Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture is now covered by many insurance policies and is used most broadly to relieve pain.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
First, your acupuncturist will ask about your health history. Then, you will be examined through a modern and amazing technology called AcuGraph. (please highlight the word Acugraph in a blue font and make a link to the acugraph video https://youtu.be/AQ71qxw8dRM ) She will also examine your tongue’s shape, color, and coating, feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition. To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupoints are stimulated on various areas of your body. Most people feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between five and 30 minutes. During and after treatments, people report that they feel very relaxed.

How many treatments will I need?
The frequency and number of treatments differ from person to person. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, fewer visits are required. An individualized treatment plan that includes the expected number of treatments will be discussed during your initial visit.

What conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture?
Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.

Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following diseases, symptoms or conditions:

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever), biliary colic, depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke), dysentery, acute bacillary, dysmenorrhoea, peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, gastrospasm, facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders), headache, hypertension, essential hypotension, primary, induction of labor, knee pain, leukopenia, low back pain, malposition of fetus, correction, morning sickness, nausea and vomiting, neck pain, temporomandibular dysfunction, periarthritis of shoulder, postoperative pain, renal colic, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, sprain, stroke and tennis elbow.

How much does acupuncture cost?
The price for acupuncture at Sundance Wellness is $115 (initial 1 hour consult with treatment), and $75 per visit after that.