A Brief Introduction
While acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are still relatively new to the United States, they represent part of a complete healthcare system developed in China over the last 2,000 years. It has been one of the primary sources of healthcare for one billion people, or roughly 20 percent of world population. What Welch & Yonkers can offer to a patient today is an invaluable complement to modern medical care. Prevention and long-term health maintenance are the foundations and goals of treatment with acupuncture. The system is very effective side by side with physician primary care and/or diagnosis.
In 1998 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized acupuncture as an effective remedy for chronic pain, nausea during pregnancy or due to drug interactions, and for headaches. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also identified acupuncture as able to treat gastrointestinal complaints, respiratory and gynecological disorders, neurological and muscular complaints, and ear, nose and throat infections. Research continues to study the benefits of acupuncture for many specific aspects of health and while we welcome the studies, we find that most people are usually convinced of the benefits of this kind of treatment because they meet a person who has already benefited from it.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Very fine, sterilized, stainless steel needles are inserted into specific locations on the the body to help maintain or establish homeostasis, the internal stability of the physiological processes of the body. In Chinese medicine this is called qi (or, chee). When our system is under strain, qi is unable to flow freely through the body, resulting in accumulations and deficiencies often experienced as pain. Acupuncture works to reestablish the proper flow of qi by alleviating these excesses and by supplementing the deficiencies to recreate homeostasis.
Evaluation by a licensed acupuncturist includes a complete health history, evaluation of patient concerns and goals, and the mapping of a diagnosis based on reading the pulse at the wrists, gentle pressure on the abdomen, and observation of the tongue. This information is synthesized into a treatment plan, which will determine acupuncture point selection and any needed herbal prescriptions. Depending on the nature of the concern, treatment can last several weeks or many months. The focus of the visits is to achieve a sustained balance in the body so that only preventative visits are needed to maintain health. During a period of maintenance, a patient may come monthly for visits, or with the change of the seasons. We often recommend that you come as often as it suits your body to maintain the vitality you need to accomplish your daily tasks and enjoy your life.