What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well. Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points on the body using a variety of techniques (such as needles or acupressure). The acupuncture technique that has been frequently scientifically studied. Acupuncture stimulates your own body’s natural healing process. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems
What is Qi?
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Qi runs along meridian pathways in the body.
Traditional Explanation: Meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The Western Scientific Explanation: Applying pressure or inserting needles at the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
Acupuncture promotes blood flow. This is significant because everything the body needs to heal is in the blood, including oxygen, nutrients we absorb from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics (painkillers) and anti-inflammatories. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities.
What does an acupuncturist do?
The acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and redirect and balance the body’s chemicals and hormones. Once this is done, Qi, (your body’s chemicals and hormones) can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles that need it. This can encourage the body’s ability to heal itself.
How is Qi disrupted?
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital chemicals and nourishment to the body’s organs and glands.
Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a meridian blockage or imbalance occurs, the our bodies can easily bounce back, returning to a good state of health. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, these blocked meridians can lead to illness, pain, or disease can set in.
Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions:
What will my acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue. Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a persons health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with you acupuncturist may last from 30 to 90 minutes.
During your treatment, An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative ability, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
Why do they want to feel my pulse?
There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will check. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
Why do they want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.
How much does it cost?
Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. It is best to consult with your acupuncturist about costs.
Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.
Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Alice Huang’s Natural Chinese Therapies currently does not accept health insurance.
How should I prepare?
- Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
- Do not eat large meals just before or after
- Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
- Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. All acupuncture needles are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
How are acupuncturists educated?
Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.
Do the needles hurt?
The needles used are approximately the size of a cat’s whisker. The sensation caused by the needles varies. You may experience a slight numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache where the acupuncture needle has been inserted. Occasionally, people experience a little pain as the needles are inserted, or a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation”. All of these are a positive sign that the treatment is working. The depth of the insertion varies from person to person. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation.
Conditions Successfully Treated:
Headache, migraine, post-op pain, stroke, Parkinson’s, bladder dysfunction
Muscle pain/cramps/weakness, arthritis, sciatica, backache, disc problems, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, chronic diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow
-Eye, Ear, Dental:
Poor vision, cataract, tinnitus, nervous deafness, toothache, post extraction pain, gum problems
Sinusitis, common cold, tonsillitis, bronchitis, asthma
Infertility, PMS, cramps, menopausal symptoms
Insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervousness, neurosis
- Increased vitality and energy
- Stress reduction and deep relaxation
- Skin rejuvenation
- Weight control
- Addiction to smoking, drugs, and alcohol
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Pain control
- Immune system detox
- Regulated blood pressure
Different Treatment Modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass cups over specific ares on your body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction. They may be moved over and affected area or left in place. You may leave the office looking as though a large octopus gave you a big hug. There is no need for alarm. The slight redness will quickly dissipate.
Tui Na translates literally as “push grasp”. It is a massage technique that moves the Qi to various places in the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, tension and inflammation and to promote the healing of injuries.
Gwa Sha is another technique used to release muscle tension, tightness, and constriction. A specialized tool is used to gently scrape or rub the skin over a problem area. Gwa Sha feels a bit like deep massage. This too may leave some slight redness that will quickly dissipate
Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called “mugwort”. It may be burned on the handle of the needle, above the skin, on salt or on a slice of ginger. This is used to “warm” acupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.
Make Your Appointment Today
Alice is available in three locations: Dearborn, Wyandotte and Clawson, MI
While each location offers Chinese Natural Therapies and Acupuncture is offered at all three locations, it maybe offered only at certain days at various locations. Choose the Metro Detroit location more convenient for you and your schedule. The Dearborn, Wyandotte – Downriver, and Clawson Offices are here to assist you. Please always feel free to call with questions.