What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture began in China over 5,000 years ago and is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. Its’ core belief is that all living things possess a vital energy called ‘qi,’ which circulates throughout the body along 12 invisible energy lines known as meridians. Any imbalance in this flow can lead to disease. To restore the flow of qi, Acupuncturists insert tiny needles into precise points along those meridian lines. Your body has approximately 1,000 acupuncture points.
Studies show that Acupuncture can stimulate blood flow, as well as the release of pain-relieving endorphins. It may also activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland with systemic benefits, and cause positive changes in immune functions.
In the late 1970s the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized acupuncture as a treatment for emotional and psychological disorders, respiratory disorders, circulatory disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.
In 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reclassified acupuncture needles from “experimental” to “medical device.” That same year the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined acupuncture useful by itself, or in combination with other therapies, in the treatment of addiction, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, asthma, and more.
Today three million Americans use Acupuncture.
A Typical Acupuncture Treatment
At White Oak Medical we begin your acupuncture treatment by asking you about your symptoms, behaviors and lifestyle. We carefully check the parts of your body that hurt, the shape, coating and color of your tongue, the color of your face and the strength, rhythm and quality of your pulse.
This initial evaluation can take up to 60 minutes. Follow-ups are usually half an hour. The amount of treatment depends upon your condition and its’ severity but 6 – 8 Acupuncture treatments are common.
The number of needles we use during a session does not equal the intensity of the treatment. Rather it is the precise placement of the needles that is important. You may feel a slight prick or pressure during placement but there should be no pain. Your appointment will run from 10 to 20 minutes.
After treatment some of you will feel relaxed, others energized. However, not all of you will respond to acupuncture so if your symptoms do not improve within a couple of weeks, acupuncture may not be right for you.
Cupping is a supplemental treatment to acupuncture. Instead of applying pressure as in massage, we draw the skin gently upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the affected area.
At White Oak Medical we use Cupping to help treat pain, deep scar tissue, muscle knots, swelling and tension. This modality can also help stimulate detoxification, loosen phlegm in the lungs and improve circulation. Cupping sometimes causes temporary skin discoloration called petchiae, but the marks merely signal improved blood flow in that area and shortly disappear.