small-ingredientsChinese medicine is holistic in nature: it treats the whole or entirety of the individual. In this way, Chinese medicine addresses all aspects of the human being: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual: all considered to be affected by the disease process and thus are included in the treatment. This all-inclusive approach leads to more comprehensive healing and a sense of wellbeing. It encourages the patient to become active in their healing process.

Why should I see an acupuncturist?

There are four main reasons patients consider acupuncture treatment:

  • Most commonly, patients have a condition that does not respond to conventional care. They seek a treatment option that can effectively provide a solution to their healthcare issue.
  •  Conventional treatment often requires drugs with undesirable side effects or an unwanted surgery to treat the condition; therefore an alternative medical option is sought.
  •  Patients are taking many western drugs that are expensive, have side effects or interfere with one another. Often Chinese medicine can treat these conditions so that the drugs can be withdrawn.
  •  Patients seek a natural, holistic medical approach to healthcare.

Can acupuncture help me even if I feel healthy?

Yes, absolutely. Many patients come in for regular maintenance treatments to stay in ‘tip-top’ condition so they can fully enjoy life. Acupuncture is a powerful preventative measure to keep patients healthy throughout the year. Acupuncturists see subtle signs of disease processes at work before symptoms begin to interfere with daily life. Chinese medicine effectively addresses these issues, preventing future problems from occurring. Because acupuncture treatments are so deeply relaxing, many patients find regular, maintenance treatments beneficial for stress relief.

How does acupuncture work?

The channels communicate with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Needles inserted in these points influence the Qi that flows to internal organs. Acupuncture can also affect specific areas of pain associated with injury or trauma. A needle inserted near the area of overstrained muscle or tendon will adjust the flow of Qi and nutrients to that area, thereby reducing pain and accelerating the healing process.

The acupuncture points have various functions, like stopping pain, stimulating immune function, or resolving phlegm (for coughs or runny noses). There are even points with empirical functions, like treating rashes or constipation. Other points are chosen with regard to location; for example, using points on the shoulder, knee or back to treat pain. Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Medical explanation

Using a system of pulse and tongue diagnosis, coupled with findings obtained by inquiring about related symptoms and physical exam, the acupuncturist determines the pathology affecting Qi (energy) flow to internal organs, muscles, skin and joints. The acupuncturist will then develop a treatment protocol to resolve the patient’s condition.

From western biomedical research, we understand that acupuncture influences a number of physiological functions such as release of endorphins (natural pain killing chemicals) by the brain, restoration of proper circulation in diseased areas, and stimulation of hormonal glands and immune system function. Research into the effects of acupuncture is still young. Scientists discover more information every year that helps us understand more fully how acupuncture works. Western science explains acupuncture

What is The Balance Method TM of acupuncture?

The Balance Method TM of acupuncture was developed by Dr. Richard Tan of San Diego. The Balance Method TM works with the sophisticated relationships of the acupuncture meridians. Acupuncture points distal to the affected area are used: points in the elbows are used to treat knee pain, ankle points treat the wrists. Fewer needles are used than the commonly taught methods and immediate results are seen, especially with pain treatment. Dr. Tan has developed sophisticated point combinations to treat all manner of internal conditions including: lung (allergies, sinusitis, colds/flu), cardio-vascular, stomach and bowels, gyn and emotional problems. Results are long lasting. Dr. Tan continually updates and refines the system, his life work.

How many treatments will I need?

In Chinese Medicine, we speak in terms of courses of treatments. One course is considered ten to twelve acupuncture treatments or weeks of herbal therapy. Clinical response to acupuncture treatment is individual, but there are some generalities acupuncturists expect. Some people will notice improvement after a single treatment. Others take longer to respond as acupuncture requires a cumulative effect. Most patients begin noticing changes within one to three treatments. After five to seven visits both the patient and the practitioner should feel confident that the treatment is effective. Acute conditions may be fairly well resolved at this point. Chronic conditions take longer. Excepting continual, longstanding problems (such as allergies ), most conditions are resolved within a course to fifteen treatments.

How frequently are visits spaced?

Generally patients are seen on a weekly basis. For some acute conditions, such as severe pain or extremely itchy, uncomfortable rashes, it may be necessary to come twice a week for the first two to three weeks, until symptoms are contained. As the condition improves, visits are spaced farther apart: every two, and later three weeks or monthly. On average, patients come weekly for about eight visits, and then begin decreasing the frequency of visits as symptoms become more intermittent and later disappear.
Once the condition has resolved, many patients choose to continue treatment for maintenance and preventative care. These maintenance visits can be monthly or quarterly, or semi-annually, depending on the patient’s goals.

Do I need to keep coming after my symptoms are gone?

Generally speaking, once symptoms no longer occur, a clinical cure is achieved. Depending on the nature and history of the disorder, future treatments are usually not necessary to prevent recurrence. Exceptions are for chronic conditions that tend to recur, such as back pain and allergic problems.

What are maintenance tune-ups?

Some patients like to come on a monthly or quarterly basis for preventative care. These types of treatments are nicknamed ‘tune-ups’. Just as we get regular maintenance on our cars, our bodies need regular maintenance to keep them healthy, too. Acupuncturists see subtle signs of disease processes and can address these issues in a few number of treatments, thus avoiding the development of more serious health problems that require a longer series to treat. These preventative care visits are especially important for patients with long-standing, chronic conditions that tend to recur, such as back pain or allergic problems . Because acupuncture treatments are so deeply relaxing, many patients find regular maintenance treatments beneficial for stress relief.

What if I can't come for regular acupuncture treatments?

Herbal therapy is an effective option for those who cannot come regularly for acupuncture visits. Some patients opt for Chinese herbal formulas instead of acupuncture treatment. Combining the modalities of herbs and acupuncture creates a synergist treatment pair, each increasing the power of the other. Herbal therapy can fill in for the interval between acupuncture treatments, allowing some patients to decrease the frequency of acupuncture treatment.

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medical) herbalists use herbs instead of drug therapy to address problems internally. In fact, many conditions, such as gynecological problems, dermatology and immune system disorders require herbs for effective treatment. Pain conditions require regular acupuncture treatments for resolution of symptoms.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The vast majority of patients do not consider acupuncture a painful procedure. Some patients feel a slight ‘Qi’ sensation when the needle is inserted: most feel nothing at all. These ‘Qi sensations’ range from warmth or tingling, to a brief ache or heaviness in the area being needled. Qi sensations are generally only felt on one or two of the acupuncture points. They indicate favorable results from the acupuncture treatment, as Qi has been strongly contacted. By and large patients describe these sensations as fleeting and the treatment experience as deeply relaxing. In fact, many patients find acupuncture so relaxing that they fall asleep during treatment and go into a dreamy state induced by the endorphins released during treatments.

Are the needles safe?

Yes. Acupuncturists use sterile, disposable needles. They are used once and then disposed of in biohazard containers. These containers are sent to a medical waste management company for proper disposal according to federal laws and regulations.

Are there any side effects to acupuncture?

One of the reasons that acupuncture has been so well embraced in the West may have to do with its low rate of side effects. “For a medical procedure, you almost cannot get anything that is more benign,” says James Dowden, Executive Administrator of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. “About the worst thing that can happen is you won’t get better.”
In it’s landmark, 1997 Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) reported, “One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.” (Acupuncture. NIH Consens Statement 1997 Nov 3-5; 15 (5): 9.)

In 2001, the British Medical Journal (vol. 323, no.7311) published the results of two large-scale studies showing that the benefits of acupuncture far outweigh negative side effects of treatment. The few post-treatment complaints were minor and short-lived, ranging from bruising to needle pain and lasting less than a week, with no serious adverse events noted. In an accompanying editorial, the journal concluded that complications from acupuncture are “remarkably rare and transient” [ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 percent] especially when compared with the rate of adverse drug reactions or prescribing errors in primary care medicine, estimated at 0.5 to 6 percent.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Some insurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Consult your insurance provider to determine the terms of coverage of your policy. If your policy includes acupuncture benefits, we will provide you with an insurance coded receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Some insurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Consult your insurance provider to determine the terms of coverage of your policy. If your policy includes acupuncture benefits, we will provide you with an insurance coded receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Some insurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Consult your insurance provider to determine the terms of coverage of your policy. If your policy includes acupuncture benefits, we will provide you with an insurance coded receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Should I keep my appointment if I'm sick?

Yes. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are highly effective for treating acute conditions, such as colds and flus, stomach viruses and headaches. Patients report immediate improvement in symptoms after acupuncture treatment or commencing herbal therapy. An oft-repeated phrase by happy patients is, “As soon as I started taking the herbs I felt better!”

Many patients call immediately to schedule a treatment when they first notice cold or flu symptoms. These include healthcare practitioners who don’t want to get their patients sick, business professionals who are too busy for a sick day or two, and patients who are chronically ill and want to ‘get this one over with, quickly’.

So if you’re sick, call your acupuncturist and make and appointment. If you have an appointment scheduled, keep it. If you’re concerned about being contagious to your practitioner, request an herbal consultation instead of a treatment.

Are there different styles of acupuncture?

Chinese medicine is over 5,000 years old. During that time, many individual styles (off shoots or branches) have developed from the traditional, TCM style of diagnosis and treatment. These include Japanese style, Five Elements, Korean hand technique, French auricular (ear acupuncture), Daoist and Tibetan styles of acupuncture. The TCM style (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the ‘granddaddy’ of them all: the source from which the other branches sprang forth. Dr. Kathleen Bartlett practices in the TCM style.

Is an acupuncturist a doctor?

Chinese medicine is over 5,000 years old. During that time, many individual styles (off shoots or branches) have developed from the traditional, TCM style of diagnosis and treatment. These include Japanese style, Five Elements, Korean hand technique, French auricular (ear acupuncture), Daoist and Tibetan styles of acupuncture. The TCM style (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the ‘granddaddy’ of them all: the source from which the other branches sprang forth. Dr. Kathleen Bartlett practices in the TCM style.

Are there different styles of acupuncture?

Chinese medicine is over 5,000 years old. During that time, many individual styles (off shoots or branches) have developed from the traditional, TCM style of diagnosis and treatment. These include Japanese style, Five Elements, Korean hand technique, French auricular (ear acupuncture), Daoist and Tibetan styles of acupuncture. The TCM style (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the ‘granddaddy’ of them all: the source from which the other branches sprang forth. Dr. Kathleen Bartlett practices in the TCM style.

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