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How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture treatment is based on an Oriental Medical Diagnosis that includes an assessment of pulse quality, presentation of the tongue (by shape and color), medical history, and whole body evaluation.  Following the diagnosis, an acupuncture point prescription tailored to each individual based on presenting patterns and symptoms are chosen and applied on the body along acupuncture meridians, or pathways.  Needle stimulation of these points enhances the body’s innate healing capacity and relaxes the muscles, both of which set the body up to be more efficient at healing.  Studies have shown that acupuncture decreases the production of prostaglandins (the messenger molecule for pain), and increase the body’s endogenous morphine-like substances, such as endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer.  Like all therapies, you should not use it alone; you must be ontop of your wellness, sleep, diet, exercise, and have good mineral stores.  At Mira Mar Acupuncture Clinic, we will make inquiries into your daily routine (eating habits, sleep, hobbies, exercise) so that we can formulate a wellness and treatment plan to help you achieve optimum health.

What is Qi?  How does it relate to Acupuncture?

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is based on the ancient Chinese theory of the flow of energy.  Qi and Xue (Blood) flow through distinct meridians or pathways that cover, transverse, and fill the body; somewhat akin to the nerves and blood vessels.  As such, good health depends on the free flow of qi.  When the flow of qi is blocked due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, environmental factors, or poor sleep, the system is disrupted.  Illness and/or pain is then the result.  According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture allows qi to flow to areas where it is deficient, and away from areas where it is in excess.  In this way, acupuncture regulates, balances, and restores a harmonious energetic balance in the body.  There is a Chinese saying, “There is no pain if there is free flow; if there is pain, there is no free flow.”

Does Acupuncture hurt?

The short answer is no.  At the time the needle is inserted, some may feel soreness or slight pain. Others may feel nothing.  Common qi sensations around the needle include: tingling, heaviness, electrical sensations which may travel above or below the needle, a sense of fullness at the insertion site.  While many acupuncture patients are wary of the claim that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, they soon discover that the experience is quite comfortable and pleasant.

I’m needle phobic, how can I benefit from acupuncture?

We realize that not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture, especially if you are needle phobic.  There are however ways to benefit from a traditional Chinese medicine treatment without the insertion of needles.  Acupressure provides similar but not quite as long lasting or effective as acupuncture; but is a suitable alternative to those with needle phobia. Acupressure is an ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press and stimulate acupuncture points.  It is best utilized to release muscle tension, increase circulation, reduce pain and as a preventative health care for boosting the immune system.

Is Acupuncture safe?

When practiced by a trained professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. Because the treatment does not involve the use of drugs, patients do not have to worry about adverse side effects. However, there are certain conditions you should notify us about before undergoing treatment, such as hemophilia or if you have a pacemaker. A thorough patient intake is performed during the first visit in order to determine any concerns.

How are Acupuncture points stimulated?

Needles are stimulated manually or by electrical stimulation which transmit a micro (weak) current.

Are the needles sterile?

YES.  At Mira Mar Acupuncture Clinic, we only use needles that are pre-sterilized, flexible, non-toxic/chemical free, single use, and disposable.  At each treatment,  we encourage you to examine the needle packaging so that you are at ease knowing that it is sealed and remains that way until we begin your treatment. After your treatment, the needles are disposed in marked Bio hazard containers and never to be seen or used again.

Communication of disease through acupuncture has not been an issue in the U.S., a record few other health care professions can claim.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996.  The FDA requires manufacturers of acupuncture needles to label them for single use only.  Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA when considering the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used.

Is there medicine in the needle?

NO.  It is the needle itself that initiates physiological changes and stimulates the movement of qi to restore, harmonize, and balance the body.  See FAQ “How does Acupuncture Work?”

How long is an acupuncture treatment?

At Mira Mar Acupuncture Clinic, follow-up treatment involves 10-15 minutes conversing of current health status and progress since the last treatment, a 40 minute acupuncture treatment, and 5-10 minute after-care instructions to conclude treatment.   Needles are stimulated upon insertion, and then at a 20 minute interval it is manually stimulated once again to maximize the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatment. Removal of needles occurs at the end of the 40 minutes.  If presenting symptoms and conditions require the use of e-stim therapy (electrical stimulation of needles), they are applied accordingly and treatment time is adjusted, typically an extra 10-15 minutes.

Do you take Insurance?

Yes. Please call our offices or email us an inquiry so that we can determine if your Insurance covers Acupuncture services.

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