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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture, which originated in China, is a part of Traditional Oriental Medicine - A refined healthcare system that has been used for thousands of years to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and improve well being.  Acupuncture stimulates qi (pronounced chee) or vital energies within the body to promote healing and improve function.  Quantum physics has recently determined that humans are complex bio-energetic systems.  This has been a long standing concept of TCM.  
How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture balances energy flow throughout the body.  This is done by inserting needles into the body at acupuncture points located along pathways called meridians.  An obstruction in these pathways creates imbalances that can lead to discomfort and disease.  Acupuncture needles unblock these obstructions to direct and re-establish the free flow of qi in the meridians. This creates a more harmonious state by balancing the body, mind and spirit.  The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance and harmony. And in so doing, it relieves symptoms by treating the root cause of disharmony.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional.  The needles used by acupuncturists are smooth, single use disposable acupuncture needles made of high quality stainless steel.  Each needle is sterile and individually packaged.  The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture has recognized the success of acupuncture in the treatment of several diseases.  It has stated that “one of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.”  

 Does it hurt?

Some people feel nothing, while others have described the needle insertion as being similar to a mosquito bite.  Most people find acupuncture relaxing and, some even fall asleep during the treatment.

 I don’t like needles. Can I still get a treatment?

If you are fearful of needling you can still benefit from the use of Oriental Medicine.  Treatments are modified to your comfort level.  There are several needle free techniques, such as Tui Na (massage) and herbs that can be used to provide relief of symptoms.

 What disorders can acupuncture treat?

Research indicates acupuncture is beneficial in treating many health conditions.  The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupunctures effectiveness in the treatment of over 40 common disorders including: 

PMS       Headache         Asthma        Insomnia      Depression   Anxiety       

Menopause          Back Pain        Stress       Hypertension   

Fatigue                 Allergies             Digestive Disorders     

Chronic and Acute Pain      Arthirits    Immune Function

How does acupuncture treat AD/HD, anxiety and depression?

By using classical diagnostic and treatment techniques a practitioner able to offer individualized care for a variety of conditions.  Acupuncture is an effective complementary therapy for AD/HD, anxiety and depression as it has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system.  It also helps alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative. Over time, patients becomes accustomed to listening to and learning from their body.  And, in this way, they are better able to focus and interact with the world.
How many treatments will I need before I feel better?

Each person is different.  Some feel a positive change after one treatment.  Acute conditions may be alleviated within 2-3 treatments.  Chronic conditions may require several months of consistent treatment to achieve results.  

What else do I need to know about acupuncture?

Acupuncture is not a miracle cure, nor a "quick fix."  Some patients may experience immediate results, while other may not notice any progress until later in the course of treatment.  It is important to remember that acupuncture addresses the underlying cause of a problem rather than fixing a symptom.  It often takes time to have an effect and, therefore, requires trust and acceptance of as well as commitment to the process of healing.