How does Acupuncture Work? The ancient Chinese recognized the vital force behind all life forms and life processes, which they called “qi” (aka “Chi”). Physicians discovered that qi flowed cyclically in the human body along specific pathways called meridians. Each meridian was associated with an organ system, roughly similar to how we perceive organs today. They surmised the qi of the meridians communicated with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. By stimulating these points they could have a predictable effect on the qi moving through the meridian. If the qi was deficient acupucturists encouraged it, if it was excess then they shunted it. Thus, they determined acupuncture influenced the body energetically, drawing on the body’s innate healing mechanisms.
What is Japanese style Acupuncture? Japanese acupuncture utilizes needles thinner in diameter, and the insertion of the needle is much shallower than Chinese style acupuncture. This allows for a pain-free treatment, where the patient may simply relax and receive rather than tense up due to heavy needle sensation. After 20 years of practice, Julie believes the gentler Japanese style of acupuncture better serves Western patients, who are highly mind-stressed and have over-stimulated nervous systems.
What do Acupuncture, Moxibustion, & Chinese Herbal Medicine Treat? Because acupuncture and oriental medicine is a complete system of medicine, it can treat almost any disorder, it can also be used preventatively, and it can be utilized to maintain balance in the stressful world we live in. In Julie’s years of practice she has successfully treated many types of ailments. The most common categories include dermatological, gynecological, respiratory, musculoskeletal, emotional/psychological and gastrointestinal complaints. The World Health Organization (WHO) Seminar made the following provisional list of diseases that may be helped with acupuncture treatment. This list is based on clinical experience and not necessarily on controlled clinical research. The inclusion of specific diseases is not meant to indicate the extent of acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating them. More than 50 commonly encountered clinical disorders that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment include:
- Nose & Throat Disorders: acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, the common cold and acute tonsillitis.
- Respiratory Disorders: acute bronchitis and bronchial asthma (especially in children and in patients without complicating diseases).
- Eye Disorders: acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, myopia (in children) and cataracts (without complications).
- Mouth Disorders: toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, and acute or chronic pharyngitis.
- Gastro-Intestinal Disorders: spasms of the esophagus and cardia, hiccough, gastroptosis, acute and chronic gastritis, gastric hyperacidity, chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief), acute duodenal ulcer (without complications), acute and chronic colitis, acute bacillary dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, and paralytic ileus.
- Neurological & Musculo-Skeletal Disorders: headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy (within 3-6 months of onset), pareses following stroke, peripheral neuropathies, sequelae of poliomyelitis (within 6 months of onset), Méniere, Grave’s disease, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, nocturnal enuresis, intercostal neuralgia, cervicobrachial syndrome, “frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”, sciatica, low back pain, osteoarthritis, and dizziness.
- Circulatory Disorders: hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia.
- Urogenital Disorders: stress incontinence, urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction.
- Gynecological Disorders: irregular, heavy or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Emotional & Psychological Disorders: depression and anxiety.
- Addictions: alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.Supportive therapy for many other chronic & painful debilitating disorders.
Is Acupuncture Safe? Yes. Only high quality, single use, stainless steel needles sterilized with ethylene oxide gas are used. The needles are not coated with silicon and are safely disposed of after treatment.
How Often Do I Need to Come in for Treatment? The amount of acupuncture required is dependent upon the severity of the condition. The first month requires at least weekly, if not twice weekly, visits. If herbs are prescribed they must be taken on a consistent schedule, two to three times a day. The herbs come in capsules, tablets or teas depending on your needs. Once you have reached a desirable level of wellness, you may need to come in for “tune ups” every so often, and /or continue to take herbs for an extended period of time.
Does Acupuncture Hurt? At the Moxa Shack, we practice a Japanese style of acupuncture using a very gentle, more superficial needle insertion technique (the needles are about the diameter of a thick hair). The practice is gentler than the Chinese style of acupuncture more commonly practiced in the United States today.