FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Asian Medicine / Acupuncture?

Asian Medicine is a complex method of diagnosis and treatment of imbalances in the body.  This medicine’s philosophy is based on the theory of Yin and Yang. The yin-yang principle is not absolute but relative, which means that in nature everything has two opposite but complementary aspects.  For example, morning is yang while night is yin; without one we cannot have the other.  The morning turns into night and in turn night turns into morning. This inter-transforming nature of yin and yang can be applied to the complex interconnections of the human organ systems.

Another phenomenon in Chinese Medicine or Asian Medicine is the concept of Chi or Qi (pronounced chee), the vital life force that is invisible and subtle, yet powerful.  This life force, or energy, circulates throughout the body in fourteen channels called meridians which are complex and invisible networks that course through the entire body, from head to toe including the internal organs.  The goal of Chinese Medicine is to enhance the body’s healing powers to achieve balance, stability and vigor.


How do I achieve this balance with acupuncture?  

Balance can be achieved with differential diagnosis based on Asian Medicine.  By carefully choosing  and stimulating a set of acupuncture points on the course of the meridians we can restore normal flow of chi to the organs and bodily processes. 

 

What are acupuncture needles like and do they hurt?

I use needles that are packaged individually in sterile blister packets, and they are discarded into a bio-hazard sharps container immediately after each use.  Acupuncture needles are different from hypodermic needles. Hypodermic needles are hollow to allow fluid to be transferred, and therefore must be thicker.  Acupuncture needles are solid and as thin as a hair strand, or thinner.  They are inserted rapidly and are hardly perceptible when placed on the body.

What are other modalities used in Asian Medicine?

Other methods include electro-acupuncture (EA), cupping, moxibustion, and guasha (pronounced guaa-shaa).

 

What is electro-acupuncture (EA)?

Electro-acupuncture uses thin wires which are attached to needles with mini alligator clips.  With the use of a special machine, a gentle electrical current with varying frequencies is administered to the needles for about 20 minutes, allowing stronger and continuous stimulation that is more readily controlled and standardized.  EA is an effective pain management technique, with rapid and long lasting results.

 

What is cupping?

Cupping is the application of special suction cups to the areas of the body where there is pain and tension in the muscles.  The suction in the cups allows the skin to be lifted slightly to create more blood and lymphatic circulation to the affected areas. The muscle fibers are therefore fed with more nutrients, to become looser, more flexible, and free of pain.

 

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a deep penetrating heating method with the use of special sticks or cones infused with herbal extracts.  For example, the moxa stick is hovered over the specific points or areas to create heat, thereby increasing stimulation of certain acupoints and improving blood circulation.

 

What is guasha?

Guasha is a gentle method of sliding massage with a guasha tool to once again induce blood flow to the affected areas.


What conditions do I frequently treat with acupuncture?

Besides pain, such as neck and shoulder pain, back pain, sciatica, arthritis, headaches and migraines, I also treat indigestion and gastrointestinal pain, menopause symptoms, premenstrual syndrome, prostate problems, insomnia, Bell’s palsy, vertigo, colds, cough, allergies, shingles and many more.  I must mention that herbal medicine and botanicals are a big part of my practice which allow me to treat a variety of conditions with minimal side effects and discomfort.

What conditions do I treat with functional medicine?

I mostly treat chronic and hard to manage cases with functional medicine, along with unexplained and frustrating conditions. These include autoimmune diseases, immune deficiency syndromes, unresolved gastrointestinal discomforts, adrenal fatigue, unexplained anxiety and/or depression, extreme moodiness or cramping during menses, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), food sensitivities, management of Celiac disease and its repercussions, inability to lose weight, thyroid and other hormone issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, Lyme disease. 

Are some of the above mentioned conditions treated both with acupuncture and functional medicine?

Yes.  Acupuncture and functional medicine are complimentary to each other.  If you have a complicated problem, I would recommend more investigation as to the cause of the discomfort utilizing functional medicine, and at any point acupuncture can be added to further restore and support the healing process.

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