Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most long-standing medical treatment in the world. It is the gentle insertion of needles into the body. Acupuncture has three effects: relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and restores homeostasis which refers to the body's ability to regulate its environment and maintain internal balance. All diseases involves a disturbance of homeostasis, and nearly all diseases involves some degree of pain and inflammation. The mechanisms of acupuncture can be quite complex. However, acupuncture is ultimately a simple technique that depends entirely upon one thing: the stimulation of the peripheral nervous systems.
Acupuncture promotes blood flow.
Everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, which includes oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics (painkillers), and anti-inflammatories. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. Blood flow decreases as we age and can be impacted by trauma, injuries and certain diseases.
Acupuncture stimulates the body's built-in healing mechanisms.
Acupuncture creates "micro traumas" that stimulate the body's ability to spontaneously heal injuries to the tissues through nervous, immune and endocrine system activation. As the body heals the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage from old injuries.
Acupuncture releases natural painkillers.
Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine, and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!
Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles.
This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.
Acupuncture reduces stress.
Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Questions & Answers
Will acupuncture hurt? . . .
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, and the insertion is virtually painless for most patients. Patients may feel nothing, heaviness, distention, a dull ache, soreness, warmth and/or a tingling sensation. While the treatment may sometimes feel uncomfortable, it will rarely, if ever, produce pain. However, each person experiences acupuncture treatment differently. Do not hesitate to voice any concerns or reservations you may have before or during your treatment. Your comfort is important to us.
What can I expect during treatment? . . .
After selecting the acupuncture points, the skin will be cleaned with alcohol and then insertion a sterilized disposable needle that is hair thin will be inserted into each point. Often patients will not feel the needle, but some may experience a slight feeling of heaviness or distention. After insertion, the needles stay in place for 30-45 minutes. Most patients close their eyes to rest or nap. To enhance the treatment, we may combine your treatment with cupping and/or herbal medicine.
Is acupuncture good for the elderly? . . .
Acupuncture is beneficial to people of all ages, especially for elderly patients to improve blood circulation, lack of energy, general maintenance of health, etc.
How many treatments will I need? . . .
The number of treatments required depends on the nature of your condition. For an acute condition, a single treatment may be sufficient to resolve it. Some chronic conditions may require a series of treatments over period of time. The intensity of each treatment also determines that number of treatment you need.
ULTRASOUND GUIDED ACUPUNCTURE
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of medicine in which the practitioner places glass cups on the skin to create suction. Through suction, the skin is drawn into the cup by creating a vacuum either by fire or via a mechanical pump. This causes the skin to become reddened as the blood vessels expand. The practitioner will then move the cups along the body for a deep-tissue massage effect. The benefits of cupping may include reliving pain, reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation and releasing toxins. Although this therapy is mainly correlated with Chinese Medicine, cupping dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. At our office, this therapy can be an individual treatment modality lasting 30 minutes or as an add-on treatment following acupuncture lasting 15 minutes.
What does cupping treat? . . .
Cupping works on achy muscles, tight fascia, neck pain, low back pain, tense muscles, sore backs, coughs, congestions, constipation, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, painful periods and other issues causing discomfort.
Does it hurt? . . .
While there can be moments of discomfort if the muscle is tight or if the vacuum is strong, the sensation of cupping is quite pleasant. The feeling is similar to getting a deep-tissue massage.
Is there anything that I should not do after cupping? . . .
As with any deep-tissue bodywork, drink plenty of water to flush out toxins that have been released. You can engage in normal activities after the treatment but not any strenous activity for 24 hours. It is best to just relax for the remainder of the day and enjoy the afterglow of your session.
What are those bruises that I see after cupping? . . .
Contrary to popular belief, the red or purple marks that you see after cupping are NOT bruises. In Chinese Medicine, these are expressions of intneral stagnation brought to the surface of the body. They do not appear on everyone, and the intensity varies from person to person. These marks are both therapeutic (as they bring the stagnation out of the tissues and to the surface) and diagnostic (the amount and nature of the discoloration gives an insight into the patient’s condition).
Can everyone get cupping? . . .
Cupping is recommended generally for everyone. However, if there is an open wound or swelling on the skin from sunburn, cupping is not recommended. Please wait until everything is healed to get any deep-tissue bodywork.