All About Acupuncture: FAQ

Acupuncture has been practiced in China for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture is actually one branch of a system of medicine known as Chinese Medicine. Treatment methods include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutrition and tui-na massage.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine works for everything (to varying degrees). It recognized, 2,500 years before the West did, that our emotions and lifestyle can profoundly influence our health and well-being. Chinese medicine is a complete system, based on an understanding of how the body, mind and spirit work. It had an integrated theory of disease that included both external pathogens and internal imbalances 2,500 years before the West did. Physical symptoms are often intimately related to how you are dealing with life emotionally. For more detailed information, see “How is 5 Element acupuncture different?” below.

Acupuncture treats your body, mind and spirit as a whole. In Chinese medicine, wherever pain or illness shows up, it is about unbalance. Acupuncture addresses the life energy that flows through the body, called ch’i (pronounced “chee”). Ch’i is carried through the body in meridians, which act like roads. When this energy flows smoothly, you live in ease. When it is blocked, the result is pain or illness on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. I help you repair yourself by unblocking and redirecting the energy flow to achieve maximum wellness.

From a Western biomedical standpoint, there are various theories for why it works. One thought is that acupuncture releases endorphins, which it does, but that isn’t the whole explanation. A recent fMRI study found electrical micro-channels that crisscross and connect the whole body; the researcher suggested that by changing the flow of electrical energy, acupuncture affects the electro-chemical responses of the body.

Whichever explanation appeals to you, the undisputed fact is that acupuncture works!

Yes. And no. Ultimately, you fix yourself: acupuncture just opens the door. For issues of physical trauma (for example, speeding up the healing of a broken bone, tendonitis, sprains, carpal tunnel, side-effects of chemo, etc), the treatments are fairly simple and “fix” you.

Addressing non-trauma problems will require your active participation. The fundamental truth is that your body is wise: you do not have symptoms for no reason. This means that your symptoms are not independent of you, your lifestyle, or the choices you make in life. Therefore, to really heal, you have to listen and act on what your body is telling you about yourself and the way you deal with life issues. So yes, acupuncture can fix you, if you are willing to take responsibility and fix yourself.

I am a 5 Element acupuncturist, which is very different from other acupuncture styles you may have heard of or experienced. All acupuncture, including 5 Element, can treat injuries or physical issues. What makes 5 Element acupuncture different is that it addresses the “inner tradition” of Chinese medicine. I emphasize the connection between your physical health, emotions and life choices. By recognizing that emotions and thought patterns can profoundly influence health and well-being, 5 Element acupuncture gives you a way to live life with integrity and make choices that enhance who you are. “Each moment of life, we are faced with a choice between renewing our vitality through authentic action or avoiding reality and increasing our burden of mundanity that eventually kills”** our true selves. 5 Element acupuncture helps you cut through the stress, mundanity, pain, or whatever blocks are keeping you from feeling and acting like yourself, and restores you to well-being and your true self.
Are you committed to doing what you have to feel better? If yes, call for an appointment and give yourself the gift of feeling like yourself again!

I only use single-use, disposable needles. There is no possibility of transmission of any disease. The needles are the width of two human hairs: they are very slender. They also don’t go in very deep. And the needles are not hollow, like a hypodermic needle, so they hurt at lot less (if at all). You may feel a buzzy, tingly or heavy sensation after the needle is inserted: that’s good! It means I’ve gotten the point exactly right.

Yes! I have non-needling methods of treatment. I still stimulate acupuncture points, but I use massage, tapping tools that don’t break the skin and heat therapy on the points instead of needles. I also use cold lasers, which are not painful at all.

The initial treatment is 2-2.5 hours. The first hour is a comprehensive conversation about your physical, emotional and spiritual health. The second hour is a needle treatment. Follow-up appointments are 1 hour each.

You should start to see improvements in how you feel within 4-6 treatments, depending on the severity of your issues. Many patients notice an improvement after the first treatment.

The decision to get acupuncture can change your life. It’s not just about addressing symptoms. It’s about making all of you feel better and giving you the tools to create your own wellness. It’s a radically different approach to wellness and health care, and it will leave you feeling vibrant and alive.

Acupuncture is a versatile treatmentmode. I’ve listed links to some articles that discuss the benefits of acupuncture for a variety of issues. Click on the colored words to link to the site. The NIH, WHO and other reputable agencies have all agreed that acupuncture is an effective, safe treatment for many issues.

Clinical studies have shown, through multiple controlled clinical trials, that acupuncture helps: adverse reactions to radiation/chemotherapy and leukopenia, allergic rhinitis, depression, painful and/or irregular periods, morning sickness, general nausea, facial pain, headache, high blood pressure, knee/neck/shoulder pain, rheumatoid athritis, sciatica, sprain and tendonitis.http://tcm.health-info.org/WHO-treatment-list.htm#_treat

There are single-study clinical trials that demonstrate that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of: acne, alcohol/drug/tobacco addictions, Bell’s palsy (see my blog for a post on acupuncture and Bell’s palsy),asthma, gallstones, Type II diabetes, earaches, nosebleeds, infertility (click to see my page on this), fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, insufficient lactation, ED, Meniere’s, obesity, rheumatiod/osteo-arthritis, polycystic ovarian disease (click to see my
website page on PCOS), PMS, Raynaud’s, TMJ, colitis, IBS, heart disease. http://tcm.health-info.org/WHO-treatment-list.htm#_treat

An absolutely amazing article on how mainstream medicine is turning to acupuncture and other holistic medicine to help address the issues of chronic diseases. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-triumph-of-new-age-medicine/8554/

A recent study concluded that acupuncture works better than standard therapies to relieve back pain: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20090511/acupuncture-may-ease-chronic-back-pain
1. Improves blood flow to the uterus; Stener-Victorin 1996
2. Normalizes insulin sensitivity; Liao 2015
3. Regulates reproductive hormone levels; Magarelli 2009
4. Promotes ovulation; Cai 2007
5. Increases uterine lining thickness; Napadow 2008
6. Reduces stress of IVF, Isoyama 2012
7. Reduces uterine irritability, Kim 200
8. Reduces pain of transfer, Stener-Victorin 2000
9. Downregulates the HPA and improves autonomic regulation; Qian 2013
10. Decreases biologic age of eggs (reduces FSH); Alviggi 2009
11. Improves poor responder rate, Magarelli 2004
12. Improves good responder rate, Magarelli 2004
13. Improves IVF outcomes, Hullander 2015
RESULT: …women who added approximately 12 sessions of Whole Systems TCM to their fresh, non-
donor IVF were associated with two-fold increase in live births and 72% fewer biochemical
pregnancies compared to usual IVF care alone. (Hullander)

An NIH sponsored study found that acupuncture helps osteoathritic knee pain better than just conventional treatment:
http://nccam.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2005_winter/acupuncture.htm
1. Improves blood flow to the uterus; Stener-Victorin 1996
2. Normalizes insulin sensitivity; Liao 2015
3. Regulates reproductive hormone levels; Magarelli 2009
4. Promotes ovulation; Cai 2007
5. Increases uterine lining thickness; Napadow 2008
6. Reduces stress of IVF, Isoyama 2012
7. Reduces uterine irritability, Kim 200
8. Reduces pain of transfer, Stener-Victorin 2000
9. Downregulates the HPA and improves autonomic regulation; Qian 2013
10. Decreases biologic age of eggs (reduces FSH); Alviggi 2009
11. Improves poor responder rate, Magarelli 2004
12. Improves good responder rate, Magarelli 2004
13. Improves IVF outcomes, Hullander 2015
RESULT: …women who added approximately 12 sessions of Whole Systems TCM to their fresh, non-
donor IVF were associated with two-fold increase in live births and 72% fewer biochemical
pregnancies compared to usual IVF care alone. (Hullander)

1. Improves blood flow to the uterus; Stener-Victorin 1996
2. Normalizes insulin sensitivity; Liao 2015
3. Regulates reproductive hormone levels; Magarelli 2009
4. Promotes ovulation; Cai 2007
5. Increases uterine lining thickness; Napadow 2008
6. Reduces stress of IVF, Isoyama 2012
7. Reduces uterine irritability, Kim 200
8. Reduces pain of transfer, Stener-Victorin 2000
9. Downregulates the HPA and improves autonomic regulation; Qian 2013
10. Decreases biologic age of eggs (reduces FSH); Alviggi 2009
11. Improves poor responder rate, Magarelli 2004
12. Improves good responder rate, Magarelli 2004
13. Improves IVF outcomes, Hullander 2015
RESULT: …women who added approximately 12 sessions of Whole Systems TCM to their fresh, non-
donor IVF were associated with two-fold increase in live births and 72% fewer biochemical
pregnancies compared to usual IVF care alone. (Hullander)

  1. Acupuncture can relieve pain and get things moving again: physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain. If it hurts, acupuncture can help. If it’s stuck, or not happening the way you want it, acupuncture can help.
  2. Acupuncture strengthens the whole you: even things that didn’t feel “off” will feel better. You won’t just be alive, you’ll thrive.
  3. Acupuncture can resolve fertility and period issues: PCOS, painful periods, reduced ovarian reserve, low egg quality, high FSH, irregular periods, annovulation, endometriosis, luteal phase defect, reduced sperm count and quality, unknown infertility: these are all diagnoses that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can correct.
  4. The stresses of everyday life can make you feel stuck. These stresses can show up as illness of any sort. Acupuncture can lift that stress from you and give you that lightness of being that has been missing for so long. And I give you simple practices to keep that lightness of being intact even after you leave the treatment.
  5. Remember how exciting and interesting the world was when you were a kid? Remember how the world was full of possibility? Acupuncture can help you to love life, feel well, and be yourself again.

acupuncture FAQSpring Mountains Acupuncture believes that Wellness is more than the absence of pain or disease.
It’s the cultivation of a sense of wholeness in your life.

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