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Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have been an integral part of East Asian Medicine (EAM) for more than 3,000 years. Diagnosis in EAM is based on the movement of Qi, the life force or energy, of the individual. Qi travels throughout the body along pathways, called meridians, that generally correspond to our internal organ systems.

EAM works with the Qi of one's body to remove blockages and replenish deficiencies that create pain and other physiological dysfunctions or disorders. While the Western medical community has not yet identified how EAM works from a biomedical perspective, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support its efficacy.

 

Conditions Commonly Treated

East Asian Medicine can treat a wide range of disorders effectively, including:

  • Headaches & Migraine
  • Repetitive Stress Injury and CTS
  • Pain conditions and musculoskeletal injuries
  • GYN - PMS, dysmenorrhea, infertility, morning sickness
  • Respiratory Disorders - sinus congestion, allergies, asthma, the common cold
  • Digestive Disorders - IBS, constipation, diarrhea, nausea
  • Immune System Disorders
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Toothache
  • Weight Loss
  • Recovery from addictions to alcohol and/or drugs
  • Anxiety, Depression
  • Stress
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Fatigue, CFS, Fibromyalgia
  • Sexual Dysfunction - impotence, low libido

For a complete list of World Health Organization (WHO) approved uses for acupuncture see: www.aaom.org/intro/whoviewpoint.html

For a complete list of National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved uses for acupuncture see: www.nih.gov/news/pr/nov97/od-05.htm

 

What to expect at the first appointment

  • A detailed health history questionnaire and intake interview. 
  • Individualized diagnosis and treatment. 
  • 1.5 - 2 hours for the initial treatment; additional treatments 1 - 1.5 hours.
  • Discussion of your treatment plan with the practitioner after your treatment.

 

Common Questions About Acupuncture

1) How does it (Acupuncture) work?

Acupuncture works with the Qi (life force or energy) of one's body to remove blockages and replenish deficiencies that create pain and other physiological dysfunctions or disorders. Qi travels throughout the body along pathways, called meridians, that generally correspond to our internal organ systems.

While the Western medical community has not yet identified how East Asian Medicine works from a biomedical perspective, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support its efficacy.

2) Are the needles sterile?

Yes, all of the needles are disposable, stainless steel needles that are used once and then discarded.

3) What are the side effects of acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the least invasive therapies available to return your body to a state of health, therefore, there are little to no side effects. The most common reported side effect after a treatment is relaxation.

4) How long does a treatment take?

The initial treatment can take as long as 2 hours. However, the average initial treatment time is 1.5 hours. Follow-up treatments last 1 to 1.5  hours.

2003, Jewel Sommerville, D.Ac. All Rights Reserved.

 

FACTS ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

  • Oriental medicine is a comprehensive health care system encompassing a variety of traditional health care therapies that have been used for more than 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well being.
  • Acupuncture is one of the essential elements of Oriental medicine. Other elements include Chinese herbology, bodywork (e.g. Tuina, acupressure, Shiatsu), diet and exercise (e.g. Tai Chi, Qigong) based on traditional medicinal principles.
  • All Oriental medicine modalities are intended to improve the flow of qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi regulates the body's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). According to traditional Chinese medicine, when yin and yang are balanced, they work together with the natural flow of qi to help the body achieve and maintain health.
  • According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus panel of scientists, researchers, and practitioners who convened in November 1997, clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer-related treatments, as well as for dental pain experienced after surgery. The panel also found that acupuncture is useful by itself or combined with conventional therapies to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, and to assist in stroke rehabilitation. The NIH concluded "Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful."
  • Outside the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, lists more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture can be a useful treatment.

Conditions Appropriate for Acupuncture Therapy

Digestive
Abdominal pain
Constipation
Diarrhea
Hyperacidity
Indigestion

Emotional
Anxiety
Depression
Insomnia
Nervousness
Neurosis

Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat
Cataracts
Gingivitis
Poor vision
Tinnitis
Toothache

Gynecological Infertility
Menopausal symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome

Miscellaneous
Addiction control
Athletic performance
Blood pressure regulation
Chronic fatigue
Immune system support                Stress reduction

Musculoskeletal
Arthritis
Back pain
Muscle cramping
Muscle pain or weakness
Neck pain
Sciatica

Neurological
Headaches
Migraines
Neurogenic
Bladder dysfunction
Parkinson's disease
Postoperative pain
Stroke

Respiratory
Asthma
Bronchitis
Common cold
Sinusitis
Smoking cessation
Tonsillitis

Source: World Health Organization United Nations

  • In response to the public's increased use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine such as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, an Office of Alternative Medicine was established at the National Institutes of Health in 1992. The Center became the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 1998 and now has an annual budget of more than $100,000,000 dedicated to CAM research.

Source: www.aomday.org