How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a type of healing treatment that comes from the two thousand year old tradition of East Asian medicine. It is based on understanding the healthy movement of life energy, or “Qi.” Based on diagnostic findings, acupuncture identifies and treats patterns of imbalance in the body-mind-spirit. Thin, sterile single use needles are inserted into the body to relieve symptoms and resolve the root of imbalance. In addition to the use of needles, moxabustion, bodywork and herbal remedies are often also used in treatment.

Acupuncture treats acute conditions and chronic disease.

For many centuries acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork were the methods of primary care in China and other East Asian countries.  As such, Chinese medicine has time-tested methods for treating acute conditions, like colds, the flu and physical injuries. It also excels in the treatment of chronic disease. Current medical research continues to confirm the validity of these natural approaches.

Acupuncture treats pain.

Pain can significantly diminish our quality of life and is often accompanied by additional health concerns and emotional distress. Acupuncture excels in the treatment of pain. This ranges from menstrual pain to headaches to pain from injuries or chronic conditions. Acupuncture can be used as a primary form of pain treatment or management, allowing you to avoid surgery or medications. Or, it can be also used in conjunction with conventional treatments to minimize side effects or improve conventional treatment outcomes.

Acupuncture safely and effectively treats common complaints like stress, low energy, sleep difficulties and mood.

When the energy of the body, called Qi, is depleted or blocked we lose our ability to regulate our daily energy. Acupuncture supports the healthy movement of energy in our body, discharging pent-up stress to induce relaxation, improve sleep and resolve mood and energy swings. East Asian medicine also encourages the integration of lifestyle changes, in the form of diet and exercise that can enhance the staying power of the treatments.

Acupuncture can help resolve physical and emotional trauma.

Trauma can result from any number of experiences, including: car accidents, surgery, dental procedures, physical injuries, natural disasters, birth, physical or emotional abuse, sudden loss and war/violence. Many people who have experienced trauma develop health problems as a result. Acupuncture helps to resolve trauma (without having to relive it) and the symptoms that come with it.


Acupuncture helps balance emotions.

As a holistic health care modality, Chinese medicine has always understood the connection between the mind, emotions and illness and has been used since its inception several thousand years ago to balance the emotions. Emotions are intended to move. When grief, sadness, joy, anger or worry go unexpressed or aren’t resolved, our life-energy can’t move properly, causing a host of problems. Acupuncture helps you move with your emotions so that you can appreciate the role they play in keeping you healthy and guiding you towards a more integrated and fulfilling life.


Acupuncture builds the mind/body connection.

Acupuncture is a body-based procedure. It incorporates diagnostic information gathered from your body through palpation (of your organ pulses, your abdomen, your meridians and body tissues), listening, observation and question asking to arrive at a diagnosis. Acupuncture uses the insertion of fine, sterile needles and bodywork to treat you. The whole process reconnects you to your body in a way that strengthens the innate healing capacities already within you.

East Asian medicine focuses on treating the individual.

Chinese medicine is based on the understanding of patterns as they exist in nature. While these patterns are universal, they express differently in each individual. This means that two people may have the same condition, for example migraine headaches, but their treatment could be very different based on the specific patterns causing the problem.  As a holistic medicine, acupuncture reinforces healthy, balanced patterns and guides you towards transforming unhealthy ones over time.

Acupuncture is a medicine of relationship.

That means that whatever pain or suffering you are experiencing, it is not isolated from other parts of your body or your life. That often translates to making changes, at first maybe uncomfortable or even bothersome changes, but changes that are almost immediately helpful and ultimately freeing. It also means that the patient-practitioner relationship (that’s you and me) is integral to treatment. As your practitioner, I am part of your healthcare team, and it’s both my job and my honor to support you in your healing process.


My approach to acupuncture.

My whole-person approach to treatment is based on the individual needs of my patients, so every treatment is unique. I practice a more gentle style of acupuncture, using thinner needles and lighter insertions. For more sensitive people, I can use non-insertive tools developed in Japan called shonishin tools.

I also incorporate Acutonics tuning forks, bodywork and yoga therapy, moxa, cupping, as well as nutrition and lifestyle counseling and Chinese herbal medicine into my treatments.

Does it sound like acupuncture might be able to help you, but you’re still not sure? Schedule a free phone consultation to see if it's a good fit.