Acupuncture is the most ancient and continuously practiced form of medicine with a 4,000 year history. By inserting very thin, solid, hair-like needles, acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body to positively affect both the central and peripheral nervous systems, increase proper blood flow to the symptomatic areas, and enhance overall healthy functioning of the entire human body. It also triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals, such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties. Acupuncture focuses on Qi, blood, organs and the nervous system and draws upon the body’s natural healing abilities. By repairing internal organ functioning and stimulating the flow of blood and Qi, acupuncture does more that cover up symptoms with medications which often fail to heal the body and may lead to more serious problems in the future.
1) How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture triggers the body’s inate ability to heal itself.
Chinese theory states that Qi (pronounced “chee”) described as life force energy travels throughout the body and along the surface in specific channels called meridians. Proper circulation of the energy, blood and nutrients along these channels nourishes and regulates the entire body. When the energy flows freely in the meridians, health is maintained. When the circulation of blood and energy is blocked or depleted, pain or illness results. Stimulating specific pressure points with acupuncture can release blocked energy and regulate areas that are depleted by guiding areas of excess to flow into the areas of deficiency. Regulating the circulation of blood and energy, not only relieves pain but also corrects internal imbalances in the body. According to modern scientific research, acupuncture also stimulates the brain to release certain chemicals, such as endorphins, to further pain-relieving actions and decrease withdrawal symptoms. Chemical transmitters are also released from the brain to regulate the healing process and bring the body back into homeostasis (balance). Therefore, acupuncture activates the body’s ability to heal itself, thus promoting physical and mental well-being.
2) What conditions can be treated by acupuncture?
The following is a list of some of the many conditions that are treated by Acupuncture, according to the the World Health Organization::
- Acute Injuries
- Adverse Reaction to Chemotherapy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Dental Pain
- Digestive Disorders
- Facial Pain, TMJ
- Frozen Shoulder
- Knee Pain, Joint Pain, Inflammation
- Low back Pain
- Menstrual Pain
- Morning Sickness
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Tennis Elbow
In addition, acupuncture has been used for centuries throughout Asia to treat hundreds of other problems. Chinese Medicine has many modalites to clear blockages in the body that can lead to pain and disease. The clearing of these blockages assists the body in healing itself. Chinese Medicine can treat people of all ages.
3) What does Acupuncture involve? Does it hurt?
Each new patient has a full evaluation of his/her overall state of health. Dr. Hou utilizes diagnostic tools such as Chinese Pulse Diagnosis, Tongue Diagnosis, and Meridian Palpation, which is based on a compilation of 5000 years of Chinese Medicine. Each treatment is then specifically designed to address the patient’s needs and provide the utmost care to support the healing process. During a treatment disposable, sterile needles will be used to stimulate pressure points to send a signal to the brain to elicit healing and clearing of blockages.
Acupuncture needles are typically thinner then a human hair, and their insertion is usually pain free. In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. In other cases, there may be some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the qi moving up and down the channels. The insertion of needles in some areas of the body are more tender and may elicite a quick, zapping sensation that will subside within 1-3 seconds. The vast majority of needles placed will not cause pain. Patients are often surprised to find how relaxed and refreshed they feel during the session, many fall asleep during the treatment. Patients enjoy the gentle sensation they feel from freeing the stagnation or blockages within the body. Many people experience a sensation of a pleasant buzzing feeling and deep relaxation both during and after a treatment. Some patients feel immediate relief, for others the relief comes after a few days or a few sessions. This depends on the extent and duration of the condition. When medically necessary, the patient will also be prescribed a specific herbal formula according to his/her constitution. Treatments may include: Acupuncture, Tui na Massage, Cupping, Moxibustion, Heat Therapy, and Herbal Medicine. On the first acupuncture visit, you may feel very tired following the treatment and need a nap. This is completely normal and a result of your body adjusting. These are all normal and positive side benefits of a comprehensive treatment with Chinese Medicine.
4) What will I experience with acupuncture?
People are often surprised and pleased at how relaxed and comfortable they feel during and after an acupuncture treatment. For acute situations, patients often feel some relief almost immediately, and generally several treatments are prescribed to allow the patient to remain symptom-free between visits. For chronic problems, it is helpful to combine modalities such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, cupping, and nutritional changes. Multiple modalities will generally yield more complete results because several aspects of the body are addressed at one time. This includes emotional, structural, muscular, and internal functions of the body. Chronic or severe medical conditions require more frequent treatments in the beginning, and may take a longer time to resolve. Herbal medicine and/or supplements may be prescribed to fully resolve the condition.
5) Is Acupuncture safe and effective for children?
Yes. Children normally respond even more quickly to these holistic treatments than adults. Their bodies are going through rapid growth and development-even a small stimulus in the direction of health elicits a long lasting overall benefit.
We offer treatments with acupuncture needles and without depending on the preference of the patient.
Acupuncture is proven effective in the following areas:
- Mental Development
- Prevention of Colds and Flu
- Treatment of ADD/ADHD
- Strengthening the digestive system for picky eaters, food intolerances and allergies
6) Do you take insurance?
We are currently working on getting accepted with insurance companies. We will provide you proof of service to provide to your insurance company for reimbursement until our credentialing is in place. We can accept out of network benefits. We also accept motor vehicle cases through attorney’s. Have your attorney contact our office.
7) What’s the best way to prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
Here are some suggestions that will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:
1) Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
2) It is best to have some food before a treatment-please don’t eat a full/heavy meal but have a light snack prior to your visit. You may want to also have a snack to eat following your treatment.
3) Do not brush your tongue when you brush your teeth for a few days prior to visit. This allows the doctor to view the coating on the tongue.
4) Be prepared to relax and enjoy yourself. If it is your first acupuncture visit, we strongly suggest you keep the next few hours open in case you experience tiredness following the first visit. Roughly 20% of people wish to take a nap or just relax following their first acupuncture visit.
8) What criteria should I use in choosing an acupuncturist?
Prospective patients should inquire if the acupuncturist is licensed. One may ask where the practitioner has trained, and how long he or she has been in practice. Dr. Hou was trained in China and has over 25 years experience in practice.