Q. What is acupuncture?

 

A. Acupuncture is a treatment based on Chinese medicine -- a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs, that governs particular  bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. According to Chinese medicine, everything in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.

Q. How does acupuncture work?

 

A. The effects of acupuncture are complex. How it works is not entirely clear. Research suggests that the needling process, and other techniques used in acupuncture, may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain. One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain why it produces long-term pain relief. Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar levels. Usually, needles are inserted from 1/4 to 1 inch deep and left in place for 15-30 minutes. A. The number of acupuncture treatments you need depends on the complexity of your illness, whether it's a chronic or recent condition, and your general health. Usually patients feel an effect from acupuncture within 5~10 treatments. The pace of improvements is specific to their individual.

Q. What is Chinese herbal medicine?

 

A. Chinese herbal medicine is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and Korea, Japan..The origins of Chinese herbal medicine in  China can be traced back at least 5000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world.

Q. How is Herbal medicine prescribed?

 

A. Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either singly or made into formulae which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb and well as the effects when combined together. A well constructed formula maximizes the effectiveness for treating a particular condition, while counteracting and minimizing the unwanted effects of an individual herb. Chinese herbal formulas usually include from 20 to 30 herbs. By strengthening  and enhancing normal body functions, the immune system is boosted and a general sense of well-being promoted.