Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
2500+ year old holistic healing paradigm that seeks out the root cause of imbalance and helps the body to restore balance/homeostasis through treatment modalities such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, herbal medicine, massage, Taiqi/Qigong.
Acupuncture involves the use of hair-thin, sterile, disposable, filiform (solid) needles that are inserted at acupuncture points to achieve therapeutic effect.
Moxibustion involves heating Mugwort at acupuncture points to achieve therapeutic effect.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, pain or disease occurs because of impaired flow of qi and/or blood in one of the body’s twelve meridians. By needling points along the affected meridian(s), the blockage can be removed and balance restored.
In terms of Western Medicine, acupuncture activates the peripheral nerves by needling acupuncture points containing small neurovascular bundles dense with A-delta and C nerve fibers penetrating through pores formed by bone, muscle, and/or fascia. Stimulating these sites with a high density of nerve endings (Classical Acupuncture Points) leads to a secondary effect of regulating the autonomic nervous system and helping the body to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture causes the release of endorphins and enkephalins, which have calming and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Also, Acupuncture’s modulation of Vagus nerve activity can regulate local and systemic inflammatory responses.
Electroacupuncture has been found to trigger the release of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the bloodstream, which can promote the body’s healing response. Check out this article >
Auricular (ear) acupuncture is a microsystem that I use to enhance the effectiveness of treatments. Here is a useful review of auricular acupuncture View article >
HOW DOES MOXIBUSTION WORK?
The heat and essential oils of Mugwort (Artemesia) penetrate deeply into underlying tissues at the location of the acupuncture points and help blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, have strong antioxidant activity, regulate digestion, and relieve cough and congestion.
Direct moxibustion, and specifically a Japanese style called Thread Moxa, is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation.
Research article on moxibustion for IBS: Read article >
HOW DOES CUPPING WORK?
In general, cupping enhances blood circulation and removes toxins from the body, which can help decrease tension and pain in areas such as the neck, shoulders and back. Check out this article for a more comprehensive review of cupping. Read article >
WHAT ARE THE TDP LAMPS USED FOR?
From the Journal of Chinese Medicine: Thermal Design Power (TDP) lamps are far infrared heating devices used to accelerate natural healing processes. Far infrared (below visible light spectrum) emissions are thought to penetrate deeply into the body, increasing microcirculation and thus delivering more oxygen and nutrients to injured cells while eliminating cellular waste. They are increasingly used in acupuncture clinics in China and throughout the world to support acupuncture treatment or to replace moxibustion where the patient or practitioner is sensitive to moxa smoke and/or there is inadequate ventilation. The lamp which is used at a distance from the skin (approximately twelve inches) deeply heats the area being treated without causing burning. It is commonly used on the upper or lower abdomen or back, in combination with needling, for cold and deficient patterns, on painful areas in the case of injuries, or for bi syndrome (rheumatic and arthritic conditions).
WHICH CONDITIONS DOES ACU-MOXA TREAT?
Acu-moxa can help with almost any condition that has the capacity to improve. Just a few examples: pain conditions (back, neck, headaches, shoulders, knees, elbows, hands, feet, etc.), digestive issues, emotional imbalances, sleep disturbances, menstrual imbalances, infertility, hormonal imbalance, heart irregularities/palpitations, allergies.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are so thin that they do not cause pain. However, they can cause various sensations (known as the arrival of qi) around the needled point such as tingling, warmth, achiness, soreness. Some people also feel sensations throughout their body as the qi (the body’s vital energy) moves along the channels. Almost everyone finds the sessions very relaxing and many people fall asleep.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TREATMENTS AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE TREATMENTS TO WORK AND FOR THE ISSUE TO GO AWAY?
In general, chronic issues require a longer course of treatment. Acute issues can resolve more quickly. Acu-moxa is working to restore balance and promote the body’s own healing mechanisms, so it can take time to see results. A typical course of treatment is 10 sessions. Usually after 4-5 treatments once per week, we can tell if the acupuncture is helping. I may also prescribe herbal medicine and make other suggestions to assist the body’s self-healing.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A NATIONAL BOARD-CERTIFIED PRACTITIONER OF ACUPUNCTURE?
HOW LONG IS THE COURSE OF STUDY FOR A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ACUPUNCTURE AND EAST ASIAN MEDICINE?
Four years, including the study of Chinese herbs and formulas.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
I am in-network with United Healthcare, Optum, Humana, Aetna, Triwest Healthcare and Premera.