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Acupuncture

What is it and how does it work?

Like chiropractic, acupuncture is a drug-free, non-surgical approach to healing. It uses very thin needles to stimulate specific points in your body. The practice comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is centered around the theory of Qi. Several studies have supported its use in the treatment of arthritis, back pain, headaches, and neck pain. [1] Acupuncture is also recommended as a therapy for allergies, menstrual cramps, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, and discomfort during pregnancy. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]


What the heck is Qi?

Qi, pronounced "chee," is described as a flowing energy that follows particular paths along your body. Traditional Chinese Medicine attributes a variety of diseases to the imbalance of this energy flow, and attempts to regulate it with acupuncture, gua sha, and cupping. 

What are meridians?   

The paths that Qi follows are called meridians. They are often described as invisible highways of energy that nourish and support every cell in your body. A blockage in this flow is like an accident on a highway— everything stops. When Qi is balanced and flowing freely, the body’s natural healing abilities are activated. When Qi is blocked, your body is weakened and susceptible to disease.

How do you test Qi?

In addition to traditional methods, we use digital meridian imaging. This objective test directly measures how well energy flows along your twelve main meridians. Over the course of treatment, we expect those measurements reach normal values. Rest assured that this test is non-invasive and entirely painless! We only need access to a few points along your wrists and ankles, where we will attach a small cotton-tipped sensor.


What is acupuncture like?

As you rest in a warm room, Dr. Nichole will gently place acupuncture needles, as needed, along your meridians. This might sound painful, but it's not. The needles are so thin that you'll forget they're there. Most sessions use less than twenty needles. Once they have been placed, we'll turn down the lights so you can relax for fifteen to thirty minutes. Don't worry, you're allowed to nap!


How many treatments does it take?

Treatment varies with different conditions and individuals. We like to take it 5 visits at a time, with a reassessment on that fifth visit. Everyone responds to treatment differently, but most patients can expect partial relief after the first few treatments. If we don't see improvement by your fifth visit, we will reconsider our approach.

Next Up: Chiropractic