Most Westerners are familiar with Acupuncture as it is becoming an increasingly popular medical modality to treat a variety of health concerns. There are, however, some misunderstandings and miscommunications around the word Acupuncture and its proper use for both treating and preventing illnesses and various health conditions. Acupuncture needles are extremely small gauge filaments (nothing like a hypodermic needle whatsoever)… most acupuncture needles are not much larger than a coarse hair and shouldn’t be painful when inserted. Many people describe the sensation, if felt at all, like having a single hair plucked on initial insertion but then no discomfort whatsoever. In fact, when traditional acupuncture points are used and combined properly, the patient will typically feel a sense of warmth, calmness, relaxation, and a great overall sense of well-being.
It is important to educate the public that when acupuncture needles are inserted by medically trained professionals performing ‘dry needling’ and ‘medical acupuncture’ that this is NOT traditional acupuncture… just because acupuncture filaments/needles are placed into the body does not mean you have received a true traditional acupuncture treatment. Traditional acupuncture can only be given by a Licenses Acupuncturist or a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. These professionals have studied acupuncture point combinations for years and are using either a bioelectrical ‘meridian’ system (originating in Tibet and China and developed over thousands of years in Asia) or advanced acupuncture points along various Microsystems of the body (ears, scalp, hands, or feet). There are thousands of known acupuncture points on the human body. A traditionally trained and licensed acupuncturist has studied and learned how to diagnose and formulate a treatment plan based on both the patient’s history and current presentation of symptoms. They study for years and are required by law to have thousands of patient contact hours (both observation and hands on direct patient care). A good practitioner will combine both symptom points and etiology points (root cause or underlying cause) in various combinations in order to obtain a particular therapeutic outcome for each individual patient.
There are points to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, to promote proper circulation/lymphatic flow, points to promote proper movement and aid absorption in the Gastrointestinal tract, points to balance hormones and promote healthy glandular function, points to help with Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, points to help with balance, vertigo, immune system function…literally any medical condition or health concern can be addressed with traditional acupuncture treatments if you go to a skilled professional who has taken the time to acquire knowledge and utilizes proper point combinations.
For those people who are fortunate to not have any health concerns, then acupuncture can still be used as part of a healthy lifestyle plan. Acupuncture is amazing for preventive health. It can support healthy immune function, better oxygenation of tissues, and can instill a sense of deep calm, relaxation and sense of well-being by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture on a monthly basis is a wonderful thing to add to your wellness lifestyle because it is an excellent stress management tool (we all have stress in our lives so this can truly benefit everyone)!
Acupuncture can treat a variety of physical and psychological issues. It can also be used to relieve stress and tension in the body and is very helpful to maintain general health and a positive sense of well-being.
Why Try Acupuncture?
Acupuncture with Dr. Jamie is a gentle, pain-free way to return to optimal health and to help maintain good health once it is achieved. Although acupuncture has become widely known as a pain management tool here in the West, in truth it can be used to treat any symptom or health concern (emotional or physical). Acupuncture can be used as a medical intervention for acute or chronic health concerns. There are point combinations that can alleviate any symptom, and help to manage or treat any illness or disease patterns.
Everyone can benefit if they'd receive monthly acupuncture treatments on a regular basis, as it is one of the best preventative health maintenance strategies available to us. There are point combinations that can be used to promote metabolism, enhance immune system function, improve digestion, and acupuncture serves as a wonderful stress management tool. One treatment alone will calm the nervous system and ease muscle tension throughout the entire body.
Acupuncture techniques and practitioners vary, but you can rest assured that Dr. Jami's acupuncture methods are extremely gentle and that you will have a relaxing experience in a clean, safe, non-threatening environment.
In short, Acupuncture makes your body's cells do the "happy" dance and helps the body return back to a state of balance, promotes innate healing capabilities, and assists in maintaining good health. It's an amazing health support system that has been around for thousands of years. If you give it an honest chance, you will come to understand why it has certainly stood the test of time.
What Conditions Can Be helped by Acupuncture?
Musculo-skeletal and Neurological:
Arthritis, Bell's Palsy, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Headaches/Migraines, Knee Pain, Lumbar/Back Pain, Muscle Pain/Spasms, Neck Pain, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Shoulder Pain, Spinal Sprains, Stroke, Tendonitis (Tennis/Golfer's Elbow), Tooth/Jaw Pain
Emotional and Psychological:
Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Stress
High Blood Pressure, Anemia, Raynaud Syndrome
Allergies/Sinus Problems, Asthma, Bronchitis, Cold/Flu, COPD, Emphysema, Immune Disorders
Constipation, Diarrhea, IBS, Chronic Gastritis, Nausea/Vomiting, Ulcerative Colitis
PMS, Bladder Infections/UTI's, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Infertility, Irregular Menstruation, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Sexual Dysfunctions
Acupuncture promotes healing by increasing micro circulation to promote blood flow, oxygenation - this helps tissues to heal, regenerate and helps prevent illness, as many diseases, such as cancers CANNOT thrive in an oxygen-rich environment.
Acupuncture in general helps to desensitize specific nerve impulses and interferes with their ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. It also helps to reduce inflammatory response which reduces Swelling, heat, pain - it does this by promoting better micro circulation of blood and lymph tissue.
Treatments are performed on an out-patient basis and typically take from 20-90 minutes depending on how many areas of the body are being treated and specific healing requirements of each individual patient.
Not at all. Dr. Jamie’s style of needling is a unique, gentle Japanese style of insertion that is not in any way painful. Most insertions you won’t feel at all. Sometimes, one may feel like ‘plucking one single hair’ but that should fade instantly. Dr. McLaughlin uses high quality, Japanese ‘filaments’ that are 36-40 gauge (about the same thickness as a course human hair). Trust me, a light ‘pinch’ is far more painful than his needling style.
It is recommended that you take it easy after your treatment for several hours and stay well-hydrated. Some people are highly responsive and see immediate improvement. Some with severe, chronic issues often see results in 6-10 sessions.
What is the difference between Traditional Acupuncture and NeuroAcupuncture?
One has to be licensed in Traditional Acupuncture (and in most states also have a minimum of 5 years of clinical experience) before being eligible to acquire a specialty in NeuroAcupuncture. Traditional Acupuncture uses bioelectrical points on meridians all over the body or in the ears, hands, feet (micro-systems), while NeuroAcupuncture specifically targets areas of the brain using points on various areas of the scalp. NeuroAcupuncture also uses special types of needling techniques and requires more stimulation. NeuroAcupuncture is used mostly for treating patients with advanced neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, MS, post-CVA (Stroke), Epilepsy, Paralysis, speech disorders, motor and sensory issues, certain learning disorders, and improved Neuroplasticity, etc.
Acupuncture vs Dry Needling
And What You Should Be Aware Of
Dry needling is using acupuncture needles to stimulate both active and latent neuromuscular trigger points for painful musculo-skeletal conditions.
A well-trained acupuncturist will utilize these same points, but may also choose traditional points along electrical pathways that can further reduce pain and assist other body systems in achieving and maintaining homeostasis.
What is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? Dry needling practitioners typically use a slightly larger gauge ‘acupuncture’ needling (meaning it’s smaller than a hypodermic needle, is solid instead of hollow, and blunt tip instead of sharp tip)… Dry needling is NOT acupuncture… Dry needling is inserting several needles in a particular localized area of the body (typically a certain joint or muscle) and many needles are inserted deeply into that one local area of the body being treated. Acupuncture is the use of points along meridians (bioelectrical pathways) and those points are used for a specific therapeutic outcome used to treat a large variety of health concerns (some promote digestion, some trigger immune response, some help hormone balance of glands, some help the brain function better (balance, vertigo, emotional calming, etc.). Some acupuncture points also treat joint pain, inflammation, muscle pain, etc., but we never put lots and lots of points targeted at just one muscle or joint area, and we rarely go deep… it’s not necessary to go really deep with acupuncture and therefore it shouldn't be a painful experience… dry needling can be helpful for some conditions but it is often reported as being a more aggressive and often more painful experience.
Dry needling and Acupuncture are extremely different in how they are administered. Dry needling does not require nearly the same amount of training as Acupuncture either (a few weekends to get certified VS. several years of training and thousands of patient clinic hours before you are allowed to even sit for boards to become Licensed Acupuncturist). There definitely IS a big difference.
We consult with patients about their symptoms and are excellent at recognizing patterns in a patient's physical and psychological history that can determine where the "root" cause of the illness, disease, or symptoms stem from. Acupuncture, Acupressure, Oriental Body Work, Nutritional Modifications or Counseling, and Herbal Remedies may be used in a course of treatment.