Unified Health

About Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner's hands or with electrical stimulation.  TCM modalities also include therapies such as cupping, moxibustion, guasha, auricular (ear acupuncture or seeding) as well as herbal and/or TCM food recommendations. 

Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. TCM practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced "chee") through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, the flow of Qi is improved, thereby improving health.

Studies have shown that acupuncture and  TCM modalities  are proven effective for over 100 medical conditions as stated by the World Health Organization.

What are the benefits?

Helps to treat conditions such as: low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, knee pain, headache and migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, high and low blood pressure , anxiety and stress, PTSD, some gastric conditions, painful periods, menopause, infertility, dysentery, allergies, facial pain, morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, sciatica, dental pain, post operative recovery, inducing labor, fibromyalgia, neuralgia, substance, tobacco and alcohol dependence, spine pain & stiff neck. There are very few side effects. It can be effectively combined with other treatments.  It can control some types of pain. It may help patients for whom pain medications are not suitable.

What to expect during a treatment?

After examination and an assessment of your condition, you will be asked to lie down on your back, front or side – depending on where the needles are to be inserted. The practitioner will use a single-use, disposable, sterile needle when working. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion and the needles will stay in place for anywhere between 5-30 minutes in length. Following the treatment, the practitioner will offer advice on self-care or other complementary therapies, such as TCM food cures or Chinese herbs. 

Generally, acupuncture is painless. However, some people might experience a very brief stinging, tingling or dull ache sensation during the treatment. The number of treatments needed is completely dependant on the individual. For instance, chronic conditions may benefit from one to two treatments per week over several months; while acute problems normally improve after 8 to 12 sessions.