Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a part one of the oldest systems of medicine and it has been used for thousands of years. It uses very thin disposable needles inserted at specific points to direct nutrients and electro-magnetic and chemical signals to various areas of the body. The needle stimulation follows a channel (similar to a circuit) and seeks to bring balance, or homeostasis, to the body. From a Western perspective, acupuncture has been found to stimulate the hypothalamus, which helps regulate the hormones of the endocrine system. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the autonomic nervous system which is active at rest and which allows for some of the body’s restorative processes such as digestion to kick in. This partially explains why people often feel relaxed during a treatment. Acupuncture has also been shown to enhance immune function, decrease inflammation, and promote circulation. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that when our body is strong and the organs are working optimally, we have health and are able to fight off foreign invaders. When our organ systems are not balanced and/or our body is weak or deficient in Vital Substances such as Qi (life energy) and (nutrients found in) Blood, we are unable to fight off pathogens and have disease. A combined perspective suggests acupuncture can boost your body’s self-regulation and promote homeostasis (balance) by promoting circulation through the channels to increase the flow of natural pain relievers, chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters, and nutrients to injured or diseased areas in your body.
If you have questions and are unsure if acupuncture is a good treatment option for you, please call or schedule a free consultation. We’re happy to answer your questions either by phone or in person to help you determine whether or not acupuncture might be helpful for you.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture uses very thin needles about the size of a human hair. As the needles are inserted, patients may feel a dull ache, tingling or heaviness in the area or along the channels (meridians). These sensations are attributed to the arrival of Qi and signal the healing process. Although each individual will experience acupuncture differently, common responses are a feeling of renewed energy and deep relaxation.
What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is shown to treat dozens of common ailments, including neuromuscular, emotional and psychological disorders, circulatory disorders, addictions, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and acute and chronic pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the ability of acupuncture alone or in conjunction with other therapies to treat many conditions including:
• Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
• Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendonitis
• Low back and/or neck pain
• “Frozen shoulder", "tennis elbow", plantar fasciitis
• Lactation deficiency
• Headache and migraine
• Peripheral neuropathies
• IBS, constipation, diarrhea
• Acute and chronic colitis
• Acute and chronic gastritis
• Gall stones & acute and chronic cholecystitis
• Urinary disturbance
• Essential hypertension
• Trigeminal neuralgia
• Bell’s palsy (early stage, within three to six months)
• Sequelae of Stroke
• Smoking cessation
• Alcohol dependence and detoxification
• Adverse effects of cancer treatment, radiation and/or chemotherapy
• Cancer pain
• Herpes Zoster (i.e. shingles)
• Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
• Bronchial Asthma
How many treatments will I need?
The number and frequency of treatments depends on the nature, severity, and duration of the condition. Many patients experience an improvement in their condition after only one or two treatments. However, severe, long-term conditions typically require frequent on-going care. A treatment plan will be designed just for you with an evaluation and an updated plan on the 6th visit. The frequency of visits varies with each individual. Some patients come in twice a week and others once a week. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect. As the problem resolves and treatments hold for a longer duration, the frequency of visits is spread out. Our goal is to get you out of our office and back to doing the things you love as quickly as possible.
Do I have to be sick or have an injury to get acupuncture?
No. Acupuncture can be proactive. In fact, many individuals receive regular (weekly, monthly, or seasonal) acupuncture treatments simply for wellness. Acupuncture can boost your energy, boost your immune system, bring quietness to a hectic schedule, and help you relax.
What is Acupuncture for Cosmetic Rejuvenation?
Cosmetic acupuncture (CA) is a natural and holistic treatment that focuses on the muscles of the face and neck to improve skin elasticity and your skin’s overall appearance. It creates a “lifting memory”, softening the jowls and tightening the skin, and it has the effect of smoothing lines and wrinkles all due to increased blood flow and improved collagen production stimulated by the needles. The lifting and skin tightening effects are impacted by one’s age, health, and self-care. A 1996 study published in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that among 300 cases treated with Facial Acupuncture, 90% had marked effects with one course of treatment (10 treatments over 5 weeks). The study also reported that results lasted 3-5 years. Because CA works with your body’s own resources, the blueprint of your face and beauty of expression is maintained. And, as CA goes beyond the face to support the body as well, a patient’s health and well-being may also improve over the course of treatment. CA patients report improved energy and sleep, better digestion, reduced anxiety and fewer hot flashes and night sweats—side effects we can all use!
Julie has additional training in cosmetic acupuncture (CA) for face and neck with The Center for Cosmetic Rejuvenation, LLC.
Click on the link to view a report on cosmetic acupuncture that was aired on ABC’s Good Morning America:
How should I prepare for my first visit?
Please complete and sign the new patient paperwork (Informed Consent, CO Mandatory Disclosure, HIPAA, New Patient Intake/History, Office Policies). If possible, email it in advance to our office through our secure server so that the practitioner can look it over before your first treatment.
Be sure to eat a light meal or a snack 1-2 hours before your appointment.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be rolled up above the knees and elbows and that allow access to the abdomen and shoulders.