How does Acupuncture work?
What can be treated with Acupuncture?
Do the needles hurt?
How safe is Acupuncture?
What should I expect on my first visit?
How can I prepare for my session?
Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?
Will my insurance cover my treatments?

How does Acupuncture work?


 Acupuncture, or “needle therapy” (zhenjiu ) as it is called in Chinese, is one of the most ancient forms of therapy, which is gaining more and more popularity in the U.S. for the treatment of acute and chronic pain as well as systemic inflammatory conditions.

During the treatment, very thin, solid, hair-like needles are inserted at specific points on the body. In Chinese these points are called “neural nodes” (jie) and the stimulation of these nodes affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties. Secondly, this method of treatment causes “vaso-dilation” (opening of blood circulation). The healing prowess of your body lies in the blood. The improved blood circulation delivers hormones and immune cells to whatever part of the body that the needle has stimulated. This is how the body heals itself; there is no medicine on the needles. If you have pain that is lingering or is not being treated by other modalities, then acupuncture offers a time-tested, very reliable method of pain relief.
How this works is best viewed as a complex wiring circuit that is exquisitely connected on many layers. Thus acupuncture enhances the function of your stomach by improving blood flow and immunity in that particular organ. Or a needle placed in a specific place in your shoulder joint will enhance the function of your thyroid and it will also improve the integrity of your shoulder joint. Or for example, a needle placed in the forearm will have a direct effect on the forearm, the opposite lower leg as well as the large intestine.

Once the dysfunctions are detected through Chinese medical pulse diagnostic technique and tongue examination techniques then specific acupuncture points are chosen to address those imbalances. The other thing that acupuncture does for the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments is that is allows for greater blood circulation, which will do four things:

  • Decrease Pain
  • Increase Range of Motion
  • Enables Soft Tissue Healing
  • Resets the spindle cells in muscles, which means it retrains malfunctioning muscles to function correctly.

Acupuncture is also quite effective at realigning your spine. The specific acupuncture points used resets the spindle cell to relax and release the tension in the muscles that are responsible for pulling the spine out, then the bones will move into place on their own without force. This followed by stretching and strengthening of the area stabilizes and ensures long-term success with the postural correction.

What can be treated with Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used to effectively treat numerous health conditions for thousands of years. According to the World Health Organization, ¼ of the earth’s population receives acupuncture treatment on a continual basis. Both the WHO and the National Institutes of Health endorse acupuncture for many common problems including:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Addictions
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common Cold
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Digestive Issues
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional Issues
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Insomnia
  • Low Back Pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Tennis/Golf Elbow
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Urinary Tract Infections

Do the needles hurt?

Acupuncture needles are many times smaller than a hypodermic needle! They feel nothing like a hypodermic shot. They are engineered so precisely that usually a very mild sensation is felt, if any at all. The needles are slightly larger diameter than a human hair. Most patients report feeling deeply relaxed and experience instant pain relief.

How safe is Acupuncture?

There are very few adverse reactions to acupuncture but in some cases your condition may temporarily exacerbated following the treatment. This is a sign of detoxification or healing crisis and is considered to be a good sign of response. Soaking your feet in Epsom salts and hot water and getting in plenty of fluids and nutrition will ease the process.

What should I expect on my first visit?

A complete head-to-toe check up. Your body will tell us what is going on as we analyze your biorhythm, the current state of stress in your body as well as a physical performance evaluation.

Pulse Diagnosis: Chinese Pulse Diagnosis is considered the gold standard when it comes to knowing what is medically wrong with a patient.

What is Pulse Diagnosis? Simply put, it is interpreting the flow of blood in the radial artery at the wrist. In the hands of an expert practitioner, the pulse can reveal anatomical problems such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic and acute pain. Some of the other symptoms that can be detected using Pulse Diagnosis are urinary tract infections, kidney stones, ovarian cists, bone spurs, gall stones, varicoceles, sinus infections, gastric or duodenal ulcers, coronary blockages and a host of other physical ailments.

Unfortunately this method is a lost art with very few practitioners in the world competent in its immense subtlety. Probably the world’s foremost living master of Pulse Diagnosis, Dr. Zhang Wei-Yin, personally trained Daniel Rasmussen for several years. Marie Arvola and Nicole Johnson have also received training in this classical pulse diagnostic system.

How can I prepare for my session?

It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.

Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?

Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.

Will my insurance cover my treatments?

Almost all major insurance companies are required to cover Acupuncture within the state of Washington. Prior to your first visit to the clinic, please call our office with your insurance information and we will be more than happy to do a quick, free courtesy verification.