What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the many branches of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine
needles into specific points along the course of the meridians. Acupuncture is used to restore the
normal balance and flow of Qi (chee) so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony as
intended. This balance sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain in a healthy state.
Why would I choose Acupuncture & Oriental medicine?
If you have any health concern that you wish to get rid of, acupuncture and oriental medicine is most
often the best means of achieving your health and wellness goals. Acupuncture allows you to heal with
out putting drugs into your body, and without taking organs out. It is a safe and natural means that will
allow your body to heal on its’ own. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine identify the root-cause of the
problem, and facilitates your body to self-heal, or make the necessary adjustments on its own, without
the use of drugs or surgery. If the engine light turned red in your car, would you ignore it, or put a
piece of tape over it? You would most likely take your car in to see why the engine light came on. It
most likely came on as an indicator because there was a malfunction somewhere. Just like your car,
your body sends you “red light” signals in the form of symptoms. Symptoms are just indicators that a
condition has reached a state where it needs your immediate attention. Many people take drugs and
medication, which simply “put tape over the light,” and mask symptoms. We all want to get out of
pain and discomfort; however, we must look into why your body is alarming you? We will find the
origin of the problem and correct the root cause, so that not only do the symptoms resolve, the
underlying imbalance is resolved as well.
What are meridians?
Meridians form a highly complex network that transports Qi to every cell, tissue, and organ of the body.
What is Qi and what does it do?
Qi (chee) translates to mean energy, and though Qi is invisible, its presence becomes especially
apparent in the workings of the bodily organs and systems, which require this energy to heal and
regenerate. The Chinese view Qi not only as a powering function, they see it as inseparable from
function as there is no Qi without function, and no function without Qi.
Qi is also known as “life force,” that which animates all living things. Since the total absence of Qi is
death, good health depends on a balanced distribution of Qi throughout the meridian network. The
meridian network influences the organs and all bodily systems: skeletal, muscular, endocrine
(hormones), circulatory, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, and nervous. When Qi flows
smoothly throughout the meridians, each bodily system are united and interconnected. It is the Qi that
connect and unites all systems of the body, making us feel healthy and whole.
What are the main objectives of acupuncture treatment?
1. Relief Care: To relieve pain and other symptoms
2. Corrective Care: To strengthen the organ systems of the body so that they are working
harmoniously. To restore the smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body.
3. Maintenance Care: To maintain health and wellness though sustaining a unified, healthy state. This is
long-term care that is designed TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY & WELL. Preventative medicine is the true path
What do poor Qi & blood Circulation mean, and what is Organ Imbalance?
Imbalance in the distribution of Qi can bring on ill health. Poor Qi circulation leads to poor blood
circulation. When the blood does not circulate adequately, the cells lose food, water, oxygen, and
cellular detoxification of wastes and carbon dioxide. This lack of nourishment to the cells couples with
toxic build up, leads to cellular illness, mutation, and death. Acupuncture restores the flow of Qi and
blood to these areas of congestion, thus bringing them back to life. Selected acupuncture points are
stimulated to balance Qi. As a result function returns and health is restored.
Organ imbalance refers to the condition where the organs of your body are either working to hard, or
not working hard enough. When one organ is weak the other organs of your body must pick up the
slack. Just like a well functioning household, where tasks are equally divided. Where one person takes
out the garbage, one person cooks, one person handles the finances, one person cleans, etc. If one
person does not do his/her job, the others have to the work. If the person whose job it is to take out
the garbage now has to cook, the garbage will pile up. Then the person who cleans has to also take out
the garbage and the house becomes dirty, so on a so forth. The whole system becomes disrupted, and
is in a state of imbalance. The same thing can happen with your organs and bodily systems. Acupuncture
and Oriental medicine restore balance to the organ systems of the body and allows it to function
How is my condition diagnosed by the acupuncturist?
Pulse Diagnosis: An intricate expert evaluation of the pulses reveals Qi flow disruption, and organ
Observation of the Patient: Noting color & condition of the complexion, texture and condition of the
skin, hair, nails, voice, breathing, etc. add to the holistic diagnosis of the patient.
Inquiry: Seeking a history of the illness, the patient’s feelings, lifestyle, diet, exercise habits, family
history, emotional equipoise. These may all contribute to Qi imbalance and organ imbalance.
Physical Examination: Feeling for tender acupoints is a reliable diagnostic too because certain acupoints
are related to specific areas, functions, and organs of the body. Tenderness or soreness may relate to a
How long do treatments take?
The first Initial Evaluation is usually an hour. Time spend may vary depending on the complexity and
nature of the condition. Subsequent acupuncture sessions are usually ½ hour in length. This too may
vary based on the nature of the imbalance. It is usual a very short “waiting” period to see the doctor,
if any. We value our patient’s time and scheduling needs.
How long will I need to be treated?
Because each patients health problems and response to treatment are unique, the number and
frequency of treatments will vary from 3 times each day, to every three months. Typically the
recommendation is 2-4 treatments per week for Relief Care (usually 10-20 visits). Some patients
respond favorably after only one or two treatments. Some may not improve until the eighth or ninth
visit. Other may require two or three times per week for several months for maximum results. And
sometimes, despite the acupuncturist’s best effort and skill, the patient does not respond to treatment.
In general acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions.
Each acupuncture session builds on the previous one, thus “building health.” The more frequent you get
treatment, the faster you will heal.
Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?
Yes. The government requires acupuncturists to follow very strict sterilization procedures. In addition,
presterilized needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure
compliance with the law.
What is ear acupuncture?
Stimulating appropriate ear points often effectively treats pain and disease in the corresponding parts
or organs. Alcohol, drug addiction, & ADD/ADHD can be treated in that way as well. In children,
needles are not usually needed; instead we use laser, electro-stimulation acupuncture, or ear pellets to
stimulate these points.
What are other aspects of Oriental Medicine?
There are three main branches of Oriental medicine, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and
Qigong exercises (energy cultivation). The main objective of each branch is to bring about a smooth
flow of Qi and to balance the organ systems. Some other clinical techniques include gua-sha (gentle &
painless skin scraping), cupping (vacuum therapy), moxibustion (heat therapy), liniments for pain &
trauma, Tui Na, and external Qigong (energy work).
Eric Aufdencamp, DOM, LAc, All rights reserved.