Acupuncture is a natural, safe and effective treatment that heals pain and illness, prevents disease and improves well-being. Acupuncture is one component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)—an effective form of health care which has evolved into a complete holistic medical system. Other components include acupressure, herbal medicine, cupping, moxibustion, massage and qigong. Practitioners of TCM and acupuncture have used this non-invasive medical system for 5,000 years to help millions of people become well and stay well. It is, in fact, the oldest, continuously practiced, literate professional medicine in the world and is currently used by one-quarter of the world’s population!

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an integrated, energetic model rather than the biochemical and anatomical model of western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes (qi). This qi flows along specific pathways throughout the body (meridians), and each meridian is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Acupuncture promotes natural healing with the insertion of tiny, sterile, disposable needles at specific points along these energy pathways. Each point has a predictable effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Modern science has measured the electrical charge at these points, corroborating the locations of the meridians.

Alone or as an adjunct to western medicine, acupuncture provides highly effective treatment for many common complaints and may provide additional relief for problems that do not respond completely to western medical treatment. Acupuncture is recognized world-wide for its ability to effectively treat a wide variety of disorders naturally—without the use of harmful drugs or invasive surgery, and with virtually no side effects.

  • Acupuncture is holistic (attends to mind-body-spirit/symptoms-root-cause)
  • Acupuncture has no negative side effects
  • Acupuncture is highly individualized (is very specific to each person’s needs)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine is preventative medicine
  • Acupuncture boosts the immune system
  • Acupuncture regulates all life supporting systems
  • Acupuncture alleviates the effects of stress
  • Acupuncture reduces/eliminates most pain conditions
  • Acupuncture complements Western therapies
  • Acupuncture is very cost-effective
  • Acupuncture works!

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that qi (often described as the body’s electromagnetic energy or life force) flows throughout the body in specific pathways called meridians. Where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue, muscle and physiological system in the body. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of this qi. In a state of good health the qi flows unimpeded through the meridians, similar to blood flowing through arteries or nerve impulses traveling along the nervous system. Tiny, sterile, disposable needles are painlessly inserted at specific acupuncture points along the meridians to regulate the flow of qi and bring the body and mind back to a state of balance and harmony.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain, which either change the experience of pain or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. In simplest terms, acupuncture normalizes the functions of the body.

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Here is a list of a few issues that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been successful in treating:

  • Neurological
    • Headache
    • Migraines
    • Post-operative pain
    • Stroke residuals
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Bladder dysfunction
  • Musculo-skeletal
    • Muscle pain and weakness
    • Sciatica
    • Backache or pain
    • Muscle cramping
    • Arthritis
    • Disc problems
  • Digestive
    • Abdominal pain
    • Hyperacidity
    • Chronic diarrhea
    • Indigestion
    • Constipation
  • Eye, Ear, Dental
    • Vision problems
    • Tinnitus
    • Hearing problems
    • Toothache
    • Post extraction pain
    • Gum problems
  • Respiratory
    • Sinusitis
    • Common cold
    • Bronchitis
    • Asthma
    • Allergies
    • Rhinitis
  • Respiratory
    • Gynecological
    • PMS, cramps
    • Menopausal symptoms
  • Emotional
    • Insomnia
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Nervousness
    • Neurosis
  • Other Benefits include:
    • Increased vitality and energy
    • Stress reduction and deep relaxation
    • Skin rejuvenation
    • Weight control
    • Elimination of smoking, alcohol, or drug addictions
    • Enhanced athletic performance
    • Pain control
    • Immune system enhancement
    • Regulated blood pressure

While patients consistently find that acupuncture is highly successful in treating the above conditions, it is important to remember that acupuncture is a holistic medicine and does not diagnose or treat based on the elimination of individual symptoms like the western medical model. Chinese medicine treats the whole person—body, mind and spirit, targeting the underlying cause of the overall imbalance and considers each symptom in relationship to all the others. So while a patient may certainly be relieved of a particular symptom during the course of acupuncture treatment, that patient will also notice other problems disappear and experience a sense of increased vitality, health and well-being.

An initial acupuncture treatment begins with a series of questions that help us identify each patient’s individual pattern of disharmony. Additionally, we will observe other characteristics such as complexion, voice, posture and tongue. Finally, we will take pulse readings from both wrists. A TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis is then made and a customized treatment plan is created. Most patients are surprised to find how comfortable and relaxed they are during the treatment and how easily and painlessly the needles are inserted. In fact, many patients fall asleep during treatment. While there should be no pain from the acupuncture needles, other sensations are common and even desirable in most cases. These sensations include a tingling sensation, numbness, a feeling of heaviness, and sensations of warmth or cold—either at the site of the needle or radiating and traveling away from it. Needles are typically left in place for 30 minutes, or removed immediately depending on the condition being treated.

The acupuncture treatment may be supplemented by electro-acupuncture (a mild electrical current connected to the needles to enhance the effect), infrared heat therapy, moxibustion (the burning of a healing herb, artemesia vulgaris, near an acupuncture point), cupping, acupressure, massage, or Chinese herbal medicine.

Acupuncture is one of the most time-tested treatments known to mankind. It is a very safe form of medical treatment, with no unpleasant side-effects. Only sterile, single-use disposable needles are used in our clinic, and Clean Needle Technique (CNT) is strictly and consistently observed. We have undergone rigorous and comprehensive training and are nationally board-certified and licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of Maryland and in Washington DC.
No two conditions or people respond exactly the same and the number of treatments needed varies from person to person. On average however, we initially recommend that most of our patients come for acupuncture treatment once a week. Some improvement is usually felt after 3-5 treatments. For more complex or longstanding conditions, treatment may be required for a few months. For acute problems, usually significantly fewer visits are required. For health maintenance, one treatment a month (or even season) may be all that is necessary.
Many insurance plans do cover acupuncture. If you would like us to find out what benefits your plan has, please submit your information here, or call us at 240-273-8068, and we would be happy to verify your benefits for you. We are a preferred provider for Carefirst and Aetna, and accept most other insurance.