Acupuncture 101

What is Acupuncture?

The practice of acupuncture in the United States incorporates medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries.¹  Acupuncture is one of the essential elements of Oriental medicine and the oldest, most commonly used medical procedure in the world. Originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, the practice of Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, cupping, manual therapies such as acupressure, moxibustion, exercises such as tai chi or qi gong, as well as Chinese herbal preparations and dietary therapy.

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body, by insertion of very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles to elicit a predictable physiological response. This stimulus may also be administered to the points using mild electrical stimulation (with or without needles), pressure techniques with the hands (acupressure) or the application of heat by various methods.  (file:///C:/Users/owner/Downloads/NCCAOM%20Credential%20Doc.pdf)

Will it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin made from silver alloy typically stainless steel. You may feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. You may feel different sensations including slight soreness, numbness, warmth, or pressure. These energetic sensations differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and comforting.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world’s population! The needles are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.

What should I expect for my first treatment?

After the first treatment has been administered, depending on the aliment being treated, many experiences may occur. Immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms may be experienced. Some patients experience a sudden burst of energy while others may feel relaxed. Many people experience a calming satisfaction. Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do occur. These are no cause for alarm, and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The reabsorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the needle in place.

How long do the treatments take?

In most situations treatments take between 20 and 30 minutes but can last longer in certain scenarios. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient and the skill of the acupuncturist. Be aware that on some days, visits may take longer due to the number of clients being treated.  The initial appointment includes a health history intake, examination and treatment and can take 1.5 to 2 hours.   Follow up appointments include progress report, examination, and treatment and can take 1 to 1.25 hours.   I also offer “chair” or community style in a semi-private setting and can be done in less than 1 hour.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Many conditions may be treated. General pain relief and control for arthritis, cervical spondylopathy, knee pain, hand and foot pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, lower back and neck pain, tendonitis, ect. Other conditions such as circulatory problems with high or low blood pressure, cold hands and feet. Some nervous system imbalances can also be treated such as anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, depression, asthma, allergies and sinus problems; digestive disorders like Crohn%u2019s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common alements treated include headaches and migraines; treatments to help stop smoking, and many more conditions.

How does acupuncture work?

In traditional Chinese Medicine, there exists a meridian system through the human body. In this system, invisible passageways for energy are called meridians. There are certain points on the body (more than 360) that connect with certain organs and bodily functions. Point Groups on the body that apply to a specific organ or function are found along the same meridian. In a healthy, normal functioning body, the energy in these meridians flow freely resulting in a balanced system. When the flow of energy is interrupted from causes such as stress or injury, this energy is reduced throwing your “Qi” off balance. By performing acupuncture using the points associated with the particular meridian involved, this Qi or balance is restored.

Are the needles clean?

Acupuncture needles are FDA approved. These needles are pre-sterilized and individually wrapped. After the needles are used, they are disposed.

How many treatments will I need?

Since every person is unique in their own condition, the numbers of treatments will vary. The nature, severity and history of each patient’s problem, as well as the individual himself or herself, are all factors that are involved in how many treatments will be necessary.

Are needles the only equipment involved?

Acupuncturist may use several techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, electric stimulation, and point stimulation to help with the patient’s treatment.

Will it conflict with my other medications?

Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments NOT TO REPLACE THEM. You should discuss this issue with your physician and acupuncturist.

References

1. National Institute of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/; accessed March 15, 2009.

 

 

Harmony Acupuncture and Healing Practices
Christie M. Savage, M.A., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)® . L.Ac.

3052 Berkmar Dr Suite B
Charlottesille, VA 22901
Charlottesville:434-242-8305
Staunton:540-245-0235
harmony.acupuncture@yahoo.com


2303 N. Augusta St
Staunton, VA 24401
Charlottesville:434-242-8305
Staunton:540-245-0235