Pauline M. Lee L.Ac.
Andy D. Lee L.Ac.
Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points known to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of 2,000 years. Recently, electromagnetic research has confirmed their locations.
Q: Does acupuncture actually work?
A: Acupuncture has been in existence in the Orient for approximately 3,000 years. Today, in Asian hospitals, it is still the treatment of choice for non-life threatening medical problems because it has no adverse side effects on the body. If it were not effective, it would not still be used today in medical clinics throughout the world. Each day, more doctors are referring patients to an acupuncturist to relieve a variety of symptoms that modern medicine is unable to help. Professional athletes are turning to acupuncture for the quick relief of pain, cancer patients for the relief of pain and the bad side effects of chemotherapy, laborers for the relief of backaches and carpal tunnel syndrome and pregnant mothers for the relief of morning sickness.
Q: What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
A: The World Health Organization has said that acupuncture is suitable for treating:
1. Pain Relief:
• Headaches & migraines • TMJ • Trigeminal neuralgia • Neck & shoulder • Rotator cuff • Back • Scapula • Leg • Arm • Foot • Hand • Heel • Toe • Finger • Tendonitis • Tennis & golfer's elbow • Carpal tunnel • Bursitis • Arthritis • Joint • Sciatic • Knee • Gout • Fibromyalgia • Raynaud’s disease • Shin splints • Sprains • Strains • Sports injuries • Paralysis • Neuropathy • Abdominal • Chest • Groin
2. Circulatory Problems
• Irregular heartbeat • Palpitations • Heart pain • Hypertension • Hypotension • Valve Disorders • Poor circulation
3. Internal Medicine
• Insomnia • Digestive disorders • Cold & flu • Bronchitis • Asthma • Pneumonia • IBS • Gastritis • Nausea • Vomiting • Ulcers • Hernia • Hepatitis • Jaundice • Constipation • Diarrhea • Cirrhosis • Diabetes • Chronic fatigue syndrome • Gall stones • Kidney stones • Infections • Anemia • Allergies • Fever • Inflammation
4. Gynecological Disorders:
• Menopause • Menstrual Problems • Endometriosis • Mastitis • Infertility • Sterility • Breast tenderness • Labor induction
5. Other Disorders:
• Neurological • Visual • Hearing • Stress
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: In most cases you do not feel the needle enter the skin. At some points there may be very minimal discomfort, but most people do not consider it a pain. In China, acupuncture is considered “bu tong,” painless. The needles are the diameter of a hair; several of them would fit into the head of a hypodermic needle. Once the needle is in the skin, it is manipulated until you feel either a very mild electrical sensation radiating from the needle, a warm sensation, a muscle cramping sensation or a feeling of heaviness. These sensations are not painful, but the patient does feel their presence.
Q: How deep do the needles go in?
A: The depth of the needle placement depends on the nature of the problem being treated, the location of the points selected, the patient's age, constitution and size and the style of acupuncture that the acupuncturist practices. Depth may vary between 1mm to 5 inches. In any case, the degree of discomfort is the same - painless.
Q: Are the needles clean?
A: Only disposable needles are used in this clinic, meaning that the needles are used once then thrown away. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.
Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: Modern Western medicine can not explain how acupuncture works. Traditional acupuncture is based on ancient Korean Juheng theories of the flow of Qi (energy) and Xue (blood) through distinct meridians that cover the body, similar to how nerves and blood vessels do. According to ancient theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from areas where it is in excess, thus establishing a harmonious energetic balance of the body. One can draw a simple analogy of how acupuncture works by comparing it to the electrical system of a house. There are wires running through all of the walls of your house. (There are meridians running all through your body.) The wires are connected to circuit breakers, switches, appliances and outlets. (The meridians are connected to other meridians, organs, tissue and the main circuit breaker, known as the brain.) Electricity runs through the wires at all times, allowing everything electrical in the house to function properly. (Qi and Xue run through the meridians at all times, allowing the body to function in a healthy manner.) If you have a short, loose wire or bad connection somewhere along the wiring line, problems begin to appear in the house such as lights flickering or not working, loss of electrical power or an electrical fire breaks out. (If the Qi and Xue stop flowing through the meridians in a harmonious, balanced manner, then problems begin to appear such as pain, loss of bodily function, fatigue and possibly death.) If you flick the circuit breaker in your house, or repair the damage along the path of the wire, normal electrical function in your house will be restored. (If you needle the correct acupuncture point on the meridians, which function as circuit breakers, normal body function will be restored, the pain will disappear and health will return.)