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Q. What is Acupuncture?
is a treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM),
a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the
core of TCM is the notion that a type of life force, or energy,
known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through energy
pathways in the body called "meridians." Each meridian
connects to one specific organ, or group of organs, that governs
particular bodily functions. Qi maintains the dynamic balance
of yin and yang, the complementary opposites that are reflected
in all beings and throughout nature. When too little or too
much qi exists in a meridian or when the qi stagnates or is
blocked, illness results. By applying needles to certain points
along the meridian lines, acupuncture restores equilibrium and
health by correcting the flow of qi. Acupuncture points, or
the specific locations where needles are inserted, are places
where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture was formally recognized as part of mainstream medicine's
range of healing options in 1997, when the National Institutes
of Health issued a statement documenting its safety and efficacy
for a range of health conditions.
There are two major approaches that may guide acupuncture practice:
the eight principles (used particularly in TCM acupuncture),
and the five-element theory. The eight principles are in fact
four sets of complementary opposites:
The five-element theory of acupuncture
holds that there are five elements in the universe-wood, fire,
earth, water, and metal-and that these correspond to the internal
organs and produce a specific sequence of circulating energy
in the body. In parallel with these five elements, there are
five internal organs regulating the human body. These five organs-liver,
heart, spleen, lung, and kidney-correspond to more than a specific
bodily part. The kidney, for example, represents not only the
kidney itself, but the entire urinary system and the adrenal
glands as well. The heart represents both the heart and the
While there are over 70 identified
meridians in the body, acupuncture treatment generally
focuses on points that lie along the 12 principal meridians
and 2 "extraordinary" ones. A practitioner may also
needle "extra" points identified as a result of clinical
experience or "ah shi" points that are identified
by their tenderness to the touch. The 12 principal meridians
are Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine,
Urinary Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Gallbladder, Liver, and
Triple Warmer. Points are identified by the abbreviation of
a meridian and a number to indicate the point. For example,
SP6 refers to point 6 along the Spleen meridian, while GB20
refers to point 20 on the Gall Bladder meridian. It is important
to remember that the names of these meridians do not refer to
the same meanings one might attach, for example, to gall bladder
or liver in conventional Western medicine.
type of needle used and the needling technique are also important.
Needles may be inserted at particular angles, for example, they
may be stimulated manually, electrically (electro-acupuncture),
or with lasers; they may be manipulated and quickly removed,
or left in place for up to 30 minutes. In certain acupuncture
traditions, particularly some of those practiced in Japan, needles
may not be actually inserted into the skin at all.
There are a number of different approaches to the practice
of acupuncture; five of those most commonly found in the United
States today are as follows:
TCM-based acupuncture is the most commonly practiced in the
United States today and focuses on a diagnosis based on
the eight principles (yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency,
French energetic acupuncture is mostly used by MD acupuncturists
and emphasizes meridian patterns, in particular the yin-yang
pairs of primary meridians, as well as treatment of the extraordinary
Korean hand acupuncturists believe that the hands and
feet are regions of concentrated qi; applying acupuncture needles
to these areas is effective for the entire body.
Auricular acupuncture is based on the idea that the ear
is a microcosm of the body; applying acupuncture needles to
certain points on the ear affects corresponding organs. This
type of acupuncture is used widely in treating addiction disorders.
Myofascially-based acupuncture, often practiced by physical
therapists, involves palpation of the meridian lines in search
of tender points, which indicate areas of abnormal energy flow,
often without the comprehensive diagnoses associated with other
approaches. Acupuncture needles are then applied to those locations.
Japanese styles of acupuncture (sometimes referred to
as "meridian therapy") tend to put more emphasis on
needling technique, often using very subtle needle stimulation,
and a more extensive use of palpation in diagnosis.
Mechanism of Action:
The de qi sensation, or the numbing, tingling sensation caused
by the needling, is thought to be essential to the therapeutic
effect of acupuncture in TCM and some other styles of acupuncture.
This sensation is a result of the activation of nerve fibers,
which are thought to transmit impulses to the spinal cord, thus
activating the central nervous system.
Q. What is Infertility?
A: Most experts define infertility as not
being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying
Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages
are also said to be infertile.
Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events.
In order to get pregnant:
- A woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries
- The egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the
- A man\'s sperm must join with (fertilize) the egg along
- The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the
- Infertility can result from problems that interfere
with any of these steps.
Is infertility a common problem?
About 12 percent of women (7.3 million) in the United States
aged 15-44 had difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby
to term in 2002, according to the National Center for Health
Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What causes infertility in women?
Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility
in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized.
Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular
or absent menstrual periods.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease,
endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy physical
problems with the uterus uterine fibroids.
What things increase a woman\'s risk
Many things can affect a woman\'s ability to have a baby. These
- poor diet
- athletic training
- being overweight or underweight
- tobacco smoking
- sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- health problems that cause hormonal changes
How does age affect a woman\'s ability
to have children?
More and more women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have
children. Actually, about 20 percent of women in the United
States now have their first child after age 35. So age is an
increasingly common cause of fertility problems. About one third
of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
Aging decreases a woman\'s chances of having a baby in the
- The ability of a woman\'s ovaries to release eggs ready
for fertilization declines with age.
- The health of a woman\'s eggs declines with age.
- As a woman ages she is more likely to have health problems
that can interfere with fertility.
- As a women ages, her risk of having a miscarriage increases.
How long should women try to get pregnant
before calling their doctors?
Most healthy women under the age of 30 shouldn\'t worry about
infertility unless they\'ve been trying to get pregnant for at
least a year. At this point, women should talk to their doctors
about a fertility evaluation. Men should also talk to their
doctors if this much time has passed.
In some cases, women should talk to their doctors sooner. Women
in their 30s who\'ve been trying to get pregnant for six months
should speak to their doctors as soon as possible. A woman\'s
chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the
age of 30. So getting a complete and timely fertility evaluation
is especially important.
Some health issues also increase the risk of fertility problems.
So women with the following issues should speak to their doctors
as soon as possible:
- irregular periods or no menstrual periods
- very painful periods
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- more than one miscarriage
No matter how old you are, it\'s always a good idea to talk
to a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Doctors
can help you prepare your body for a healthy baby. They can
also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.
Q. What does an acupuncturist do?
addition to asking questions, the acupuncturist may want to
take your pulse at several points along the wrist and look at
your tongue to observe its shape, color, and coating. He or
she may also observe the color and texture of your skin, your
posture, and other physical characteristics that offer clues
to your health. The acupuncturist then asks you to lie down
on a padded examining table, and he or she inserts the needles,
twirling or gently jiggling each as it goes in. You may not
feel the needles at all, or you may feel a twitch or a quick
twinge of pain that subsides as soon as the needle is completely
in. Once the needles are all in place,
you rest for 30 minutes to an hour
. During this time,
you'll probably feel relaxed and sleepy and may even doze off.
At the end of the session, the acupuncturist quickly and painlessly
removes the needles.
For certain conditions, acupuncture
is more effective when the needles are heated using a technique
known as "moxibustion."
The acupuncturist lights a small bunch of the dried herb moxa
(mugwort) and holds it above the needles. The herb, which burns
slowly and gives off a little smoke and a pleasant, incense-like
smell, never directly touches the body. Another variation is
. This technique consists of hooking
up electrical wires to the needles and running a weak current
through them, which may cause no sensation at all or a mild
tingling. Acupuncturists trained in Chinese herbal preparations
may also prescribe herbs along with acupuncture.
Q. How many treatments do I need?
number of acupuncture treatments you need depends on the complexity
of your illness, whether it\'s a chronic or recent condition,
and your general health. For example, you may need only one
treatment for a recent wrist sprain, whereas for a long-standing,
chronic illness you may need treatments once or twice a week
for several months to get good results.
Q. What is acupuncture good for? The benefits, advantages:
is effective for pain relief and for post-surgery
and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting.
In addition, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize that acupuncture
can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses.
A partial list which acupuncture treats includes:
addiction (such as alcoholism), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel
syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, headaches, irregular
periods, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, sinusitis, spastic
colon, stroke rehabilitation, tendonitis, tennis elbow, and
You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and
other conventional treatments, but it\'s important for your primary
care physician to be aware of and to monitor your acupuncture
Q. How does acupuncture work?
A: Acupuncture is first and foremost a natural healing method.
It evolved out of the careful observation of the human body.
Based on that observation, acupuncturists believe that proper
normalize organ function,
regulate blood circulation and body metabolism,
regulate hormone secretions,
maintain the balance of body fluids and chemicals,
suppress or prevent pain,
maintain or improve muscular tone,
stimulate the body's resistance to disease and thereby contribute
to general physical and mental well-being.
As yet, Western science has no satisfactory
theory for acupuncture's phenomenal success. Traditional
Oriental theory however points to the role of life energy (qi)
in human health. Maintaining the balance and flow of this energy
through the organs and structures of the body is seen to be
of greatest importance.
Qi moves from organ to organ in the body though pathways called
meridians. It completes the cycle, naturally enough in 24 hours.
Acupuncture takes advantage of this tendency of qi to move.
By inserting needles into the body at specific points to regulate
the flow of qi, or to correct any imbalance between qi, blood
and organs, the qualified acupuncturist can assist the body
in improving health.
Acupuncture works without side effects to prevent the occurrence
of disease through strengthening the body's defenses. It
is simple, safe, effective and economical
Q. Is there any risks involved in acupuncture?
A: No. Acupuncture needles are solid (not hollow like hypodermic
needles). They are very fine, like a human hair. At our Clinic,
we use only disposable sterile needles. Needles are used once
and then destroyed. However:
Are there conditions that acupuncture
should not treat?
Some physicians and practitioners may avoid treatment during
Q. Does my medical insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
A: An increasing number of insurance providers and HMOs now cover
all or part of the cost of acupuncture treatments, but these
providers may have restrictions on the types of illnesses they
cover. Check with your insurance company to see what your policy
offers for acupuncture and chinese medical related therapies.
Q. How much does a acupuncture treatment cost?
A: A: Initial Consultation and treatment: $85 Follow-up sessions: $65.
For Acupuncture in a Community Setting:
are now offering affordable acupuncture in a relaxing group setting. We
are pleased to be a part of a growing network of community acupuncture
clinics dedicated to serving our communities by providing high quality
acupuncture at affordable rates. Frequent treatments are usually
necessary for acupuncture to be most effective, so fees are based on a
sliding scale of $20–$45 per treatment according to what you can afford.
No questions asked. INITIAL VISIT IS $35. The purpose of our sliding
scale is to separate the issues of money and treatment; we want you to
come in often enough to really get better and stay better!
Hours of operation for Community Clinic Mon 9 - 12, Tues: 9-5, Thurs 9 - 5, Fri: 9 - 2
Book online or call 678.442.7962 to schedule your visit.