Welcome to Med Clinics Acupuncture!
Our practice combines a solid understanding of hands-on body therapy with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. My clinical approach blends the best elements of Western biomedical awareness within an Eastern medical practice. I specialize in pain elimination and the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, as well as preventative health and wellness care for men and women.
What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic modality that views the body differently than “Western”, or “Allopathic”, medicine does. Acupuncturists receive Master’s level education and training where they learn to balance the energetic systems of the body as a way of promoting wellness and reducing pain. This scientific and philosophical theory is capsulized in the Chinese proverb: “A body in balance is resistant to disease (dis-ease).” We use our unique and specialized training to determine various methods to balance the body’s vital energy system.
How is acupuncture done? Acupuncturists place hair-thin needles in very specific anatomical locations (acupuncture points), which can elicit natural healing states. One of the major deterrents to this effective and timeless medicine is fear of needles. This fear, while understandable, is unwarranted for two reasons:
1. All acupuncturists are trained at a high standard, and are certified in a “clean needle” practical examination conducted by the Arizona State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners.
2. I have a gentle technique and ensure 100% comfort as you rest, restore, and relax with the needles during your treatment. If you are interested in a treatment without our sterile one-time use Acupuncture needles, let me know and we can discuss the numerous alternatives.
Are acupuncturists restricted to needling only? No. Acupuncturists are not limited to needling as our only method of treatment. Alternatives include:
- Moxibustion—the burning of an herb (mugwart) over the acupuncture points
- Gentle light laser point stimulation
- Cupping (made popular by Gwyneth Paltrow)
- Acupressure—Acupressure balances the body’s energy by applying pressure to specific points along energy channels. The term “pressure” is misleading, since acupressure actually uses a very light touch. A practitioner uses their fingertips to make contact with the body. It’s the location of the contact that’s important, not the amount of pressure.
Do acupuncturists do anything besides treat pain? Absolutely. Acupuncture education requires an understanding of Western Medicine. This allows us to identify patients we suspect of having medical problems we are not trained to manage so we can refer them to a mainstream (allopathic) physician for appropriate care.
What if I don’t believe in Acupuncture?
One of the biggest misconceptions concerning Acupuncture is that it acts only as a placebo. While all medical treatment, including “no treatment,” may have a placebo effect, randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, have shown that Acupuncture is an effective and viable modality for a wide variety of conditions. You are not required to believe in Acupuncture for it to work. In fact, skeptics are often pleasantly surprised to discover how beneficial and helpful Acupuncture is.
The effectiveness of Acupuncture is especially interesting in animal studies, where positive results transcend the placebo effect (which is based on human expectation and anticipation). Studies have shown Acupuncture to be helpful in treating certain conditions in horses, dogs, and cats. Acupuncture works very well for these animals, demonstrating that a “belief” in Acupuncture is not required for it to work.
Testing for an Acupuncture placebo in humans is challenging because of the often flawed methodologies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and the way in which Acupuncture is actually practiced. Acupuncture treatments are based on differential diagnosis on a patient-to-patient basis, while RCTs tend to select a “generalized treatment,” which may or may not reflect the type of treatment a patient would receive in actual practice. Despite these difficulties, recent work at universities such as the University of Vermont, have concluded that Acupuncture acts as more than a placebo.
For more information on this subject, I recommend the following articles:
“Acupuncture “more than a placebo” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4493011.stm
“New Studies Confirm Acupuncture Relieves Pain” http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2000/jan/01painrelief.html
“University of Vermont Study First to Confirm Acupuncture’s Effect” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120044457.htm
From a “traditional” point of view, how does Acupuncture work?
Human beings are unique bio-energetic systems. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has acknowledged the vital life force flowing through all living things called Qi. In western culture, Qi is often translated as “life energy.”
In the human body, Qi flows along pathways related to the organs, circulatory, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems. When the Qi in our bodies is in balance, we feel healthy and strong. When the balance of our Qi is disturbed due to trauma, poor diet, medication, stress, hereditary conditions, environmental factors, or excessive emotional issues, this can lead to a weakened immune system, susceptibility to colds and infections, emotional difficulties, infertility, pain, dysfunction, and illness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) focuses on correcting energetic imbalances and stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal itself, treating the root cause of disease while simultaneously addressing related symptoms. Acupuncture balances the Qi of the body to relieve pain and dysfunction, boost recuperative abilities, and promote wellness and vitality.
From a modern, scientific perspective, how does Acupuncture work?
Scientific research has shown that stimulation of specific Acupuncture points has a measurable effect on the nervous system, leads to the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, reduces inflammation, and increases circulation of blood and body fluids. While these effects are known, there are gaps in the theories that attempt to explain exactly “how” Acupuncture does these things. One explanation for how Acupuncture can relieve pain is that Acupuncture needles stimulate Type II and III afferent nerve fibers, sending impulses to the spinal cord, and activating specific brain centers (spinal cord, midbrain, and hypothalamus/pituitary). This stimulation promotes analgesia, or pain relief.
For more information, please see the following:
ARTICLES and RESEARCH
Acupuncture Today http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/home.php
UNC, Chapel Hill – study – Headaches http://www.unchealthcare.org/site/newsroom/news/2005/Oct/acupuncture
Wake Forest University – article – Pediatrics http://www1.wfubmc.edu/articles/Acupuncture.htm
University of Maryland – study – Low back pain http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/back_pain.htm
University of Maryland – study – Osteoarthritis of the knee http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/acupuncture.htm
University of Maryland – study – Infertility http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/accu_invitro.htm
University of Maryland – article Pediatrics http://www.umm.edu/pediatrics/acupuncture.htm
American Cancer Society – article – Acupuncture May Ease Cancer Pain http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_2_1x_Acupuncture_May_Ease_Cancer_Pain.asp
American Cancer Society – Acupuncture Reduces Side Effects of Chemotherapy http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Acupuncture_Reduces_Side_Effects_of_Chemotherapy.asp
Oregon Health & Science University – study – Prostate cancer and male hot flasheshttp://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/newspub/releases/Acupuncture-Study-Helps-Men-With-Hot-Flashes.cfm
University of Vermont – study – Biomechanical response to acupuncture http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=News&storyID=2183)
World Health Organization (WHO) Review of Acupuncture Studies (pdf file – 87 pages) http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=News&storyID=2183
BBC Article – Acupuncture & Morning Sickness http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1842196.stm
Newswise Article – Acupuncture & Hypnosis Ease Labor Pain http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/524352/?sc=rsmn
BeyondWellBeing.com – TCM Tongue Diagnosis Tutorial http://www.beyondwellbeing.com/herbs/tongue-diagnosis.shtml
What are Acupuncture points? What are Meridians and Channels?
Acupuncture points are specific locations for the insertion of Acupuncture needles, and for the application of external modalities such as Acupressure, Massage, Cupping, Guasha, and Moxabustion. Acupuncture points are not randomly placed on the body. The majority of the points lie along specific pathways, traditionally known as Meridians or Channels. The terms “Meridians” and “Channels” are used relatively interchangeably. Meridians are traditionally viewed as pathways for the movement of Qi, or energy throughout the body. As with the nervous and vascular systems, Meridians serve to connect and transmit information to different parts and regions of the body. Stimulation of Acupuncture points on a particular Meridian will influence the flow of Qi along that Meridian. This helps to explain why placing a needle at one point on the body can influence an area on a different part of the body, for example, using Acupuncture points on the hands and feet to treat headache.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required depends upon the severity of the issue being treated, whether the condition is acute or chronic, individual response, and the patient’s underlying constitution. In this system of medicine there is a cumulative effect, whereby the benefit of each treatment increases from one visit to the next. Patients typically see improvement within 1-3 treatments. Most will experience significant improvement within 6-12 visits. Some patients opt to come in periodically, for example, once every few months, or with the change of seasons, as part of their plan for preventative care and health maintenance.
At Med Clinics, I will formulate a treatment plan for you and monitor your progress from treatment to treatment. I strive to provide my patients with an accurate prognosis and will refer out to other healthcare providers if I feel I am unable to help you reach your healthcare goals.
Are Acupuncture needles reused?
No! I use only FDA-approved, single-use, disposable needles that are sterilized by the manufacturer. After treatment, needles are safely removed and placed in a medical waste container for proper disposal. My Acupuncture needles are never reused.
Are Med Clinics Practitioners Clean Needle Certified?
Yes. I am Clean Needle Technique Certified by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM), a national organization which certifies practitioners in Clean Needle Technique for Acupuncture. Clean Needle Technique (CNT) is the standard by which Acupuncture is practiced in the United States. CNT was created to maintain optimal health and safety precautions for patients and practitioners.
What conditions do acupuncturists treat? Acupuncture is recognized by the American Health Association, and is an effective form of therapeutic treatment. Its practitioners are trained to treat a wide variety of health problems, including but not limited to:
- any type of PAIN
- gastrointestinal dysfunction or irritability
- low libido
- female sexual issues
- male sexual issues
- autoimmune disorders
- weight-related concerns
- improvement of mental clarity and brain function
- improving the efficacy and efficiency of Med Clinics treatments
Tui-Na: Also, the list of services I provide at Med Clinics includes Tui-Na (pronounced Twee- Nah), which is an ancient form of Body Work that can greatly reduce pain and improve range of motion. This skilled work is therapeutic and relaxing and does the patient to remove their clothing.
Tips For A Successful Session
- Wear comfortable clothing or bring some to change into
- Avoid caffeine, sugar or medications for 8 hours prior to your session (just plan around it)
- Eat prior to your session (don’t come hungry)
- Come with an open mind
Note: Acupuncture DOES work and its effects are sometimes immediately felt; however, chronic pain patients need to understand that it can take up to 10 consistent treatments to feel the permanent effects.