What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease, as well as to improve general health. Recent research confirms the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating a wide variety of health related conditions. It is a complete medical system focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body and optimizing the body’s natural healing process.

What is involved in the first visit?

The first visit involves a comprehensive health assessment; it will take into account the patient’s past and present medical history including their thoughts, relationships, and emotions, any inherited conditions in their family, their social and natural environment, and their work and lifestyle habits. Dr. Mitra will determine your Chinese medical diagnosis and construct a customized treatment plan. Then, the acupuncture treatment begins with the insertion of very fine needles into specific body locations that can elicit a healing response. Afterward, patients will rest with the acupuncture needles in their body for 30 minutes. All acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable, and single use only. Dr. Mitra might recommend nutritional supplements as well as herbal therapy to achieve your body’s optimal result.

What conditions can be treated by acupuncture?
  • Pain disorders such as low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, sciatica, arthritis, tendonitis, headache, or a sports injury
  • Women’s health related conditions including irregular periods, fertility and pregnancy support, menopausal syndrome
  • Emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression
  • Digestive complaints such as nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, and ulcer
  • Respiratory conditions including cold and flu, sinusitis, allergy, asthma, and coughs
  • Neurological problems including migraines
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Skin concerns including dermatitis, eczema, hives, and facial rejuvenation
  • Brittle bones including osteoporosis and osteopenia
  • Fatigue
How does it work? What services are offered?
In the words of Dr. Harriet Beinfield and Dr. Efrem Korngold, acupuncture rests on the idea that “when Qi and Blood stagnate, the processes of elimination and regeneration deteriorate, constituting the basic condition underlying many forms of illness.” Acupuncture battles this stagnation of blood and life force, by stimulating what are known as acupoints on the body. Acupoints are parts of the body that are connected to other areas of the body or specific organs. If stimulated, they can assist the targeted area in healing.
Needle acupuncture is the most typical form of acupuncture. The acupuncturist takes many factors into consideration when choosing which points should be used for treatment, like points known to benefit specific conditions, or the channel closest to the site of the condition. Ultimately the choice will be made based on the diagnostic assessment at the beginning of the session. All acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable, and single-use only. There is also Electro-acupuncture in which the use of a low-frequency micro current stimulates the acupoints. Miniature clips are attached to the needles, which creates a mild pulsing to increase movement of Qi along the energy pathway.
Chinese herbs: After diagnosing a pattern of disharmony and administering acupuncture treatments, Dr. Mitra often writes an herbal formula from over a thousand common herbal formulas or from more effective traditional family formulas. In this herbal classic, herbs are categorized into three groups. The first group is called “food herbs” which are eaten as part of one’s diet for general fortification, prevention and maintenance. The other two groups are called “medicinal herbs” which are dispensed to each patient as an individual formula based on one’s constitution, environment and medical condition. Medicinal herbal therapy works in concert with acupuncture by providing the nourishing support for the energetic “re-programming” and “re-balancing” efforts of acupuncture.
Cupping is a traditional Chinese treatment using suction cup/glass to reduce back and neck pain, improve blood circulation, and relax the muscles. This treatment also improves the body’s ability to fight a cold and expel phlegm. Though it can be helpful on its own, cupping is typically combined with an acupuncture treatment.
Auriculotherapy (Ear Acupressure) is the application of Vaccaria Seeds/Magnets onto specific points of the ear. The ear is a microsystem of the entire body with each point corresponding to an organ or body part.
How many treatments do I need?

The number of treatments needed is related to the patient’s condition. In general, the longer the patient has had the condition, the longer the treatment will be; that is the best way to achieve substantial and lasting results. In China, patients are typically treated 2 to 5 times a week. Your acupuncture treatments can be scheduled as often as 3 times a week or as little as 1 session per month, whatever works for you. Most patients respond favorably with 6 to 12 sessions. When we see improvement in the condition for which you are being treated, the number of sessions per week will be reduced. Every individual’s pattern of treatment and their response to treatment is unique.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most patients agree that it doesn’t: it feels like a small pinch. But if you are sensitive to needles, there are ways to treat acupuncture points without them. Check our question on “How does it work? What services are offered?”

Can children be treated?

Absolutely! Anyone can benefit from acupuncture, even infants.

Should I consult with my physician regarding acupuncture and oriental medicine?

Yes! It’s always important to keep your physician up to date on any new advancements in your health.