What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a comprehensive system of medicine developed in China over 4,000 years ago. It is the oldest continuously documented medical system still in use today to diagnose, treat and prevent illness. Acupuncture is based on the theory of Qi (pronounced chee). Qi, often translated as energy or life force, is the source of all physiological functions in the body: it makes the heart beat, allows the lungs to breath, the muscles to move, the neurons to fire, the digestive system to metabolize and extract nutrients from the food. Qi is circulated in all parts of the body via energy channels or pathways called meridians. Various factors affect the smooth flow of Qi, such as injury, poor nutrition, family history, genetics, prolonged stress, lingering emotional issues, and invasion by harmful microorganisms. When there are interruptions or blockages in the flow of Qi in the meridians, illness will ensue. Acupuncture restores the flow of Qi along these pathways, and thus restores health.

What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is not only the oldest medical system in the world but it is also the most commonly used. One third of the world’s population uses acupuncture as part of their healthcare. Acupuncture is a complete medicine and acupuncturists are trained to treat any person who walks through their door.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment modality for a vast array of conditions including, but not limited to:

- Pain, injury, arthritis, muscle tension and spasms, tendonitis
- Depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress management
- Hormonal imbalances, menstrual irregularities, menopausal symptoms
- Infertility, morning sickness, induction of labor
- Digestive disturbances such as acid reflux, constipation, indigestion, colitis, IBS
- Sleep issues, headaches, TMJ, hypertension
- Asthma, allergies, common cold
- Immune support, smoking cessation, withdrawal support
- Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
- Skin conditions
- Psycho-Emotinal issues like PTSD, ADH, ADHD, eating disorders.
What happens during a treatment?

During a treatment, you will be asked about your condition, your diet and lifestyle, and any medications or supplements you are taking. The acupuncturist will evaluate your pulses on both wrists and look at your tongue. For most treatments, you will be asked to remove your outer clothes and to lay on the table, either on your back or on your stomach with your head in a cradle. The selected points will be cleaned and the needles inserted. You will then relax in the treatment room for 30-45 minutes. If other modalities, such as moxibustion, or cupping are appropriate, use of these treatments and their benefits will be explained.

How long is a treatment?

You can expect to spend roughly eighty minutes at your first visit, during which time you will fill out a comprehensive health history, be examined and receive a full acupuncture treatment. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have and a course of treatment will be established. Follow up treatments will last on average one hour.

How many treatments will I need?

That depends on the nature, severity, and duration of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition while a series of 5 to 15 treatments may resolve a chronic problem. Degenerative conditions may require more treatments.

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