American Holistic Health Care LLC


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used for approximately 5000 years in China as a traditional treatment for medical problems. It is the art of inserting extremely fine needles into the body at specific points that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of certain diseases.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on the flow of Qi and Blood through the meridians and pathways of the body. Qi is the Chinese name for the vital life force and energy that powers the universe and the human body.

According to ancient Chinese therapy, acupuncture allows Qi to move freely to make a new balance of the body’s homeostatic state. This creates a being that is free from “dis – ease.”

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are designed to be relatively painless. If the acupuncturist has obtained the correct stimulus of the needle, the patient should feel some heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling along the affected energy pathway. Some cultures may categorize these sensations as pain. In any case, if one experiences any discomfort, it is usually mild.

How deep do the needles go?

Usually that depends on the nature of the problem, the locations of the points, the patient’s age and size, and the practitioner’s style.

 Are the needles clean?

All the needles in this practice are completely sterile, individually packaged and disposable. Needles are never saved or reused for future treatments. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.

 What the patient can expect before, during and after an acupuncture treatment?

A first time visit typically begins by taking a complete health history, which is accomplished by the patient completing forms and then the practitioner conducting a comprehensive intake and exam. Numerous questions are asked about the primary complaint as well as more general health issues. The physical exam may include vital signs like blood pressure, temperature and weight. It is also likely to include a more detailed examination and analysis of the pulse and tongue as well as facial diagnosis.

Once a working diagnosis is established, the patient is prepared for the acupuncture treatment. A position is chosen for maximum comfort and approximately 6-10 needles are inserted. The patient will relax in the treatment room for 15-20 minutes.After the treatment is over, Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed to help facilitate the relief or cure of the chief complaint.

Most health problems take more than one visit to resolve. Depending on the nature and duration of the health concern, the patient may need only a single treatment for an acute condition or a number of treatments may be required before significant changes occur. Along the way, one can expect to see an overall improvement in health as the main complaint improves and the body returns to its homeostatic state.

Diseases commonly treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine

The World Health Organization has said that acupuncture is able to treat the following:

Nervous System and Muscular disorders

• Headache and migraine
• Facial paralysis (early stage)
• Paralysis following stroke
• Peripheral neuropathies
• Bed – wetting
• Sciatica & low back pain
• Frozen shoulder & tennis elbow
• Osteoarthritis

Gastrointestinal disorders
• Gastric hyperacidity
• Acute & chronic duodenal ulcer
• Acute & chronic colitis and gastritis
• Constipation, dysentery & diarrhea
• Hiccough

Respiratory System
• Bronchial Asthma
• Common cold
• Acute bronchitis

Ear, Nose and Throat disorders
• Toothaches & pain after extraction
• Nasal & sinus inflammation
• Tonsilitis

Disorders of the eye
• Inflammation of the conjuctiva
• Inflammation of the central retina
• Nearsightedness (in children)
• Uncomplicated cataracts

Acupuncture and Pain

Acupuncture is a time-tested, effective, safe, natural and drug free way to allieviate pain. There are no side effects unlike other methods for handling pain. Acupuncture practitioners recognize that there is a vital energy, called Qi (pronounced "chee"), circulating within the body. Qi flows through a series of pathways called meridians.

Many people suffering from pain try to cover it up, either by ignoring the pain or taking medication. When treated this way the pain will never completely go away. 

Unless the root of the problem is treated, your body will keep sounding the alarm and reminding you that something is wrong. Acupuncture treats the root cause of pain and imbalance and the symptoms will disappear.

Acupuncture and Stress

Regular acupuncture treatments can help strengthen your body so you're better able to deal with the day-to-day stresses of life. Acupuncture can also leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Regular acupuncture treatments can help heal stress related health conditions and improve the body's immunity to defend against potential illnesses.

In fact, in some cases, acupuncture that is being used to treat one condition can actually help detect another, more severe illness that had not been previously identified. In such cases, acupuncture aids in early diagnosis and treatment. In another capacity, acupuncture, by alleviating stress and strengthening the body, can serve as a form of preventive measure against illness.

Acupuncture and Menopause

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatments for hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness and many other symptoms associated with menopause. Recent studies show extremely positive results: From 1997 to 1999, one of the first studies in the United States to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture in alleviating hot flashes, insomnia and nervousness, conducted by Dr. Susan Cohen, D.S.N., APRN, associate professor of the University of Pittsburgh, it was found that during the course of acupuncture treatments, hot flashes decreased by 35% and insomnia decreased by 50%.

A follow-up study revealed hot flashes significantly decreased in those receiving acupuncture, compared to those receiving routine care. A 2002 pilot study in England found that acupuncture reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in women being treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer. While these results are promising and the United Nations World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a treatment for symptoms associated with menopause, further clinical trials with larger samples are currently underway. A 2003 study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, involves a larger number of participants than previous studies. Participants will be divided into three groups; one will receive menopause-specific acupuncture, one will receive non-menopause-specific acupuncture, and one will receive usual care.

Stanford Medical Center researchers are now studying whether acupuncture can help alleviate hot flashes. During the one-year, placebo-controlled study at Stanford, volunteers may receive 10 treatments over an eight-week period. Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions Menopause patients are encouraged lose that extra weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings. Steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don't smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.

Acupuncture Curbs Severity of Menopausal Hot Flashes, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2011) — Traditional Chinese acupuncture curbs the severity of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, suggests a small study published March 8 in Acupuncture in Medicine. The effects did not seem to be related to changes in levels of the hormones responsible for sparking the menopause and its associated symptoms, the study shows. The authors base their findings on 53 middle aged women, all of whom were classified as being postmenopausal -- they had spontaneously stopped having periods for a year. Their somatic (hot flashes) urogenital (vaginal dryness and urinary tract infection) and psychological (mood swings) symptoms were measured using a five point scale (MRS).

Twenty seven of the women received traditional Chinese acupuncture twice a week for 10 weeks, with needles left in position for 20 minutes without any manual or electrical stimulation. The rest were given sham acupuncture. Hormone levels of estrogen, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinising hormone (LH) were measured before the study began and after the first and last acupuncture sessions in both groups to see if these changed. The results showed that those women given traditional acupuncture had significantly lower MRS scores for somatic and psychological, but not urogenital, symptoms at the end of the 10 weeks than their peers given the sham treatment.

The symptom registering the sharpest fall in severity was that of hot flashes. Furthermore, the effects seemed to be cumulative, with stronger results seen between the first and last sessions. Estrogen levels also rose, while LH levels fell in the group treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture. Low levels of estrogen and high LH and FSH levels are characteristic of the menopause, as the ovaries start to fail. But because of the differences between the groups in these various hormones to start with, there was little evidence to suggest that any hormonal fluctuations were themselves responsible for the changes in symptom severity, say the authors. They suggest that the explanation for the reduced severity of hot flashes might be that acupuncture boosts the production of endorphins, which may stabilize the body's temperature controls. The authors caution that their study was small and that they did not monitor how long symptom relief lasted, but they suggest that traditional Chinese acupuncture could be an alternative for those women unable or unwilling to use hormone replacement therapy to ease troublesome menopausal symptoms.