Acupuncture

Acupuncture

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well.

Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What is Qi?

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

How does Qi move?meridian-pathways

Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. The diagram to the left shows the meridian pathways in the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands.

Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

What does an acupuncturist do?qi-flow

During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis.

Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan.

Once the imbalances of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself—ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

How is Qi disrupted?

blocked-qiAn obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.

Acupuncture Questions and Answers

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue. Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a persons health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with you acupuncturist may last from 30 to 90 minutes.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. It is best to consult with your acupuncturist about costs.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will my plan cover acupuncture?
  • How many visits per calendar year?
  • Do I need a referral?
  • Do I have a co-pay?
  • Do I have a deductible?
  • If yes, has it been met?

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after
    your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

What to expect?

The needles used are approximately the size of a cat’s whisker. The sensation caused by the needles varies. You may experience a slight numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache where the acupuncture needle has been inserted. Occasionally, people experience a little pain as the needles are inserted, or a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation”. All of these are a positive sign that the treatment is working. The depth of the insertion varies from person to person. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

What is Qi and how does it travel?

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways throughout the body. Each is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that nourishes the land, plants and people. In the same way, meridian pathways transport life-giving Qi to nourish and energize every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle.

When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well-being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting others. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.

What can affect Qi?

Many things influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, diet, accidents or excessive activity can lead to a blockage or imbalance of Qi. Normally, when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.

Conditions Successfully Treated:

-Neurological:
Headache, migraine, post-op pain, stroke, Parkinson’s, bladder dysfunction

-Musculoskeletal:
Muscle pain/cramps/weakness, arthritis, sciatica, backache, disc problems, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, chronic diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow

-Eye, Ear, Dental:
Poor vision, retinitis, cataract, tinnitus, nervous deafness, toothache, post extraction pain, gum problems

-Respiratory:
Sinusitis, common cold, tonsillitis, bronchitis, asthma

-Gynecological:
Infertility, PMS, cramps, menopausal symptoms

-Emotional:
Insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervousness, neurosis

Other Benefits:

  • Increased vitality and energy
  • Stress reduction and deep relaxation
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Weight control
  • Addiction to smoking, drugs, and alchohol
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Pain control
  • Immune system tonification
  • Regulated blood pressure

Different Treatment Modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass cups over specific ares on your body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction. They may be moved over and affected area or left in place. You may leave the office looking as though a large octopus gave you a big hug. There is no need for alarm. The slight redness will quickly dissipate.

Tui Na translates literally as “push grasp”. It is a massage technique that moves the Qi to various places in the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, tension and inflammation and to promote the healing of injuries.

Gwa Sha is another technique used to release muscle tension, tightness, and constriction. A specialized tool is used to gently scrape or rub the skin over a problem area. Gwa Sha feels a bit like deep massage. This too may leave some slight redness that will quickly dissipate

Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called “mugwort”. It may be burned on the handle of the needle, above the skin, on salt or on a slice of ginger. This is used to “warm” acupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.

Make Your Appointment Today

Alice is available in three locations: Dearborn, Wyandotte and Clawson, MI
While each location offers Chinese Natural Therapies and Acupuncture is offered at all three locations, it maybe offered only at certain days at various locations. Choose the Metro Detroit location more convenient for you and your schedule. The Dearborn, Wyandotte – Downriver, and Clawson Offices are here to assist you.  Please always feel free to call with questions.