Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have been an integral part of East Asian Medicine (EAM) for more than 5,000 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
Recovery from addictions to alcohol and/or drugs
Fatigue, CFS, Fibromyalgia
Sexual Dysfunction - impotence, low libido
Pediatric Health Concerns
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 - 1.25 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 1.25 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.
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.
Conditions Appropriate for Acupuncture Therapy
Muscle pain or weakness
Blood pressure regulation
Immune system support
Source: World Health Organization United Nations