapy and years of experience, I have highly developed palpation skills. Examining the body through touch, as a diagnostic aid, is the cornerstone of my acupuncture practice.
The next phase of your visit is the acupuncture treatment itself, where I insert needles into various points along meridian pathways. Since these pathways encompass the whole body, needles will be inserted into areas that may not include your main complaint. For example, if youre seeking treatment for neck pain, you can expect needles to be inserted into points on your arms and legs, which correspond to the neck in Chinese Medicine. The number of needles inserted differs in each session, but on average I use between fifteen and twenty-five needles. You can expect to lay comfortably on the treatment table with the needles in for approximately 20-30 minutes. In this time you'll be largely unaware of the needles and youll experience relaxation and calm.
After the needles are removed, you can expect a discussion of my recommendations for your care, including an acupuncture treatment plan. Since acupuncture treatments are cumulative, an initial course of treatment is usually recommended, which includes 4-6 weekly treatments. If your condition is complex and/or chronic, you may need ongoing care for several months. Also, as part of your treatment, I may use other therapeutic techniques besides acupuncture. I often use a very effective technique called gua sha, and I occasionally use moxibustion, cupping and shonishin, as indicated. See an explanation of these techniques below.top
Since policies vary, you need to contact your provider for specific coverage information. If you're able to collect reimbursement, I can provide the claims to submit. However, I'm not a participant in any health care plans and I only accept payment from patients at the time of service.top