Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Most people agree that acupuncture is practically painless. The needles are (disposable) extremely thin and always sterilized according to modern surgical standards. However, a slight tingling, pressure or burning may be felt momentarily when it reaches the correct spot under the skin. It is important that the patient be relaxed and comfortable during treatment so that desired results can be attained. This indicates that the Qi has been reached. It is important that the patient be relaxed and comfortable during treatment so the that desired results can be attained.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Acupuncture has withstood the test of time for millions of people. It is a completely safe system with virtually "no side effects". After an acupuncture treatment, most people will experience a sense of well being, relaxation and often be energized.
Is Acupuncture for Me?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person depending on the complexity or severity of their health issues. During the Initial Examination Dr. Shi will do a complete Health History Intake including Chinese Tongue & Pulse Diagnosis. After the examination he'll recommend an initial number of visits for the patient.
Treatments will be most effective when the patient follows Dr. Shi's recommendations. He'll periodically re-examine each patient to track their progress through the phases of care.
How does Acupuncture Work?
It has been said that Western Science simply cannot explain how and why acupuncture works. I think that we can do better then that. The human body has 2 primary methods of controlling and regulating itself. These are the nervous system and the endocrine system. The brain, spine, and other nerves make up the nervous system, an electrical system similar to the wiring in a home or computer. The endocrine system is a system of chemical signals that uses hormones and neurotransmitters to send signals instead of electrical impulses. Both of these systems give the brain information about how the body is functioning. They also allow the brain to then control the rest of the body and do things like digest food, breathe, and move.
Various studies and tests (blood tests, MRI, etc.) indicate that acupuncture stimulates these chemical and electrical controls of the body. This is how acupuncture is able to alleviate pain, balance the emotions (neurotransmitter levels), relax muscles, stimulate the immune system, etc. Because acupuncture works with these control systems by stimulating them rather then directly altering their function or adding a pharmaceutical agent, the body is actually retrained or balanced, and the healing is done by and in concert with the natural flow of human function.
Traditional Understanding of Acupuncture
Rather then identify the millions of individual chemicals and thousands of nerve connections and pathways, Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the body as one unit. The body functions are carried out by Qi (energy, nerve signals, etc.), and Blood (including all body fluids). The Qi and Blood nourish and fill the organs, bones, and muscles. All of the bodies functions are understood in terms of 12 organ systems or meridians. Each of these 12 include not only a specific organ but also particular body functions, emotions, and physical regions of the body as well. For example the Lung system includes the Lung organ, the sense of smell, the emotion of grief, the skin in general, and its physical region is a portion of the inner arm beginning near the nipple and extending along the arm to the thumb. These 12 systems or meridians have numerous specific interconnections and relationships that define all phenomena of the human body. It is the understanding of these 12 systems and their interrelationships that forms the theoretical basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.
By treating the meridians with acupuncture, pain and other dysfunctions are balanced and eliminated. Because the meridians are electrical channels, the acupuncture needles act as conductors of Qi (energy) and redirect the bodies' energy.
Are the needles sterile or are they reused?
Every needle used in our clinics is a sterile, single use needle. Each needle is used one time and then immediately placed in a biohazard container. We do NOT reuse needles.