The World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health endorse acupuncture as beneficial for many conditions, including:
- PMS & other Menstrual Disorders
- Digestive Complaints
- Respiratory Illness
The medical effectiveness of acupuncture has gained considerable attention and respect in western countries over the past 40 years. Ongoing research at the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization are continually verifying the effectiveness of this ancient Eastern healing medicine in treating modern Western diseases.
Only sterile disposable needles are used. Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the diameter of two human hairs. Most people find that the needles are virtually painless. Generally, needles are inserted superficially—about 1/4th of an inch. Once the needle is inserted, a person may feel an ache, a swirling sensation, a warmth, or a sensation of energy opening along a pathway.
Moxa is a dried plant (artemisia latiflora) that has been used as a complement to acupuncture needles for centuries. Moxa is soft, spongy fluff which is formed into small cones or tiny pieces and burned over acupuncture points. An ointment is placed on the skin before the small piece of moxa is placed and then lit with a small stick of incense. The moxa extinguishes or is removed before the patient feels too much heat. The use of moxa stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Sometimes moxa is placed on the end of a needle to warm and release an area of pain.
Every person has an individual healing timeline. Patients usually come for treatment once a week for five to ten weeks. In acute conditions treatment may be required more than once a week. After the initial phase of treatment, patients move to being treated every two weeks. Once energy stabilizes, patients come every three to four weeks. Some people find that acupuncture assists them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle so they continue to come regularly. What works best for you is the determining factor in frequency of treatment. Optimally, a person in good health will choose to come seasonally, as a tune up.
It is a good idea to avoid alcohol, excessive coffee, strenuous exercise, or heavy meals on the day of treatment. You should continue to take medication that has been prescribed by your physician. Plan your activities in order that after a treatment you can take time to let your body gain the maximum benefit. It is best to have some quiet time after a treatment, if possible.
Chinese herbs can be incredibly helpful and complement acupuncture treatments. Herbs are a daily reminder that you are caring for your health and well-being. They empower you to continue the treatment that the needles began.
Chinese herbal medicine (as well as acupuncture) is a sophisticated, ancient form of treatment. In Chinese herbalism, individual herbs are combined into a formula much the same way a group of people join to accomplish a task (like the carpenter, brick-layer, electrician, plumber and roofer all working together to build a house).