Acupuncture is one of the oldest most commonly used systems of healing in the world (see FAQ/What is acupuncture?). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that energy (called qi; pronounced ìcheeî) flows through our bodies in channels called meridians. Disruption to the smooth flow of qi causes imbalance and ultimately problems with physical and/or mental well-being. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi and so restores the balance between Yin and Yang (a concept that sort of refers to our highs and lows), and works by stimulating the body's own restorative and recuperative powers. (Acupuncture is also used preventatively to prohibit disruption to the smooth flow of qi.) Acupuncture is a well-established medical procedure that is safe and effective for both acute (immediate) and chronic conditions when practiced by a trained professional.
Dr. Pi inserts small, sterile, disposable metal needles along the intricate network of meridians in the bodies of her patients. The procedure is painless for some and relatively painless for others (see FAQ/How does acupuncture feel?) and produces no negative side effects. The frequency and duration of acupuncture treatments vary depending on the health issue and the patient's constitution. Acupuncture treatments usually take about one hour per session. Results can be felt immediately for acute conditions or may require several visits for chronic complaints. Depending on the severity of the complaint and the extent to which living patterns exacerbate the problem, a course of treatments can range from a couple-several visits/week in the first couple of weeks to a less intense longer-term management plan; Dr. Pi works with patients to establish individual visit schedules.
Patients should not undergo acupuncture on an empty stomach (please see FAQ/How do I prepareÖ before your first visit to The Acupuncture Clinic). Please inform Dr. Pi if you are menstruating or pregnant, or if you have hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, so that your treatment can be modified accordingly and your condition can be managed successfully.
If you are sensitive to needles, Dr. Pi can use a special patch instead (see FAQ/What are ear seeds and tacks?). For patients who do not want acupuncture and for children under 10 years of age, we recommend acupressure - a form of massage where finger pressure is used on points along meridians to treat conditions in the same way that acupuncture is used.