What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient healing system that involves the insertion of hair-like needles into specific points on the body. It is a complete system of healing in that it can address a wide variety of health issues. Acupuncture works to restore balance and harmony among all body systems.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by promoting the free movement of energy (qi) and blood, which acts to balance and harmonize the body. Scientific research has shown that acupuncture causes the production of the morphine-like pain suppressing molecules in the body called endorphins. However acupuncture is used for many other conditions besides pain. More recent research has provided explanations for how this works. These studies have shown that when an acupuncture needle is inserted into the body specific regions of the brain are activated. This brain activation then allows regulation of other systems in the body primarily through the modulation of molecules such as neurotransmitters and hormones. Collectively scientific research has shown that acupuncture can modulate all the primary systems in the body including the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.
Does acupuncture hurt?
At Points of Wellness we use very thin Japanese needles, not much thicker than a strand of hair, that are inserted shallowly into the skin. What this means for the patient is usually only a mild sensation is felt upon insertion. Often times this sensation is described as a tingling feeling but can be as strong as a slight pinch. The amount of sensation differs at different acupuncture point locations and the patient's sensitivity level. Points of Wellness offers a variety of non needle acupuncture techniques used in conjunction with needle acupuncture. For those patient's that are needle phobic, there are many non needle techniques that may be used exclusively during treatment. During pediatric treatments only non needle techniques are used. Please see the pediatrics page for details.
How long is a treatment?
Your first visit which includes an extensive health history and examination generally lasts about an hour. Subsequent follow up visits are about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pediatric visits differ from adult. Often times the initial visit is 1 hour and subsequent follow up visits are approximately 30 minutes. Please see pediatrics page for details.
How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies with each individual and the condition being treated. For many complaints 2 treatments per week for the first 3-4 weeks are generally recommended. This allows the treatments to have additive and cumulative effects. After this initial course of treatment, treatments are usually done on a weekly basis. Treatment duration can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to 6 months or more. As in any form of healing, the patient's attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of a course of treatment. Oriental medicine is also an educational process in which the patient becomes more aware of his or her own body, thus increasing its ability to maintain well being. Ideally, acupuncture and shiatsu therapy is used as preventive medicine. Depending on each patient's lifestyle, regular weekly or monthly treatments can keep both body and mind in balance.
What should I wear?
Loose, comfortable clothing is best, as acupuncture therapy involves palpation and treatment of various parts of the body. Draping will be provided to ensure modesty. Please refrain from wearing excessive jewelry as some metals may interfere with the efficacy of therapy. In consideration of our environmentally sensitive patients, we ask that you refrain from wearing any perfume, cologne, strongly scented oils or lotions on the days you visit the center.