What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a safe, natural, drug-free method of healthcare. By inserting tiny needles into various points in the body, acupuncture works by encouraging the body to promote healing. Acupuncture points are located along major energy channels called meridians. There are 14 main meridians throughout the body, connected to specific organs and glands. Meridians are similar to rivers. Where rivers flow freely, they have the capacity to transport water, which nourishes plants and people. In the same way, meridians in the body transport life energy, qi, throughout the body. Qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through these meridians. Qi is the life energy that helps to animate the body, and protect it from illness, pain, and disease. When the free flow of qi gets blocked or unbalanced, just like the river, the body will be unable to transport the life energy throughout it, resulting in illness, pain, and disease.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are commonly used together. The Chinese have understood the medicinal benefits of herbs for thousands of years. At Buechel Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, almost all of the herbal formulas prescribed for patients are in pill form. We will prescribe herbal formulas in powdered form when necessary, and also carry topical herbs, which are used for specific dermatological conditions. Chinese herbal medicine is used to expedite the healing process, while gently strengthening and supporting it along the way.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! At Buechel Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, we only use sterile, single-use, disposable needles. All herbal formulas come from manufacturers that comply with GMP (good manufacturing practices). All herbs are tested for heavy metals and are completely free from harmful preservatives.
How does it work?
The basic foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that there is a life energy, called Qi (pronounced chee) flowing through the body. This energy flows through the body on channels called meridians. These meridians connect all of our major organs. According to TCM theory, illness occurs when the cyclical flow of qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or blocked. Acupuncture points are areas of proven electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these specific points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. Some studies have shown endorphins to be 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins are also important in the functioning of the hormonal system. This explains why TCM works well for pain and arthritis, as well as PMS and infertility, among other conditions. The substances released in the body as a result of acupuncture relax the body and help to regulate serotonin in the brain. This is why depression and emotional disorders are often treated with TCM. Studies have shown that the body responds to acupuncture with decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms, and increased T-cell count, which stimulates the immune system.
What kinds of conditions can be treated with acupuncture?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cold and flu, constipation, depression, digestive complaints, emotional problems, fatigue, headache, low back pain, menopause, menstrual problems, pain, PMS, sleep disturbances, smoking cessation, stress, AND MANY MORE! Please call us to find out how TCM and acupuncture can help you with your health.
What should I expect at my first visit?
Before coming in, make sure you have eaten a small meal or snack. Traditional Chinese Medicine takes into account your whole self, versus just your symptoms. In order to get to the root of your health issues, questions will be asked that may not seem relevant to your main health complaint. After the health history portion of the visit, you will lie on the treatment table. Once all the needles are in, the room will be darkened and you have the option of listening to some relaxing music, or having it be quiet. During this time, most people get extremely relaxed and many fall asleep. About 20 to 30 minutes later, the needles will be removed. If no other therapies are done (cupping, electro stim, etc), the visit will be over. This visit takes about an hour an a half. It is important to refrain from strenuous activity and alcohol for at least six hours after acupuncture treatments.
How often should I get treated?
The frequency of your visits will depend on several factors. How long you’ve had your current health concerns and how quickly you respond to treatment are important factors in determining your outcome. Some people have immediate results, while others need more treatments. The use of herbal formulas and lifestyle habits also play an important role. In general, chronic conditions take longer to treat, while acute issues will see results faster.
Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Acupuncture is usually covered by no-fault auto insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. If your health concern is due to a car accident or an accident involving work comp insurance, we will handle the billing for you. We’re happy to provide you with a statement or receipt for you to get reimbursed through your private health insurance. Acupuncture services are usually covered by flexible spending accounts. Package plans are available and we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and checks.
Do you Recommend any local providers of other treatments?
Acupuncture can be most effective when used in conjunction with other forms of medicine and here are a few of the people here locally that I have found to be extremely talented and helpful:
Massage Therapy: Cindy Clark, Hand Dance Therapeutic Massage & Pilates, 930 Switzer Canyon, Ste 102A, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, 928-600-8432, www.handdancemassage.com.
Psychology: Stress Reduction Program. Cultivate Mindfulness in Daily Living. Steven and Susan Patrick, Licensed Psychologists. 318 W. Birch Ave Flagstaff 928-863-1379
Naturopathic Care: Flagstaff Clinic of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr Amber Belt, Dr Emily Davenport, and Dr Erin Victor, 809 North Humphreys Flagstaff. 928-774-1770 flagstaffnaturalhealth.com
Reiki: Nikki Anam Cara Baldwin. 2905 N. West St (inside Buechel Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine’s clinic). 928-699-5864 www.womankindllc.com