Acupuncture Treatment

What can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treat? 
The World Health Organization lists acupuncture as being an effective treatment for the following and more:  Adverse reactions to chemotherapy and radiation, allergies, arthritis, asthma, bell’s palsy, depression and anxiety, digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, headache or dizziness, hypertension, menstrual issues, morning sickness, neuralgia and numbness, pain in muscles and joints, pain from surgery, trauma, sports or overuse, insomnia, TMJ, preventative care and many other issues.

What can I expect during my treatment?
Your practitioner will carefully evaluate your personal condition by asking questions about past and present medical history, taking the pulses, observing the tongue and palpating various areas of the body for tenderness. After arriving at a specific diagnostic conclusion, one or several of the following techniques will be incorporated:

  •     Needles: Thin, sterile, stainless steel needles are placed in specific acupuncture points. The needles are at least five times thinner than typical hypodermic needles and insertion is usually painless. You may feel a dull ache or tingling sensation when the needle is stimulated. Acupuncture is generally a very relaxing experience.
  •     Moxibustion: Moxa is a Chinese herb (Mugwort) which is rolled into sticks or cones and used therapeutically to warm points.  This aromatic herb creates a pleasant sensation and helps to regulate Qi.
  •     Herbs: Chinese herbology is an intrinsic aspect of the medicine.  Herbs may be prescribed to reduce acute conditions or as a dietary supplement which will build and strengthen the body.
  •     Electric Stimulation: Very gentle electric stimulation is applied to acupuncture needles by connecting them to a special device to enhance the treatment.
  •     Manual Therapies: Tui Na and Shiatsu are sometimes utilized in conjunction with the acupuncture treatment to enhance the treatment.
  •    Adjunct Therapies:  These can include plum blossom, fire cupping, gua sha and other traditional techniques.

Can acupuncture needles spread disease?
No!  Our acupuncturists use only sterile, one-time use, disposable needles.  The needles are used to stimulate one point on the body and then properly disposed.  All other surfaces and equipment in the clinic are cleaned or sterilized according to OSHA standards (or higher) in order to protect against the transmission of infectious or blood borne diseases. 

In the clinic, we have incorporated more enhanced cleaning protocols. All surfaces in the treatment rooms are cleaned thoroughly before, between and after each patient visit to ensure safety for our patients. In addition, the clinic staff is cleaning all high touch surfaces in the rest of the clinic during every clinic shift.

You will be screened upon entering the building. If you have been fully vaccinated, we will no longer require you to be screened, however, masking is required for everyone who enters the clinic.

What is expected of me during and after treatment?
This time has been set aside solely for you. Relax and allow the healing process to occur. Feel free to ask questions or voice any concerns which arise during the treatment. Trust that all information is confidential. The treatment does not end when the needles are removed. Acupuncture has initiated a change within the body, and now it is your right and responsibility to insure that these positive patterns are fostered. If possible, take some time to relax directly after your treatment. Most importantly, take an active part in your health care. Your practitioner will be happy to discuss diet and lifestyle changes which will best benefit your specific condition. Occasionally some symptoms of illness may temporarily increase after treatment. This is known as a healing crisis, a positive sign that the body is rallying its strength to move old blockages and patterns of disease so that a balanced flow of energy may reestablish. Notify your practitioner of any aggravation of symptoms.

Please arrive to your acupuncture treatment having eaten something.  Please do not arrive to your treatment under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.  If there is a possibility that you might be pregnant, tell your practitioner immediately.  During your treatment, if you are uncomfortable in any way, please let your student or supervisor know.  After your treatment, if you experience any unusual discomfort or adverse herbal effects, please call the clinic and alert us so that we can help you.

How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments needed to manage or alleviate a disorder varies depending on the type of issue and the individual.  Often, acute disorders can be treated successfully within a course of ten treatments.  Chronic problems that have taken years to develop may not improve as quickly.  Change over time will reflect the gradual restoration of the body’s strength and vitality.  We do refer to other health care providers when it is in the best interest of the patient.

Will treatments be covered by my insurance?
Southwest Acupuncture College Clinic does not accept insurance.  If a patient wants to file a claim him or herself, a superbill will be provided if the request is made at the time of treatment. 

About Acupuncture

Acupuncture originated in China over 3,000 years ago and is presently used as a primary health care system throughout the world. It is a method of balancing and building the body's life force or energy known as "qi." Acupuncturists recognize particular pathways called "meridians" through which this energy circulates. Traditional Chinese medicine views disease as the result of an imbalance or blockage in the body's natural energy flow. Such imbalance manifests in physical, emotional and psychosomatic stress-related disorders. Very thin, sterile, stainless steel needles are inserted into specific points along meridians in order to disperse the blockage and mobilize the body's natural immune response. Needling is one of a number of energy balancing techniques. Also included in traditional therapies are dietary counseling, various asian massage techniques, herbal remedies, and moxibustion (a technique of stimulating acupuncture points with heat).

Do I have to choose between acupuncture and other types of
health care?

Acupuncture is compatible with other systems of health care. We will be happy to work in conjunction with you and other health care practitioners. Please inform your acupuncturist of any other health systems and/or medications which you are currently using so that we may integrate our efforts. Our wish is that you receive maximum benefit from all sources. It is helpful to bring a list of medications and any medical records to the clinic so we can gain a full appreciation of your condition.

How can acupuncture be used in preventative care?
Traditional Chinese acupuncture recognizes that many times aches, pains, and other discomforts are only symptoms of a deeper, underlying health problem. Therefore, a comprehensive diagnosis is compiled which takes into account the individual's body, mind and spirit rather than simply categorizing them into a one-sided symptom picture. The basis of acupuncture is to build the body's own immune system so that disease will not develop. Prevention is the best medicine