Questions? Call Our Office!
Frequently Asked QuestionsQUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that energy called qi, (pronounced “chee”) and blood, circulate through pathways or meridians in the body. Meridians are different from the circulatory, nervous, or lymph systems. They are the pathways by which the qi and blood circulate through the body between the organs and tissues. An obstruction in the movement of energy flow through a meridian congests the flow of qi and blood, which can cause pain and other disorders. Needling specific acupuncture points unblocks the congestion and reestablishes the free flow of energy through the meridians.
From a Western scientific perspective, acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain, to change the experience of pain or to trigger the release of pain-relieving chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities and promotes physical and emotional well-being.
Thin, sterile disposable needles are gently inserted through the skin into acupuncture points. Insertion of these slender needles goes unnoticed by some people. Others may feel a pinch, similar to a mosquito bite, followed by a sensation of tingling, numbness, aching, traveling warmth, or heaviness. The Chinese call this sensation Deqi (duh-chee), which means “arrival of qi.” Deqi usually passes quickly and indicates that the energy is starting to move. Some acupuncture points are more tender than others, and people have different pain tolerance levels, so some people will feel acupuncture doesn’t hurt at all, while others are more sensitive to it.
Sometimes the acupuncture points are connected to a gentle electrical stimulator to help relieve pain and muscle spasms. Needles are left in place for 25 to 40 minutes while you get to relax quietly and listen to music. Total treatment time takes one hour.
Dry needling is a specific needling technique that uses needles in a way that primarily targets trigger points to release, easing muscle tension and pain. Acupuncturists commonly use dry needling techniques, along with traditional acupuncture, to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive treatment. We perform dry needling in conjunction with acupuncture therapy to help our patients fully heal from their pain and underlying issues.
Dry needling, also known as trigger point release, is extremely effective in clearing muscle tension, whether from stress or injury. The sensations associated with this type of needling are unique and more pronounced. A trigger point is associated with a tight band within a muscle and it is stimulated to cause the muscle to relax. In the process, the muscle will “twitch” as it’s releasing. This is a very unusual sensation and it can be momentarily painful. The muscle will also have a characteristic “soreness” for about 24 hours after trigger point release.
OUR CERTIFIED PROMISE:
We believe that education and training are at the core of responsible healthcare. The acupuncturists at Rogue Valley Acupuncture are fully licensed with over 4,000 hours of needle technique training and on-going additional certifications. This commitment to thorough training promises you a safe, effective, and comfortable acupuncture and dry needling experience. If you are interested in pursuing dry needling, it is vital to verify that the practitioner using needles is a licensed acupuncturist.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies to treat the following:
- Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
- Dental pain after surgery
- Menstrual cramps
- Tennis elbow
- Myofascial pain
- Low back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
There are over 100 conditions that have been positively treated with acupuncture. For a more detailed list from the World Health Organization, click here.
Every person responds differently to care, and so the frequency will depend on your condition and overall health. In general, for most acute conditions (usually sudden onset of pain, that you’ve experienced for a short amount of time) you will likely need 6-8 treatments, once per week. For complex, chronic conditions, the time it will take to recover varies drastically. Depending on the severity of your pain, we may recommend that you be seen twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks. The vast majority of patients notice considerable improvement during that time.
Keep in mind that the body needs time to heal. You would never go to the gym once or twice and expect to have lasting changes. The same is true with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
As your symptoms improve and your body heals, you will require fewer visits. Once we achieve maximum improvement, many people elect to continue treatment once a month to keep their bodies ‘tuned-up.’