Frequently Asked Questions

What is acupuncture?

Over the past 5,000 years, acupuncture has evolved into a complete healing system that includes the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions. This unique and ancient system of understanding the human body incorporates the treatment of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Health and harmony is achieved when the correct quantity, quality, and movement of Qi (pronounced “chee”) exists throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain, and disease. Illness, or lack of harmony (imbalance), is a result of the reduced quantity, quality, and movement of Qi.

What is Qi?

Qi is energy, life force, vital force. Qi is affected by stress, medicines, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle. Some affect Qi positively, and some affect Qi negatively.

What will my acupuncturist do?

Your acupuncturist will begin by taking a full health history. This may include asking questions, assessing the energetic pulses and looking at the tongue. These are effective diagnostic tools that enable your acupuncturist to obtain a clear picture of your overall health. If signs of weakness, imbalance or blockage are found, your acupuncturist may use a variety of non-invasive and gentle treatment methods to restore the balance and flow of Qi, thereby facilitating your natural ability to heal. Some of these techniques may include: acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, tuina, or cupping.

What kind of pulse will the acupuncturist take?

This pulse is an energetic pulse – it is unlike what your MD would count. The energetic pulse is a key diagnostic tool, and it changes moment to moment. It is like a gas gauge on a car. If the gasoline is Qi, the pulse is the gas gauge to show how much gasoline is in the tank. The pulse tells an acupuncturist the quantity of Qi a patient has and the quality.

Why does an acupuncturist want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is another diagnostic tool that acupuncturists use. It represents how the patient’s health was approximately three months ago. Different areas on the tongue represent different areas of the body. An acupuncturist will look at the shape, color, coating and moisture to help determine a diagnosis.

How many visits will I need to make?

Your acupuncturist will determine the number of treatments needed to help a patient after a diagnosis is reached.

Do the needles hurt?

Most patients do not feel the needles go into the skin. The needles is about 0.2mm in diameter, about the thickness of a human hair. Qi sensations can feel like warmth, tingling, dully achy, throughout the body.

What type of education does an acupuncturist have?

After obtaining a Bachelors degree, and acupuncturist will go to school for 4 years to attain a graduate degree in Oriental Medicine; this program is similar to medical school for a medical doctor. An acupuncturist will then take the national board examination to become certified. After completion of the board exams, an acupuncturist will apply for licensing in his or her state of employment.

What is cupping?

Cupping is one of many ways to treat congestion of qi. A partial vacuum is created in a jar, usually by means of heat, and then the jar is applied to the skin.

What can acupuncture treat?

According to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes for Health, and clinical experience, Acupuncture is useful in the treatment of:

Chronic and Acute Pain: Injuries, headaches, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia

Neurological Disorders: Post-strok recover, Bell's Palsy & Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders

Upper Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu.

Digestive Disorders: Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers

Urinary and Reproductive Disorders: Cystitis, menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility, menopausal symptoms.

Immune Function: Recurrent infections, supportive treatment fo cancer and AIDS patients.

Addictions: Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs.

Eye and Ear Disorders: Tinnitus, Meniere's disease.

Chemical/Emotional Imbalances: Depression, Anxiety & Insomnia

What About Other Conditions?

Please contact us to find out about other conditions that can be treated with acupuncture and oriental medicine.