Common Questions About Acupuncture

What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used for over 2,000 years to effectively treat ailments from acne to more severe conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Acupuncture treats most conditions and/or side effects of Western medicine. The benefits of acupuncture may include the following:

  • Alleviation of pain
  • An overall sense of improved well-being
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Improved moods
  • Emotional balance
  • Feelings of peace and tranquility that help sharpen awareness throughout the body

What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) released a report in 2003 titled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”. This report lists the conditions that have effectively been treated with acupuncture, which include but are not limited to:

  • acute and chronic gastritis
  • acute bacillary dysentery
  • acute epigastralgia
  • adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
  • biliary colic
  • correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
  • dental pain
  • depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • essential hypertension
  • facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • headache
  • induction of labor
  • knee pain
  • leucopenia
  • low back pain
  • morning sickness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • neck pain
  • peptic ulcer
  • periarthritis of the shoulder
  • postoperative pain
  • primary dysmenorrhea
  • primary hypotension
  • renal colic
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • sciatica
  • sprains
  • stroke
  • tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • tennis elbow

Will Acupuncture Make My Pain Go Away?

A 2016 NIH report that reviewed US-based clinical trials showed acupuncture to be effective for helping to manage common pain conditions.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

The majority or patients report either no feeling or a slight tingling feeling. On the rare occasions where unpleasant sensations are felt, just inform us and we can adjust the needles to avoid any unpleasantness. If absolutely necessary, it’s always possible to find a different site on the body that may be less sensitive.

How Big Are Acupuncture Needles?

Most needles are smaller than a human hair. They usually go in and come out without any trace.

What If I Am Afraid of Needles?

Many healing approaches in Chinese Medicine do not involve needles and are described below – tei shin, Gua Sha, moxibustion, or cupping. Facials, Shiatsu massage, or Essential Oils can also be helpful in some cases.

What If My Child Is Afraid of Needles?

While needles are a common treatment protocol, there are many other methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine that do not use needles. We always explain treatment alternatives in advance and allow our patients to select the methods they think will work for them. We work to gain our patients’ trust so that over time they may be interested in trying approaches that may not have been appealing at first.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. All acupuncture needles are pre-packaged, sterile, and disposable. There is no risk of infection because used needles are safely disposed in a biohazard container.

What Is Tei Shin?

A tei shin is a small healing instrument made of gold, silver, jade or other precious materials. Tei shin is used for needle-free treatments. Shamanic healers in ancient China discovered and developed the points and meridians of acupuncture using stone probes several thousand years before the invention of needles.

What Is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese Medicine pain relief technique in which the patient’s skin (typically the back, shoulders, and neck) is stroked repeatedly with a ceramic spoon. This technique is also used to stimulate blood flow and relieve cold and flu symptoms. This technique is needle-free.

What Is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a technique that involves heating Mugwort (artemesia vulgaris) which is the deepest penetrating herb in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. It is highly effective in increasing blood circulation and can be used as an alternative to needles.

What Is Cupping?

Cupping is a needle-free type of suction therapy in which glass cups are placed on specific parts of the body to relieve pain and stimulate the flow of qi (energy). Cupping improves circulation, removes toxins, and alleviates pain by working with connective tissues. It is immediately effective and patients often remark that they feel like they’ve had a deep tissue massage. Cupping may leave circular marks on the skin that take a few days to disappear, but the benefits far outweigh the temporary cosmetic inconvenience!

Questions About Maternal Health

Can Acupuncture Improve Fertility?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, acupuncture increased the chance of pregnancy to 43.3% compared to 20% through the medication. Women hoping to become moms were helped in 2 weeks after receiving acupuncture therapy.

Questions About Vision Loss or Eye Health

Where Are the Needles Placed For Eye Conditions?

Acupuncture works by stimulating energy meridians throughout the body. Those meridians can be stimulated with needles placed far from the site to be affected and are not usually placed directly on the body parts to be treated.

Can Acupuncture Cure Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration?

Glaucoma and macular degeneration are progressive diseases that, if left untreated, ultimately can lead to loss of vision.  Ophthalmologists practicing western medicine offer no cures for these conditions and monitor the slow progress of these diseases as their patients age. Acupuncture treatments for these conditions have been shown to halt and sometimes reverse symptoms.