Acupuncture & Massage (Tuina )and Chinese herbal medicine have been practiced in China for more than three thousand years. For Chinese people this kind of medicine is not "alternative" but it is routine to take. In the United States, these practices seem very new. People have lots of questions. We have created this page to answer questions.
Here is where you will find FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on:
1.What can I expect on my first Acupuncture visit?
You will receive a traditional medical consultation prior to your first acupuncture session. This will help customize the treatment for you.
2.What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical treatments in the world. The treatment is originated in China more than 4000 years ago. It involves the insertion of a fine and small needle into the skin at various anatomical points. The needles are subsequently manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation to regulate the various systems in the body. Acupuncture practitioners insert extremely fine, disposable needles with rounded tips just below the surface of the skin. This stimulates qi, the body cyclic energy flow. By balancing and redirecting qi, an acupuncture practitioner encourages the body natural capacity for self-healing. In turn, this improves the way the body functions.
Sterile, tube-guided, disposable needles are applied to the acupoints of the body, ear or scalp. To enhance needle effect small electric current may be applied. To extend needle effect fine press needles may be embedded in acupoints for a few days. The choice of acupoints for treatment is based on the differential diagnosis of the diseases with Yin-Yang and Five element theories.
3.How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture was developed by the Chinese with over 4000 years of clinical observations by generations of Chinese physicians. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the body stores two opposing and inseparable energy forces: ying and yang. Ying represents the cold, slow or passive energy, and yang represents the hot, fast or active force. The disruption or in-balance between the two states of energy leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians within our body. This blockage consequently causes various diseased states. It is thought that there are 12 main meridians (pathways) and 8 secondary meridians. There are more than 361 acupuncture points on the human body that reside along these meridians. According to TCM, acupuncture works by stimulating or alleviating the various points along the meridians, and opening the blockage along the meridians. This process restores the flow of energy and the balance of energy forces within the body.
Currently, it is still difficult to fully explain the mechanism of acupuncture in the framework of Western allopathic medicine. An increasing number of clinical research sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has began to shed some light on this ancient treatment modality. It is proposed that acupuncture regulates the nervous system and the immune system. Through modern imaging studies with functional MRI, studies have shown that acupuncture also can alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters (e.g., endorphin) and hormones. The release of these chemicals can help to regulate downstream body functions, such as the boosting immune system and normalizing blood pressure and flow.
4. How widely is acupuncture used in United States?
Acupuncture was first introduced in the United States in 1971 by a New York Times reporter who wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery. Since then, acupuncture has been widely accepted as an adjunctive, or even main, treatment modality for many medical conditions. There were an estimated 10.6 million US adults had ever used the acupuncture in the past year, according to the National Health Interview Survey in 2009.
5. What kind of acupuncture needles do we use? Acupuncture hurt?
We only use sterile, single-use and disposable needles. Acupuncture needles are significantly thinner than hypodermic needles. In some cases, you will not feel the needle break the skin at all; other times, you may feel a pin prick.
6. What is Massage( Tuina)?
Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body.
Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin, it also works on the soft tissues, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to improve muscle tone.
Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves.
Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
7.What does acupuncture feel like?
The practitioner seeks to "get Qi;" however, this means different things to different branches of acupuncture. In Japanese practice, the patient may not feel any sensation at all. However, many Chinese methods seek a strong stimulation, which might feel like heaviness, numbness, a quick electrical shock, heat, tingling, or dullness. The sensations during acupuncture needling have been variously described as warmth, heaviness, a dull ache or tingling. Most people find the experience deeply relaxing and many even fall asleep during treatment.
8.How long does a treatment last?
From 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the disorder and your own constitution
9.Is it dangerous?
When administered by a trained professional, there is virtually no risk of injury or infection. In rare occasions, you may get a bruise.
10.Do you re-use needles?
No. Most acupuncturists use disposable, sterlized needles that are discarded after one use.
11.How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments depends on the type of disorder, severity, and time of onset.
12. Can acupuncture treatment help with non-physical problems?
Yes. Chinese medicine views the body, mind, and spirit as an interrelated whole. Thus, disorders of any one of these three will produce disorders in the others. As is commonly the case, mental and emotional stresses and imbalances precede physical symptomatology. Thus, it is advisable to address non-physical problems at an early stage. By doing so, we are treating the non-physical and physical alike.
13. May Chinese medicine be used with medication and other medical care?
Chinese medicine may certainly be used in conjunction with other medical care. Patients should always provide information as to what medications or medical care they are employing. This will be taken into account. Furthermore, as acupuncture treatment progresses, the need for certain drugs typically decreases and it may be appropriate to reduce or discontinue medication (with consent of patient's treating physician).
14. Is acupuncture effective on children?
Yes. Children often respond quicker than adults to acupuncture and herbal medicine. Many respond to the use of moxa alone or with the simple contact of needles without insertion. There are also special pediatric acupuncture devices which merely tap the skin surface and are quite painless.
15. I'm afraid of needles. Is it possible to undergo treatment without needles?
We offers alternatives to acupuncture such as Massage ,Tuina, acupressure, cupping, moxibustion as well as Chinese herbal medicine. It may also be that your condition is more effectively treated with these alternative treatments rather than acupuncture in the first place. For example, eczema is generally more effectively treated with herbal medicine alone rather than acupuncture alone. We specialize in herbal treatments that can be used without acupuncture. Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition that patients might take to their doctor. In fact, modern researchers are finding that herbal medicines are often safer, less expensive, and at least as effective as prescription drugs. At your initial consultation, We will advise you on the treatment therapies that are most suitable for your individual requirements.
16. Is there anything I should or should not do before my appointment?
Please don’t eat a heavy meal right before your appointment. However, do make sure you have eaten a meal earlier in the day. Please don't brush or scrape your tongue coating when you brush your teeth before your appointment, as we may want to examine your tongue. Please don drink anything that may color your tongue coating before your appointment, such as coffee, soda, or juice. Do try to come to the appointment in a relaxed state of mind so as to help your body accept the treatment to its fullest.
17. Why do you sometimes change acupuncture points between treatments?
You may find that we changes your acupuncture prescription between your visits. This may be because your condition has responded to previous treatments and the acupuncture points must therefore be altered in order to continue supporting that effect. Some acupuncture points tend to work best when used alongside other points for certain conditions and it is quite common, particularly for long-standing problems, for we to alternate between sets of acupuncture points in order that you receive the most benefit from your treatment.
18. How do I cook herbs?
When you receive an herbal tea prescription, you will usually receive several pre-packed bags of dried Chinese herbs. It is common practice to use one bag of herbs a day. First place one bag of Chinese herbs in a deep pan. It is best to use a ceramic or glass pot but stainless steel pots are also acceptable. Add one and a half pints of cold water and soak for approximately 30 minutes. Place the pan with the herbs and water on the cooker and bring to boil with the lid on. Once it has starting boiling, reduce the fire and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain out the liquid into a large bowl. Add another pint of cold water into the pan and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and again, simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain out the second boiling of tea into the same bowl with the original tea and stir. Separate the herbal tea into two servings which should be approximately two mugs worth. Drink one mug of tea whilst it is still warm. Leave the other mug of tea in the fridge and warm it up later on when you are due to take it again.
You can start boiling the herbs either from the morning or the evening, whichever fits best into your schedule. It is recommended that you boil the herbs fresh everyday but it is acceptable to boil two day's worth of herbs and to keep the tea in the fridge if you find that you cannot fit the tea preparation into your schedule. Once you receive your dry Chinese herbs, please store them in a cool dry place away from bright sunlight and out of children's reach.
19. What do herbs taste like?
Chinese herbal tea commonly tastes slightly bitter because roots and barks are frequently prescribed that contains the strongest active ingredients. However, the tea will usually be balanced so that sweeter-tasting herbs are added to reduce the bitterness of other herbs that may be necessary in your prescription.
20. Why do you use more than one herb in a Chinese herbal tea prescription?
With a few exceptions, when you are prescribed Chinese herbal medicine, it is quite common for we to prescribe you approximately ten different types of herbs. The herbal prescription that is written for you is always based on a classic prescription that has been used for thousands of years within the history of Chinese medicine for your presenting condition. Such prescriptions contain groups of herbs that have been known to work well together and which usually have a much more powerful effect when used in combination rather than singularly. For this reason, Chinese herbal tea prescriptions commonly adopt several groups of herbs that work in synergy to treat the problem from different aspects so as to allow you to experience the greatest benefit.
21. What are the differences between Western and Traditional acupuncture?
Western acupuncture bases its diagnoses and principles of acupuncture treatment on modern concepts of Western medicine. Most conventional doctors and physiotherapists use this form of acupuncture and tend to work by isolating the problem being treated and concentrating on establishing changes in the pathophysiology of that condition.
Traditional acupuncture focuses centrally on the theories of Qi flow along meridians and of yin and yang in order to establish patterns of disharmony within the body. Practitioners of traditional acupuncture view the body holistically and aim to balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects in order to address the problems that are happening throughout your body. This makes traditional acupuncture particularly popular amongst those who present with a number of apparently unconnected problems which may actually be classic symptoms and signs of a certain disharmony seen in traditional Chinese medical practice.
22. Cancellation policy:
Patients needing to cancel or reschedule an appointment must provide at least 24 hours notice. While we understand emergencies do happen, and will attempt to work with you when feasible.
23. Does health insurance cover acupuncture?
More and more insurance companies are offering partial or full coverage for acupuncture services. However, in order to be sure that you get the correct answer to this question, we recommend that you contact your insurer directly to find out if your specific health insurance policy reimburses for acupuncture services. If your policy provides coverage for services, we will provide appropriate receipts for all services rendered. Payment in full is due at the time of service. For your convenience we accept cash and checks.