Acupuncture Definition

Acupuncture & Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture is part of a health care system in China that dates back at least 2,500 years. The theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there is a pattern of energy flow (Qi) in the body that is essential for health. Qi flows through the body in a network of channels that can be likened to the ebb and flow of a river. Disruptions in this flow are believed to be responsible for disease, pain, and imbalances in the body. Acupuncture can correct these imbalances of energy flow by the insertion of sterile disposable needles at identifiable acupuncture points on the body.

Woman getting an acupuncture treatment

What Can I Expect? Acupuncture treatments are as individual as the patient. A medical history and physical exam are required to determine and guide the individualized placement of the needles. The needles are inserted at specific points and left for 20-30 minutes. It is common after a treatment for patients to report an increase in energy and well being, improved sleep patterns and a decrease or elimination of the need for pain medication. The number of treatments will be based on the patient's progress and are adapted to the changing requirements of the patient's condition.

How Can It Help? In the United States, acupuncture has found its greatest acceptance in the management of pain. Modern research has shown that acupuncture may trigger the higher nerve centers of the body to release the body's own natural pain killers, called endorphins. Acupuncture has become increasingly popular with professional and amateur athletes. Many injuries respond to acupuncture, including soft tissue injuries, muscle spasms and sprains. Acupuncture is beneficial in accelerating recovery and can be used alone or in combination with other modes of health care including physical therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and massage.

What Qualifications Should an Accupuncturist Have? Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in North Carolina and over 40 other states. Acupuncturists must meet national and state requirements for accreditation and certification.

What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat? The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions some of which are listed below:

Conditions That Can Be Treated
By Acupuncture

Neurological and Muscular Disorders
Headache Frozen shoulder
Migraine Tennis Elbow
Trigeminal Neuralgia Sciatica
Facial paralysis Low Back pain
Post-stroke syndrome Intercostal Neuralgia
Peripheral Neuropathy Disc Problems
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Gastritis Constipation
Hyperacidity Diarrhea
Ulcers Indigestion
Colonitis Nausea
Gynecological Disorders
Infertility Irregular Menstruation
P.M.S. Endometriosis
Menopause Morning Sickness
Dysmenorrhea Dysfunctional Bleeding
Emotional Disorders
Depression Hyperactivity
Anxiety Attention Deficit Disorder
Respiratory Disorders
Bronchitis Allergies
Asthma Common Cold
Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders
Toothache Tinnitus
Sinusitis Tonsillitis
Fatigue Addictions:
Sleeping Disorders Smoking
Eating Disorders Alcohol
Strengthen Immunity Drugs

Barbara Squires, Ph.D., L.Ac. - Diplomate In Acupuncture - Licensed Acupuncturist