How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is an ancient medicine system of balancing, regulating and strengthening the life force of the human body; known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncturists recognize particular pathways called “channels” or” meridians” through which Qi circulates throughout the body. The channels connect all of the internal organs with the rest of the body and provide a constant flow of energy to every cell. The imbalances or blockages in the flow of qi will result in illness, disease and pain. The gentle insertion of hair-thin sterile needles at specific points along the body’s channels of qi energy helps restore harmony at the deepest level for the body, mind, and spirit.

Is Eastern Medicine effective?

Although the practice of Eastern Medicine is relatively new to the West, it has been used in Asia for more than 5,000 years to treat a vast number of conditions. Acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world and is used by one-third of the world’s population as a primary health-care system. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have evaluated scientific research and clinical trials of acupuncture and found it to be effective for a wide range of conditions.

What can Acupuncture treat?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) acupuncture is beneficial in treating:
• Chronic and Acute Pain – Injuries, headaches, neck, shoulder, back & knee pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia,
• Digestive Disorders – Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers.
• Gynecological conditions – PMS, painful or irregular menses, menopause and infertility.
• Pregnancy -pre and post-partum care, breech, labor and delivery.
• Neurological Disorders – Post-stroke recovery, Bell’s Palsy, Parkinson’s, Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders and neuropathy,
• Respiratory Disorders – Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu,
• Immune Function – Recurrent infections, rheumatoid arthritis, MS and AIDS.
• Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs.
• Eye and Ear Disorders – Tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, impaired vision.
• Psychological conditions – Depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and insomnia.

Are acupuncture and herbal medicine safe?

Acupuncture and herbal medicine, when administered by a licensed acupuncturist, are extremely safe ways to treat a variety of illnesses and prevent diseases. In contrast to many drugs, acupuncture is non-toxic with little or no adverse reactions. At Sun Wellness Acupuncture, we use only pre-sterilized needles and all needles are discarded after single use. There is virtually no chance of infection occurring as a result of acupuncture treatment. Needles never touch the organs but work within the superficial layers of skin and musculature of the body. While herbal medicine in general is very safe, extra attention is always paid to any possible drug/herb interaction. Sun Wellness Acupuncture only uses the highest quality herbs, which have passed rigorous tests from the FDA ( Food Drug Administration) and comply with GMP (Good Manufacture Practices) safety guidelines.

Will acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and the insertion is virtually painless for most patients. Each person experiences acupuncture treatment differently. Patients may feel nothing, heaviness, distention, a dull ache, warmth and/or a tingling sensation. While the treatment may sometimes feel uncomfortable, it will rarely, if ever, produce pain. Your comfort, before, during, and after acupuncture, is of paramount importance. Do not hesitate to voice any concerns or reservations you may have before or during your treatment. Many patients find the session relaxing and are at peace coming out it.

What can I expect during the 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 feel pleasantly at ease during this time. To enhance the effect of acupuncture, the practitioner may choose to use additional modalities such as moxibustion, cupping, gua sha and/or infra-red heat therapy. Chinese medicinal herbs may be prescribed to complement the acupuncture treatment.

Who can benefit from acupuncture treatment?

Acupuncture is beneficial to people of all ages from newborns to the elderly in any stages of a disease. Acupuncture can improve wellbeing, treat disease and prevent illness at all stages of life. It is absolutely not necessary to wait until you experience symptoms before receiving acupuncture treatment, as it is especially effective in preventing disease.

Can children be treated with acupuncture?

Children are often treated with acupuncture, massage and herbs. Many children are comfortable with acupuncture needles, which are very fine and inserted painlessly. In the treatment of children a smaller number of needles are used and inserted and removed quickly. Children respond very well to Eastern medicine and it can help them through common childhood illnesses in a way that supports their ongoing growth and health.

Can pregnant women receive acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine?

Acupuncture and herbs have been used for over thousands of years to treat pregnant women. There are a number acupuncture points and selected herbs that are contraindicated during pregnancy. As long as you work with a qualified practitioner, acupuncture and herbs can help relieve various symptoms occurring during pregnancy, including morning sickness, and provide benefit to the developing fetus. Lactating mothers can also take herbal medicine safely. In fact, small babies are sometimes treated with herbs by supplying those herbs to the mother, who then pass them onto the baby through her breast milk.

Is acupuncture good for the elderly?

Elderly patients are able to gain tremendous support, increased vitality, and reduction or elimination of unwanted symptoms when using acupuncture. Very often elderly patients experience not being taken seriously when presenting with physical, mental and emotional conditions that are common at this stage of life. Using acupuncture, many of these so-called normal conditions can be alleviated in the elderly. A body at any age can be brought to greater balance and harmony, and this is no less true as we grow older.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required depends on the nature of your complaint. For an acute condition, a single treatment may be sufficient to resolve it. A series of six to twenty treatments is found to be effective for many common complaints. Some chronic conditions may require a series of treatments over period of time. Adjunct TCM therapies and self-care techniques can be used to accelerate your progress and reduce the number of treatments required. This may include Eastern herbal medicine, moxibusition, dietary & lifestyle recommendations, nutritional supplementation, energetic exercises, yoga & meditation and relaxation techniques.

What are the qualifications of an acupuncturist?

Licensed acupuncturists in the state of Massachusetts have extensive training in both Chinese and Western Medicine. The minimum board requirements are completion of a four-year master’s degree program including 3000 hours of classroom instruction and 1800 hours of clinical residency. In addition to completing the educational and clinical requirements, a prospective acupuncturist must also pass the Massachusetts Acupuncture Board examination, which includes biomedicine, herbology, pharmacology, diagnosis, and acupuncture.