Please see our FAQs for additional information.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of therapy that promotes natural healing of the body. The art of acupuncture involves insertion of thin sterilized needles into specific acupoints along the meridians of the body. Acupuncture is one form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which originated over 2000 years ago, in China.
Traditionally, acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy) and blood through channels or meridians which traverse the body, similar but not identical to the nervous and blood circulatory systems.
Acupuncture involves the use of very fine, hair-like, pre-sterilized, disposable needles. The needles are placed at specific points on the body to stimulate the circulation of Qi throughout the body and directs it to the areas that need it. Promoting the flow of Qi relieves pain, improves physical function, and helps mental and emotional balance in a natural, gentle way.
Modern clinical studies are beginning to shed light on the physiological effects that acupuncture has on the body. They have found that it initiates the release of the body’s natural pain control chemicals, opioid peptides, which create an analgesic effect. The activation of the nervous system and certain parts of the brain have also been shown to be involved through the secretion of certain chemicals, changes in blood flow and an alteration in the way that the injured or problem area is sending information to and receiving information from the brain.
What does Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization to be appropriate in treating the following (click for full list of conditions):
Arthritis, All Types of Pain and Numbness (including Arthiritis, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy, Muscle, Sports Injuries)
IBS, Constipation, Diarrhea, Acid Reflux, Indigestion, Gastritis, Weight Control
Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Nervousness, Stress
Irregular, heavy or painful menstruation, Infertility in women and men, Menopause, PMS, Sexual Dysfunction
Headaches, Migraines, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke
Asthma, Bronchitis, Common Cold/Flu, Sinusitis, Allergies
Bell’s Palsy, TMJ, Trigeminal Neuralgia
General Well Being
Acne, Incontinence, UTI, Stop Smoking, Fatigue, Nausea, Vomiting and Pain after post-op and chemotherapy
Electro-Acupuncture is quite similar to acupuncture in that needles are inserted on specific points along the body. The needles are then attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips and the frequency and intensity of the impulse is adjusted based on the condition being treated. A slight throbbing or tingling sensation may be felt during the use of the stimulator. The degree of stimulation will be adjusted by your practitioner so that it is strong enough but not too strong for your comfort.
Fire along with glass cups are used to create a suction to unblock the stagnant qi. A suction is created by quickly inserting and removing a flame from the cup, then placing the cup on the appropriate point on the body. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools. Drawing up the skin opens up the skin's pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. This method may produce redness, discoloration, bruises and on rare occasions a minor blister could form which may last several days, but will eventually disappear.
Guasha is a rubbing technique that releases tight and painful muscles. A guasha tool and oil are used to scrape the tight muscle fibers. As bound muscle fibers begin to loosen, toxins bound within the tissue are released. These toxins may show up on the surface of the skin as very small red or purple dots. These marks are painless and usually last for 2-5 days. Guasha promotes normal circulation and metabolic processes. The patient typically experiences immediate relief from pain, stiffness. Guasha is also valuable in the prevention and treatment of acute infectious illness, upper respiratory and digestive problems, and many other acute or chronic disorders.
Tuina is a combination of massage, acupressure and other forms of body manipulation. It is a deep and strong manipulation of the body so some soreness may be felt for a few days after a session. Tuina works by applying pressure to acupoints, meridians and groups of muscles or nerves to remove blockages that prevent the free flow of qi. Removing these blockages restores the balance of qi in the body, leading to improved health and vitality. Tuina is best suited for rectifying chronic pain, musculoskeletal conditions and stress-related disorders that affect the digestive and/or respiratory systems. However, because tuina is designed to improve and restore the flow of qi, treatment often ends up causing improvements to the whole body, not just a specific area.
Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM have used these systems to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy for thousands of years!