Frequently Asked Questions
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Each of the acupuncture points acts as a gate—sending energetic information electromagnetically via the fascia deep into the body. Explore some of the ways acupuncture works below:
Offering a small electrical prompt to the body to restore homeostasis & balance.
Releasing areas of congested/blocked Qi which stimulates organ function & promotes health.
Promoting circulation in the body improves function where needed.
Acting as a natural analgesic, acupuncture interrupts pain signaling. Acupuncture mediates the opioid and cannabinoid systems for pain relief and other physiological effects in the body.
BALANCES BODY CHEMISTRY
Influencing the body’s biochemical responses via the central nervous system.
Reducing pro-inflammatory markers, or proteins, in the body
Classical Eastern Explanation
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, acupuncture is explained based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of western medicine. Qi, or vital energy, circulates along the channels and meridians throughout the body like an energy grid linking all of the body's components together.
Qi maintains and nourishes our body and mind, keeps the blood circulating, warms the body, and fights disease. In a healthy state, Qi flows smoothly through the channels. Symptoms and/or illness occur if the flow of Qi is blocked, becomes excessive, or is weakened.
Similar to a sprinkler system in a garden, the body is constantly working very efficiently to supply the right amount of water, blood, and different nutrients to cells across the body. It is in the obstruction of this supply from injury or dysfunction of any of the systems within our bodies that gives origin to dis-ease, pain, or illness. By selecting and stimulating specific acupoints to regulate the Qi flow, any deficiencies, excesses, or blockages along the channels can be balanced and resolved.
There are several mechanisms at play in the effects of acupuncture. acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. these chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body's self-regulating systems. the biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being. there are three main mechanisms:
Conduction of electromagnetic signals: Western scientists have found evidence of acupuncture points’ as strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at it greater rate than under normal conditions. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and of immune system cells to specific sites that are injured or vulnerable to disease.
Activation of opioid and cannabinoid systems: research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.
Changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary body functions: studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones in a good way. Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature are regulated.
Helene M. Langevin MD, a clinical endocrinologist, was so curious about her patients’ interest in acupuncture that she took a course in East Asian medicine and then carried her newfound skills into the lab with her in the department of neurology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She led a study that found a measurable “pull out force” after every needle grab. And the strength of this grab was, on average, 18 percent higher when measured at acupuncture points as opposed to non-acupuncture points. The needle grab is more vigorous at these points because they are more conductive of electrical energy.
Recent research suggests that not only do energy channels exist, but they’ve been right in front of our eyes all along.
Perhaps more crucially, however, Langevin and her colleagues found, experimenting with acupuncture on a piece of rat abdominal wall, that when they rotated the needles the connective tissue underneath the skin became “mechanically attached.” Writes Langevin: “Even a small amount of rotation caused the connective tissue to wrap around the needle, like spaghetti winding around a fork.” Langevin also found that the tissue remains stretched in this way for the duration of the acupuncture treatment, causing chemical changes at a cellular level that increase electrical conductivity.
Fascia and connective tissue, long underplayed by western medicine and science, has recently become of interest, particularly among molecular and physiological researchers, as new evidence has demonstrated that such stimulation to the connective tissue can be sensed at a cellular level, decreasing chronic inflammation, reducing pain and even potentially inhibiting the growth of cancer cells or fibrotic tissue.
Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine.
It is commonly called, the science of “why”. Functional lab testing is the cornerstone of functional medicine. Functional lab testing is used to assess the overall function of your body with an optimal range of comparison vs the standard range. It also looks beyond traditional diagnostic testing to discover the root causes of inflammation, food sensitivity, hormonal imbalances, and establish an individualized plan of action for each patient. Instead of looking for and treating the symptoms of disease, functional medicine principles blend very well with those of Eastern Medicine as both look at networks of function and a number of factors that are contributing to the dysfunction in your body.
NOR ACUPUNCTURE (TCM) OR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE (FM) PRINCIPLES TAKE A PATIENT'S SYMPTOMS AND PUT A DISEASE OR ILLNESS LABEL ON IT. AN EXPERIENCED ACUPUNCTURE PHYSICIAN AND/OR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRACTITIONER FIRST TAKES THE PATIENT’S HISTORY, WHICH INCLUDES HER CURRENT SYMPTOMS, PHYSICAL STATE, DIET, ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES, AND LIFESTYLE, AMONG OTHER FACTORS, TO EXTRAPOLATE A PATTERN(TCM) AND CURRENT-STATE-OVERVIEW OR DISCOVER THE “WHY”(FM). THIS APPROACH USUALLY POINTS TO THE ORIGIN (ROOT) OF THE PROBLEM AND THE CONDITION OF THE BODY AT PRESENT (BRANCH). THIS IS THE MAIN REASON WHY ACUPUNCTURE (TCM) AND FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRINCIPLES WORK IN VERY SIMILAR AND VERY COMPLEMENTARY WAYS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM AT LARGE.
Amniotic allografts are tissue grafts that have the ability to help the body regenerate a variety of different cells and are beneficial in orthopedic surgery, wound repair and accelerated healing. The allografts are derived from the amniotic sac of healthy donors who are pre-screened while pregnant and selected after a strict screening process. The tissue is then cryopreserved and used to treat localized tissue defects and areas of inflammation. They are a rich source of growth factors, hyaluronic acid, proteins and essential nutrients.
Because of their growth factors and their low risk of reacting with the immune system, an amniotic allograft injection is useful in treating damaged and inflamed tissue. Their regenerative qualities can shorten the time it takes for patients to recover from injuries or surgical procedures, allowing them to return to normal activities at a faster pace. As such, unique properties of amniotic allografts are not only beneficial towards tissue damage or inflammation but can also improve clinical outcomes for patients to recover quickly from future injuries or medical procedures.
Qi (Chi) refers to the “energy flow” or “life force” within the body. In East Asian culture, qi flows through the body via meridians, or pathways, similar to the way blood flows through our circulatory system. When this energy becomes obstructed or blocked (due to stress, trauma, pathogens, etc.) acupuncture and other modalities within the umbrella of this ancient medicine can be used to unblock the qi, and ultimately help the body to heal naturally.
What Is The Theory Of Yin And Yang?
Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine are built on the foundation of an ancient philosophy called the Theory of Yin and Yang. The core of this philosophy is that the human body (as a microcosm of the universe) is in a state of constantly transforming interactions in order to maintain stability or homeostasis. All bodily systems work as a whole to maintain this stability. If an imbalance occurs, which can manifest as a long list of names under different “ailments”, it can usually be attributed to the degree of “excess or deficiency” of one of these energies on a particular organ system. Therefore, it is expected that after properly diagnosing what is happening and where balance can begin to take place by harmonizing the imbalance with effective tools within this medical system; which often results in the resolution of the primary “ailment” the patient comes in for and much more.
Acupuncture Research Has Shown To Be Effective In Treating A Wide Range Of Diseases And Conditions Including, But Not Limited To:
Acute and chronic pain, including repetitive motion injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and tendonitis), TMJ and teeth grinding, traumatic and post-surgical pain
Autoimmune Disorders, Including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia And Chronic Fatigue, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Graves’ Disease, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Scleroderma, Crohn’s Disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Hepatitis, And Multiple Sclerosis
Cognitive issues, such as lack of concentration, poor memory, ADD, and inability to focus
Dermatological Conditions, Such As Eczema, Psoriasis, And Cystic Acne
Energy problems, such as fatigue, lack of motivation, and chronic fatigue syndrome
Gastrointestinal Conditions, Including Heartburn; Abdominal Pain; Irritable Colon; Diarrhea; Constipation
Gynecological and obstetric issues, including PMS; painful periods; morning sickness, fetal breech presentation, support for delivery in late pregnancy, support for lactation difficulties
Infertility And Reproductive Problems Of Women And Men
Insomnia and sleep disorders
Musculoskeletal Issues, Such As Low Back Pain; Muscle, Tendon, Or Joint Pain; Sports Injuries
Neurological conditions including chronic headaches; sciatica; nerve injuries
Respiratory Problems, Such As Asthma; Sinusitis; Allergic Rhinitis
This is a very common question. Nobody wants to feel pain, especially if they’re already in pain. The answer to this question is “no”. In qualified hands, acupuncture (needle insertion) should not hurt. Even if you are extremely sensitive, these needles are very thin, almost hair-like, in most cases, it does not elicit any pain response but a pinch sensation.
The most common effects of acupuncture are positive and they include less stress, better sleep, improved digestion, increased energy, and improved mental clarity, among others. However uncommon, some patients can experience dizziness or slight bruising at the site of needle insertion that usually goes away in just a few days.
In any given session an average of about 8-15 needles are inserted at various points on the body but it varies depending on your preference and condition. After they are inserted a patient will start to unwind, with the needles retained, for approximately 20-25 minutes in a calm and tranquil setting. Most patients thoroughly enjoy the experience, as it is so relaxing. There are also non-needle therapies available which we would be happy to discuss with you.
Loose clothing is ideal so that we may have access to acupuncture points on the low back, abdomen and lower legs, if necessary. Pants and sleeves should be able to be rolled up above the knee and elbow. It is important to eat a light meal before treatment and to be adequately hydrated. We also suggest avoiding heavy exercise after completing an acupuncture session such as running long distance or weight lifting.
Yes. We use prepackaged, sterile, single use needles and dispose of them right after using them on a patient.
The initial appointment, including consultation and treatment will be scheduled for the duration of 90 minutes. All follow-up appointments will be scheduled for 30-75 minutes depending on treatment.
If you call our office we can verify if your specific plan has coverage for acupuncture.
Yes. We can treat anything from the common cold and its symptoms to the flu and its associated symptoms. We can even help you recover quickly. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, as a prevention we can shift your appointment to virtual, during your virtual consultation, we can prescribe a customized formula, targeted supplementation, and either mail it or have it ready outside of our building for you.
Call our front desk at 561-533-7475 to schedule your first consultation and session. If you have an insurance policy we can help you verify if you have coverage or not.
The amount and frequency of your treatment will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Chronic conditions will require a treatment plan that’s more comprehensive but for the most part patients receive treatment anywhere from 1-2 times per week for the first few weeks, tapering off until we reach our therapeutic goals. Other times, 1-2 treatments are sufficient to resolve something more acute and not as complex. At that point a maintenance plan can be discussed, if deemed appropriate.
At a minimum, an acupuncture physician needs 8 years of education. After undergraduate education, they need to graduate from (a 4year program) a nationally accredited university with a master’s degree in Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine. Additionally, to be able to practice medicine, they need to obtain state licensing. State licensing requires passing multiple licensure exams, 4 in total in the state of FL. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is the certifying body for acupuncturists and also the developer of licensure exams. Recertification for a state license is every two years, and nationally every 5 years. Continuing education minimum requirements are set for both. After, a practitioner can continue her or his education by pursuing a Doctoral degree that depending on the program allows the specialization into a particular area of care, the time of the program varies by specialty and program.
This is ultimately your choice and can be discussed with your practitioner for recommendations. Once you have reached your therapeutic goals, it may be beneficial to continue receiving acupuncture treatments on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis depending on the condition, your needs, and preferences.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points in or on the surface of the skin, usually by the insertion of very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles that have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is a method of encouraging the body to promote its natural regenerative and homeostatic mechanisms and abilities to improve overall function.