Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

acupuncture_model2Our frequently asked questions page answers the most common questions you might have about acupuncture. Most people have only a vague idea about what types of conditions acupuncture treats. You might be surprised at the extensive list of conditions successfully treated with just a few acupuncture needles!

Read through the questions below and see if your question is answered here. If you still have questions, please call the office at (610) 357-4376. Or contact us. We will be happy to speak with you!

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Scientific research shows that acupuncture stimulates chemicals in the brain that stop pain, relieve stress, and reduce inflammation. Acupuncture even regulates hormones in conditions such as PMS,  menopausal hot flashes, and irritability. Depression research has been conducted that demonstrates acupuncture is at least as effective as anti-depressants and reduces the side effects when used in conjunction with anti-depressant medication. Acupuncture stimulates the immune system to relieve asthma and allergies.

Chinese Theory on Pain and Illness

Traditional acupuncture theory understands that human beings have an energy anatomy – similar to the blood vessels that make up your circulatory system. Your energy anatomy however, consists of meridians that flow through the body from head to feet like the acupuncture model in the photo above.

Acupuncture meridians are the pathways that carry your life force – also known as qi. Flow of qi through the meridians is responsible for all of the functions of the body, digestion, sleep, energy production, and movement just to name a few. Your meridians require a healthy, free flowing pathway in order for your body to function normally. When meridians become blocked due to diet, lifestyle, injury, or illness, body functions slow down. You may develop allergies, headaches, or acid reflux. Low back or neck pain may develop with no history of injury. Why is this?

Pain occurs when meridians are blocked and qi cannot flow freely. Free flow of qi is required for the experience of pain free movement and full range of motion without stiffness. Acupuncture unblocks your qi, freeing the life force to move through you so it can nourish tissues, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Your organs receive vital life force so they can function properly, helping to cure illness. Acupuncture boosts your body’s ability to heal itself. It is said that acupuncture harmonizes the meridians so that your body acts as an integrated whole. Balance is achieved when all of your systems are communicating and cooperating with each other.

Do The Acupuncture Needles Hurt?

The word ‘needle’ can provoke a lot of fear – even in some of the bravest people! Please don’t worry, acupuncture is usually not painful. In fact, most people describe the sensation as a light tap, followed by a heavy or full sensation that is not at all unpleasant.

The heavy sensation people feel is called ‘de qi’ which means ‘the arrival of qi’. Qi is the energy inside you that acupuncturists use to move blockages that may be causing pain or illness. The sensation may come and go during a treatment – or you may notice wandering sensations in areas where no needles have been placed. You are feeling your qi as it circulates through the acupuncture meridians. It is a healthy response to acupuncture treatment.

When a needle does cause discomfort, it is temporary! Some points are more sensitive than others. Certain people need a lighter touch. We are happy to accommodate your preferences. I have needles that even most children find painless. (Yes, we treat children!)