What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Often, people will ask “What can acupuncture treat?” The answer is “Anything that isn’t making you feel 100%”, because it is the body that is being treated, not merely the manifestation of symptoms. Once the body is put back into a state of homeostasis, symptoms will subside and disease will be absent. The WHO (World Health Organization) has released a list of symptoms, disease, and conditions that have been proven through verified clinical trials to be effectively treated by acupuncture. These include:

·      Pain, both acute and chronic

·      Neurological disorders

·      Digestive disorders

·      Upper respiratory disorders

·      Urinary disorders

·      Reproductive disorders

·      Disorders of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat

·      Depression, anxiety and insomnia

·      Immune-compromised conditions

·      Addiction


How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, hair-thin needles into specific acupoints of the body. There are over 350 acupuncture points that fall along 14 meridians of the body. These meridians are thought to carry all of the essential components that keep us alive, in Chinese these materials are called Qi and Xue. The acupoints along each meridian are considered “hot spots” of electrical frequency and activity. Often, these points will fall in the space where muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones come to a junction.  When one of these points is activated, the Qi and Xue are able to flow smoothly, keeping the body in a fluid state of balanced health. When disease strikes, the meridians become clogged or unruly (similar to the highway interstate system during rush hour traffic). If treated immediately, the body can return to a healthy state. Unfortunately, many of these conditions are left untreated for a long time, which can lead to chronic and debilitating health conditions. From a Western perspective, it is thought that these “hot spots” connect directly to the central nervous system, sending signals to the hypothalamus and pituitary to release specific chemicals that aid in healing and regenerating the body. It is also thought that the activation of specific points can change the body from a state of sympathetic response (“Fight or Flight”) to a parasympathetic response (“Rest and Digest”) so that recovery may ensue. Regardless of the Eastern or Western perspective, this trusted medicine has been effective in treating generation after generation for over 3,000 years. 


Does Acupuncture Hurt?

No, it does not hurt. Sure, the idea of needles is scary to most people, but acupuncture needles are hair-thin, flexible, and designed for a comfortable insertion. Every needle is sterile, single-use, and disposable. Once the needles are inserted, you make feel an achy, pulsating, warm or tingly feeling that is completely normal and considered a favorable reaction. If at any point the treatment becomes uncomfortable, your practitioner will gladly adjust the needles for a more pleasant experience.


What Does A Typical Appointment Look Like?

First time appointments involve a very thorough intake of your personal health history. Your practitioner will feel the pulses on your wrist as well as look at your tongue. These are both traditional diagnostic tools in Oriental medicine and can provide a lot of valuable information. An assessment of acupuncture points will be determined specifically for you. Once the needles are inserted, you will relax comfortably on a warm bed for approximately 30 minutes while the benefits of your treatment take place. This is your time. Patients are often encouraged to do some deep breathing or meditative breaths to enhance the relaxation element. Many patients fall asleep during their treatment, which is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. After the needles are removed, you may feel a little groggy or foggy headed. Again, this is a very natural response as the body has been working hard while you rest. You are welcome to sit in the waiting room and enjoy some water or tea before returning to the rest of your day.


How Many Appointments Do I Need Before I Feel Better?

Depending on what condition you are seeking treatment for, the course of your treatment plan may vary. If you are in an otherwise good state of health and are seeking preventative care to strengthen the immune system and ensure your body remains free from ailments, one treatment every 1-3 months is sufficient. If your condition is acute, such as a common cold or sprained ankle, a few treatments within one week is recommended to maximize results. If you are coming in for a health concern that has plagued you your entire life, please be prepared to spend a little more time with me. It is important to understand that this medicine works with your body, undoing years of damage and returning you to a state of sustainable health. There is no magic pill that will work overnight. However, each session will peel back another layer so you should notice increasing improvement with each treatment. In general, I recommend that patients come once per week for 4-5 weeks, allowing us to monitor your progress and re-evaluate yor future course of treatment if needed. 

Eastern Traditions Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 1643 Boulder Street, Suite 104. Denver, CO 80211. (720) 551-8408