What is Acupuncture? How does Acupuncture work? What does Acupuncture feel like? What if I donít like needles? Is Acupuncture safe? How many treatments will I need? What is the relationship between Acupuncture and contemporary Western Medicine? Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?

What is Acupuncture?    (back to top)

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture involves the placement of hair-thin needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body for therapeutic purposes. The acupuncture points are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (called "Qi", pronounced "chee") in the body to restore health and balance. A fundamental principle of acupuncture is to treat the whole person -- body, mind, and spirit -- and to relieve the root cause of disease, not just the symptoms.

How does Acupuncture work?    (back to top)

Chinese Medicine considers illness as a message to the body to make a change. And an acupuncture needle communicates directly with the body, indicating that there is an imbalance and inviting a change. Acupuncture is based on the premise that Qi moves along the channels of the body. Normally, Qi circulates along these meridians and enables all the organs of the body to function properly and the emotions to be in balance. When the Qi is obstructed, pain or disease may result. Healing can be achieved by needling these obstructed points.

What does Acupuncture feel like?    (back to top)

The sensation from the needle varies for each person. You may feel nothing at all, a slight pinch, or a tingling feeling. After the treatment, people often feel both relaxed and alert, although it may vary depending on the specific treatment.

What if I donít like needles?    (back to top)

Acupressure can be substituted. It uses the same principles and acu-points as acupuncture but without needles, and can be equally effective.

Is Acupuncture safe?    (back to top)

Acupuncture is safe and without any serious side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that all needles be sterile and single-use. Very few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA, despite the millions of people treated each year.

How many treatments will I need?    (back to top)

Acupuncture addresses the underlying cause of a problem rather than fixing a symptom, and therefore can take time to have an effect. While some people may experience immediate results, most notice improvement within three to five treatments. Of course, results can vary from person to person.

What is the relationship between Acupuncture and contemporary Western Medicine?    (back to top)

Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial as a "complementary" medicine. Although it is often used alone, it is easily integrated into and used with Western Medicine. Although Chinese Medicine explains acupuncture in its own terms, (Yin/Yang, Qi, etc), in Western terms acupuncture may cause a release of endorphins in the body. In addition, acupuncture needles may increase the amount of blood flow in the area around the needle. The increased blood flow can supply additional nutrients or remove toxic substances, or both, promoting healing.

Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?    (back to top)

Acupuncture is not based on faith. Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat children and animals, neither of whom have preconceived ideas about its effectiveness. Of course, as with any healing modality, a positive outlook can make treatment more effective.