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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q. What is acupuncture and Oriental medicine?

A. Acupuncture is one of the modalities of Oriental medicine. It consists of the insertion of sterile, fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. “Chinese medicine,” often called “Oriental medicine” or “Traditional Chinese medicine” includes a vast array of medical practices. With acupuncture the body’s vital energy (chi or Qi) circulates through the body’s channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions. Illness occurs when there is an imbalance or interruption of one’s Qi. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in more than 40 states in the U.S. In addition, the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies both acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners. Acupuncturists who have passed the NCCAOM exam are entitled to add Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) after their name.

Q. How does it work?

A. Traditional Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi. Qi is a fine, essential substance which nourishes the body through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. They called this energy Qi. In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, these healing practitioners discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways called ‘meridians’. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians, and their associated physiological systems. Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients. According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of Qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck and/or superabundant. In this way, Acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body through an individualized treatment plan to induce the body to a balanced state of health.

Q. How do we work together?

A. As in any form of healing, a patient’s attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of your course of treatment. You will be encouraged and educated about how to actively participate in the healing process. Chinese and Western medicine compliment each other and can be integrated to offer optimal health care. Many conditions may be alleviated very rapidly by acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, some conditions that have arisen over a course of years will be relieved only with slow, but steady progress. Although Oriental medicine can treat most conditions, there are circumstances that can be, and should be, dealt with more effectively by Western medicine and your physician’s involvement.

Q. Are the needles safe?

A. Acupuncture needles are sterile, very fine, individually packed, disposable, and FDA approved. A licensed acupuncturist has had thorough training on the safe implementation of this treatment.

Q. What is facial or cosmetic acupuncture?

A. This treatment has become very popular recently and there is a reason why, since it offers a safe and effective treatment to rejuvenate the face. Facial acupuncture stimulates collagen production and increases local blood and lymph circulation. In addition, it energizes the facial area, and brings a feeling and look of health. Facial Acupuncture amplifies your inner beauty, by diminishing wrinkles, decreasing puffiness under the eyes, and firming the skin. Acupuncture also treats the constitutional problems associated with the aging process that manifest themselves on the facial surface.

Q. Can children be treated with acupuncture?

A. Yes, and very effectively, although unlike treating an adult the very fine needles are inserted for only a brief moment. Acupressure may also be used. This is related to acupuncture, but the fingers are used instead. Acupuncture and acupressure can complement each other in many individualized treatment plans.

Q. What is acupressure?

A. Acupressure is related to acupuncture, but instead of using needles to manipulate the Qi, the fingers are used instead. Acupressure has its advantages for both children and adults who are squeamish about needles.

Q. Do I have to be ill to benefit from acupuncture?

A. Absolutely not. Many patients come for regular treatments to achieve increased effectiveness and enjoyment from life. Acupuncture can also be a powerful preventative measure to keep patients healthy throughout the year.

Q. What is the acupuncture treatment like?

A. Acupuncture needles are not much thicker than a human hair, and their insertion is practically painless. In some cases, you will feel minimal pain as the needles are inserted or not even know the needles are in place. Most patients find the treatments extremely relaxing, and many fall asleep during the treatment. An Oriental medicine treatment also may include a variety of non-needle techniques, such as heat treatment (called moxibustion), cupping, acupressure, and herbal applications.