Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Acupuncture is a medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for over 2000 years. Acupuncture is performed by inserting fine needles into points along the body to stimulate the flow of the body”s vital energy and functionality, known as Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’). These acu-points connect to the network of meridians that flow beneath the surface of the skin, where they flow into the major organs. When the flow of Qi is disrupted, the body’s systems become imbalanced. This is frequently experienced as illness or pain. The goal of acupuncture is to clear away these disruptions and revitalize the flow of energy in the meridians.
Acupuncture treatment is proven to remedy acute or chronic ailments, relieve pain, enhance recuperative powers, and strengthen the immune system. It is also effective in soothing the mind and balancing the bodies hormones and chemicals.
What Can I Expect During Acupuncture Treatment?
During the initial consultation, the acupuncture practitioner will take a comprehensive history of health and illness. This provides a diagram of the overall state of the body, not just a particular symptom. The practitioner will ask questions, take your pulse, and examine your tongue. The initial visit may last up to 90 minutes, including your first treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 45 minutes and are done on a weekly basis depending on the patient’s need for treatment. The course of treatments can vary widely. Problems that have been around for a long time may take more treatments to resolve than ones that are acute. Your treatment course will be determined after the initial consultation and re-assessed after each visit.
Acupuncture has been proven to treat a wide variety of issues both on its own and in conjunction with traditional medical treatments. At the Healing Arts Center we have four key specialties: infertility, chronic pain, sports acupuncture and cancer care; yet we treat so much more. Below is just a sample of things that are recognized by the NIH and WHO that acupuncture can help.
Pain & Musculoskeletal Disorders – Headaches, Migraine, Neck Pain, TMJ, Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Post-Operative Pain, Sprains & Strains, Osteoarthritis, Knee Pain, Frozen Shoulder, Muscle Pain, Joint Pain, Sports Injuries, Tendonitis
Gynecological Disorders & Obstetrics - Infertility, IVF & IUI Support, Amenorrhea (Loss Of Period), Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods), Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Menopausal Symptoms, Labor Preparation, Deficient Lactation, Mal-Position Of The Fetus (Breech), Induction Of Labor
Cancer Related Problems - Cancer Pain, Chemotherapy Side Effects
Gastrointestinal & Digestive Disorders - Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Peptic Ulcer, Gastritis, Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, Diarrhea, Ulcerative Colitis, Cholecystitis, Leaky Gut, Morning Sickness, Chemotherapy Side Effects
Ear, Nose, Throat & Respiratory Disorders - Allergies, Chronic Sinusitis, Sinus Headaches, Meniere’s Disease, Tinnitis, Vertigo, Rhinitis, Asthma, Laryngitis, Hay Fever
Neurological Disorders - Insomnia, Stroke Rehabilitation, Peripheral Neuropathy, Paresis, Hemiplegia, Trigeminal Neurolgia, Bell’s Palsy, Facial Spasm, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons, Tremors
Psychological & Emotional Disorders - Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Panic Attacks, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Stress Reduction, Addictions, Anorexia Support
Immune & Endocrine System Disorders - Stimulates Immune Function, Frequent Colds, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS Related Symptoms, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Raynauds’s Syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Hypothyroid Support, Hyperthyroid, Lupus, Scleroderma
Urogenital Disorders - Urinary Retention, Male Infertility, Azoospermia, Male Sexual Dysfunction, Ejaculation Disorders, Erectile Dysfunction, Prostatitis, Male and Female Incontinence, Painful Urination, Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Cardiovascular Disorders - Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), High Cholesterol, Angina, Coronary Artery Disease, Hyperlipidemia, Poor Circulation, Anemia Support
Dermatological & Skin Disorders - Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Herpes Zoster, Puritis (Itching)
Pediatric Disorders - Infantile Diarrhea, Chronic Constipation, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD & ADHD)
Many people are uncomfortable with Acupuncture because of a fear of needles. However, Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to the needles used by medical doctors. Acupuncture needles are about as thick as a hair and are quite flexible, while conventional needles must be thick enough for liquid to move through. Since our needles are so thin, the experience of being needled is totally unique and rarely unpleasant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture hurt? As stated above the feeling of an Acupuncture needle is unique. It is often described as feeling like a mosquito bite, a very heavy sensation at the site, or a deep feeling of heat.
What can Acupuncture treat? For this I defer to the Conditions Treated section that you can access using the navigation bar above. In summary; chronic and acute pain, internal disorders, women’s health issues, mental and emotional problems, disease and medication side effects.
How many sessions do I have to have before I will feel better? The answer to this depends very heavily on the nature of the problem. To give Acupuncture enough time to build on itself and do its work, approximately 4 – 6 visits are required. Problems that have arisen rather acutely can see improvement within the first few treatments, while long standing disorders may take longer for your body to balance.
How often do I have to come? Typically, once a week is the best schedule. In cases where the symptoms are rather acute, and also in cases of detoxifying the body (like smoking cessation), 2 – 3 times a week can be required.
Does insurance cover Acupuncture? For third party insurers such as Blue Cross and Aetna, there is limited coverage for some higher tier plans. Since the state of Pennsylvania doesn’t have mandated coverage, it’s very hit and miss. Additionally, some plans are limited to only treating certain issues (e.g., back pain, headaches, osteo-arthritis of the knee, etc.) Check with your benefits coordinator to see if you qualify. Alternately, if your benefits are currently being paid by Workman’s Compensation or from an Auto Accident Insurance then the answer is YES, you are covered.
Where do the needles go? The places most needled are from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Extra needles may be placed on your abdomen, back and ears, depending on your treatment.
Are the needles sterile or are they reused? Every needle used in this country is a sterile, single use needle. Each needle is used one time and then immediately placed in a biohazard container. We do not reuse needles.
Are there any side effects to Acupuncture? Basically the answer is no. Some people feel really energized after a treatment, others feel so relaxed they are ready for a nap. The worst thing that can happen to you from an Acupuncture needle is a hematoma or a bruise. However, the needles are so thin that even when placed right at an artery or vein, the needles manage to go around them and bounce off the arterial walls.
What are the acupoints? The acupoints are the major areas on a meridian where the energy flows closer to the surface and can therefore be more easily manipulated by the use of needle or pressure.
What are the meridians? There are 12 major meridians in the body and many extras. Each of the 12 main meridians are connected to an internal organ and provides its respective organ with energy and blood. When the energy in the meridians are not moving properly, they can in turn effect the proper functioning of the organs. This is what we are treating by using TCM.
How does Acupuncture work? The answer is we have no idea. There are many theories to Acupuncture’s affect on the body, but nothing is actually known. The major current theories involve either the release of endorphins, or the excitation of the nerve and lymphatic system.
Acupuncture visits can include any and all of the other services that we provide, including herbal medicine, gua sha, cupping, etc. The inital visit can take from 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes as we take a very comprehensive history alongside providing your first Acupuncture treatment. Follow up visits are shorter and are around 45 minutes. Have more questions on what your visit will be like?
Initial Visit – $85 (includes a full health history and your first treatment with acupuncture)
Follow Up Visits - $65
According to both the original German and subsequent successful IVF studies we do before and after IVF transfer treatments at most fertility clinics within the Philadelphia area. Treatments include travel to/from the clinic and Acupuncture performed both before and after the IVF transfer procedure.
IVF Transfer Protocol at Main Line Fertility, Penn Fertility, RMA of Philadelphia – $245
IVF Transfer Protocol at Abington, Valley Forge & Shady Grove, DVIVF, SJIVF, RA of Delaware - $295 (due to clinic site fees and added travel time)
Also known as Facial Rejuvenation, Cosmetic Acupuncture is a virtually painless, non-surgical method of reducing the signs of the aging process. Treatments last between an 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Discount packages are available for doing a complete 5 treatment course.
Cosmetic Acupuncture – $90 (1 hour)
Cosmetic Acupuncture - $145 (1 1/2 hour)