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1. What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of treatment by insertion and manipulation of solid, generally thin needles in the body. Its general theory is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of an energy-like entity called Qi (pronounced chi). Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin called acupuncture points, most of which are connected by channels known as meridians. Over thousands of years, Acupuncture is recognized worldwide for it's ability to remedy acute or chronic ailments, relieve pain, enhance recuperative potential, and strengthen the immune system.

2. How does acupuncture work?
When a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point you will usually feel a sensation of warmth, slight numbness, heaviness or mild achiness at the point of insertion. This is known as obtaining the Qi. According to Chinese medicine Qi is the vital energy which flows through a system of channels called meridians and regulates the bodily functions. The meridians and regulates provide Qi and Blood and thus warmth and nourishment for the whole body and also serve as lines of communication among the organs and the body.

All the vital activities of the human body are explained by changes and movement of Qi. The activities of the Zang Fu organs ( Zang organs are the lung, heart, spleen, liver and kidney; and Fu organs are the large intestine, small intestine, stomach, gallbladder, urinary bladder and triple burner) maintaining the normal temperature and defensive systems of the body all depend on the promoting and stimulating effect of Qi.

3. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe when performed by a well-trained practitioner. The sterile needles are used once and then disposed of immediately. Also, since treatment is tailored to the individual, side-effects are virtually unheard-of.

4. Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture is virtually painless. Acupuncture needles are very thin, flexible, sterile, and only for a single use. With skillful needle insertion there is often no sensation at all. When receiving an acupuncture treatment you may experience a sensation of tingling or warmth. Most patients experience a state of deep relaxation or even fall asleep.

5. What is Herbal Medicine (Chinese Medicine)?
Herbal medicine is safe, powerful and effective medicine that can address many of today's ailments, which has been medicinally used for over 3,000 years. The herbal medicine formulas are individually prescribed for the patient's unique constitution and ailment. They have the unique ability to treat both the symptoms as well as the underlying condition, as defined by traditional diagnosis. This is achieved without unwanted side-effects.

6. How does Chinese Medicine work?
Chinese Medicine is a 3,500-year-old-system of medicine that can be used to address a variety of ailments from minor imbalances to chronic conditions. It is based on the belief that the human body is in a dynamic state of balance both internally and with the outside world. If this equilibrium is disturbed then we can become sick. Our body’s balance can be upset by emotions such as anger, sadness or grief or by the food we eat or the environment we live in. Some of us are born with a weak constitution and many of us overwork and become depleted. All these factors can cause minor imbalances, which, if left untreated, can become more serious pathologies. The goal of Chinese Medicine is to achieve physical, mental and spiritual balance. Dr. Ding may well prescribe you some herbs. Chinese herbs differ from western herbs in that they are almost always prescribed as a formula containing 10 – 25 herbs. Combining different types of herbs in different quantities helps us to craft a formula to address your specific symptom pattern.

7. What is Electrical Acupuncture (Electro-acupuncture)?
Electro-acupuncture is an application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupoints. The benefits of using electrical stimulation are:
  • It substitutes for prolonged hand maneuvering. This helps assure that the patient gets the amount of stimulation needed and help reduce total treatment time by providing the continued stimulus.
  • It can produce a stronger stimulation, if desired, without causing tissue damage associated with twirling and lifting and thrusting the needle. Strong stimulation may be needed for difficult cases of neuralgia or paralysis.
  • It is easier to control the frequency of the stimulus and the amount of stimulus than with hand manipulation of the needles.
8. What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a TCM therapy in which a Chinese herb (mugwort) is used to heat specific points on the body. This therapy works in conjunction with acupuncture and acupressure and helps to invigorate the body's Qi. It is especially helpful for persons with a chronic sensitivity to cold.

9. What is Cupping?
Cupping is similar to scrubbing but is more point specific. This method stimulates the acupuncture points by applying suction through a glass cup. The functions of cupping are improving circulation, clearing toxins, strengthening the body, balancing the internal organs and reducing pain caused by blood or Qi stagnation.

10. What is Channel Scrubbing (Guasha)?
Channel scrubbing (or Guasha in Chinese) is one of the therapeutic techniques used in Chinese Medicine treatments. The technique involves repeatedly scrubbing the surface of the skin in certain parts of the body with a tortoiseshell comb. This technique is non-invasive and it effectively brings deep blockages and toxins to the surface of the body. Scrubbing can provide immediate relief to painful and stiff areas of the body and strengthen the body’s constitution and play a role in the prevention of illness.

11. What is Ear Acupuncture?
Ear acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem of the entire body represented on the auricle, the outer portion of the ear. Ailments of the entire body are assumed to be treatable by stimulation of the surface of the ear exclusively. Similar mappings are used in reflexology and iridology.

12. What will happen on my first visit?
The first appointment will be an initial consultation and treatment, where you will be asked about your health, symptoms and what your goals are. And then you will learn if acupuncture is an appropriate treatment for your condition. A specific number of treatments will be recommended to serve as a trial to determine if your case will respond to acupuncture. Subsequent treatments will include a brief follow up and discussion. You will also have a clear understanding of ways to assess your progress and when to expect results.

13. What is involved in a typical treatment?
During a typical treatment you will experience minute disposable needles being gently inserted into the skin at specific sites on the body. Because they are extremely thin you will usually only feel a slight sensation. Occasionally either manual rotation or electrical stimulation generating a soft, painless current is applied to add additional stimulation.

14. How long does a treatment last?
The initial consultation and treatment is one and a half hours and subsequent visits are 45-60 minutes.

15. How many treatments are needed?
Every person and condition is seen as unique in Chinese medicine. The more chronic a condition is generally, the more treatments will be needed. On the other hand, short-term conditions can resolve in as few as one treatment.

16. Do I have to stop my medication before starting treatments?

Never stop taking your medication without the guidance from your primary care physician. There is no need to stop medication for acupuncture to work.

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