Acupuncture 101

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical therapy developed over 2000 years ago in Asia. Acupuncture stimulates specific points beneath the skin by the insertion of acupuncture needles. This process restores the balance of the body’s energy, also knows as “Qi” (pronounced chi). Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Moxibustion are some of the essential elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Will it hurt?

Generally not.  We use the tiniest, thinnest needles and a light touch in most of our acupuncture treatments.  Acupuncture needle shafts are extremely thin, made from stainless steel. The handles of our needles are either  copper or silver, because we believe the energy is more beneficial to you than stainless steel.  (See our Modalities – Tools of the Trade page on this website for more on the tools we use.)  You may feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. You may feel different sensations including slight soreness, numbness, warmth, heaviness or pressure. These energetic sensations differ from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and comforting.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world’s population! The World Health Organization has assisted dozens of countries develop national medical plans using acupuncture because of the safety, efficacy and cost of treatments compared to Western medicine using prescription medicines and surgery.  The needles are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.  We never re-use a needle!

What should I expect for my first treatment?

After the first treatment has been administered, depending on the aliment being treated, many experiences may occur.  Immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms may be experienced.  Some patients experience a sudden burst of energy while others may feel relaxed. Many people experience a calming sensation.  Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are very infrequent, but can occur. These are no cause for alarm,

How long do the treatments take?

In most situations treatments take between 20 and 30 minutes but can last longer.  The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient and the style of the acupuncturist in any particular treatment.. 

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Many conditions may be treated. General pain relief and control for arthritis, cervical spondylopathy, knee pain, hand and foot pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, lower back and neck pain, tendonitis, etc., are common reasons for patients to seek acupuncture.  Other conditions may include circulatory problems with high or low blood pressure, cold hands and feet. Some nervous system imbalances can also be treated such as anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, depression, and respiratory complaints like asthma, allergies and sinus problems, anddigestive disorders like Crohns Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common ailments treated include headaches and migraines.   We offer treatments to help stop smoking and other addictive behavior.  Many times  a person is seeking help with low energy or ‘just not feeling up to snuff’, there doesn’t have to be a name to it, only a description of it.

How does acupuncture work?

In traditional Chinese Medicine, there exists a meridian system through the human body. In this system, invisible passageways for energy are called meridians. It looks something like a road map when  viewed on a chart.  There are certain points on the body among the hundreds that exist which connect with certain organs and bodily functions. In a healthy, normal functioning body, the energy in these meridians flows freely, resulting in a balanced system. When the flow of energy is interrupted from causes such as stress or injury, this energy is affected, throwing your “Qi” off balance. By performing acupuncture using the points associated with the particular condition involved, this Qi or balance is restored.

Are the needles clean?

Acupuncture needles are FDA approved. These needles are pre-sterilized and individually wrapped. After the needles are used, they are disposed of, as with any medical waste..

How many treatments will I need?

Since every person is unique in their own condition, the numbers of treatments will vary. The nature, severity and history of each patient’s problem, as well as the individual himself or herself, are all factors that are involved in how many treatments will be necessary.  You’ll see more on this in various locations throughout our website.

Are needles the only equipment involved?

Acupuncturists may use several techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, electric stimulation, and point stimulation to help with the patient’s treatment.  See our Modalities – Tools of the Trade page on this website.

Will it conflict with my other medications?

Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Always tell your acupuncturist of any prescription medications and over-the-counter supplements and vitamins you take.  It is appropriate to tell your primary care physicians that you are receiving acupuncture treatment, but you do not need to have the permission of your physician to see an acupuncturist.

ABODE OF ACUPUNCTURE
Patricia E Martin & Gail P Thurman,
Licensed Acupuncturists

10451 West Palmeras Drive
Suite 120 West
Sun City, AZ 85373
Office:623-974-5555