Serving Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland
Community Acupuncture & Total Wellness Clinic

FAQs

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of localized points, selected according to the principles and practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in order to treat or improve the condition and functioning of the human body. This system of treatment is the most ancient medical practice still in common use, with archaeological evidence suggesting that its origins lie in the pre-history of ancient China.

Acupuncture, one of the most common treatment approaches used in TCM, is only one of a number of methods and modalities a TCM practitioner may use. Other options include the use of mild electrical stimulation (electro-acupuncture), the use of herbs and herbal mixtures to provide localized heat and stimulation (moxibustion), dietary advice according to the principles of TCM, and TCM herbalism (prepared or custom-blended herbal mixtures for internal or external use).

Acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, and moxibustion are most commonly used for acute conditions, or to provide relief and assistance with pain management, while herbs and herbal mixtures are used primarily in the treatment of chronic or long-term conditions.

Does acupuncture hurt?

No, the needles are extremely small and thin, some as thin as a hair. They are gently inserted and often people feel nothing when the needles go in. During your treatment as you rest on the table with the needles inserted, you may feel sensations such as tingling, warmth, lightness or heaviness at the needles or throughout your body-this is Qi, your life-energy. It is usually a pleasant, relaxing feeling., and many patients fall asleep during treatment.

TCM principally employs a method of analysis and synthesis, inquiring on a macro-level into the internal systems of the human body and their mutual relationships with the internal and external environment in an attempt to gain an understanding of the fundamental laws governing the functioning of the human organism, and applies this understanding to the treatment and prevention of disease, and the promotion of health and well-being. TCM is rooted in a unique, comprehensive and systematic theoretical structure that includes the Theory of the Five Elements, the human body Meridian system, Yin-yang and other systems. Treatment is conducted with reference to this philosophical framework.

TCM includes the use of Acupuncture, herbal medicine and formulations, as well as a host of other techniques. With their long-standing record of safety and effectiveness, these treatment techniques have been in use for centuries without the need for major modifications.

 

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes. We use individually packed, sterile, disposable needles specifically designed for acupuncture use. We open them in front of you and dispose of them immediately after use.

Can I get acupuncture even if nothing is “wrong” with me?

Yes! This is often the best time because imbalances show up in your energy field before manifesting physically. TCM practitioners can detect this imbalance based on observations of your pulse, tongue and other”vitals,” and can quickly re-balance a person’s energy. We especially recommend coming in at the change of seasons because people are more prone to imbalance at that time.

About Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine is less popular here in the United States than in Asian countries. Part of the reason for this is that many Western patients do not like the inconvenience of preparing or the taste of herbal teas; in other cases, however, Western-trained practitioners are not as well-trained in the use of herbs as their Asian counterparts. New techniques of preparation help to overcome this common obstacle to wider acceptance, and a few schools, like ours, emphasize the combined use of acupuncture and herbal medicine, as is the practice in China and throughout all of Asia.

How are herbs prepared?

Herbal medicines are prepared from standard formulas that may be modified to fit the particular individuals particular needs. A patent formula may be recommended as these formulas have a proven efficacy with specific conditions and they allow for more convenience than herbal teas in preparation and consumption.

Are herbs safe?

Yes, herbal preparations are extremely safe. However, it is important to take the herbs exactly as recommended. Too little and the herbs will have little or no effect. Too much and you may risk an overdose in your system. Though the risk of side effects is significantly less then pharmaceutical drugs, herbal preparations should be treated with the same care as any other type of medicine.

What about herb-drug interactions?

It is best to inform the practitioner of any current medications you are taking. There can sometimes be an herb-drug interaction with certain medications. Remember many pharmaceuticals are derivatives of organic materials. It is also advisable to inform your primary care provider of any herbal supplements you may be taking to better inform the physician when they are prescribing medications.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also known simply as Oriental medicine, is the name commonly given to a range of traditional medical practices used in China that have developed over the course of several thousand years of history. The Oriental medicine, a term which may include other traditional Asian medical systems such as Korean, Japanese,  Tibetan, and Mongolian medicine, TCM is the world’s oldest continuously practiced system of health care.

TCM principally employs a method of analysis and synthesis, inquiring on a macro-level into the internal systems of the human body and their mutual relationships with the internal and external environment in an attempt to gain an understanding of the fundamental laws governing the functioning of the human organism, and applies this understanding to the treatment and prevention of disease, and the promotion of health and well-being. TCM is rooted in a unique, comprehensive and systematic theoretical structure that includes the Theory of the Five Elements, the human body Meridian system, Yin-yang and other systems. Treatment is conducted with reference to this philosophical framework.

TCM includes the use of Acupuncture, herbal medicine and formulations, as well as a host of other techniques. With their long-standing record of safety and effectiveness, these treatment techniques have been in use for centuries without the need for major modifications.

How well does it work?

The United Nations’ World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective therapy for a number of health conditions, including

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis

Researchers the world over continue to investigate and confirm the efficacy of the world’s oldest continuously-practiced system of medicine.