How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to Chinese philosophy, all life forms have a vital energy called Qi (pronounced chee). Qi circulates throughout the body in 14 distinct pathways or meridians that traverse the entire length of the body. One meridian will connect to the next, forming a continuous loop of energy. Each meridian is associated with an internal organ. The meridians lie on the superficial aspect of the body, just below the skin at the meridian starting points, and move deeper into the body as the meridians meet to connect with their companion meridian. There are distinct portals or entry points located along the meridian pathways called acupoints. Each acupoint has a distinct effect on the meridian and therefore the internal organ associated with that meridian. When inserted in the proper location, acupuncture needles act as switches, adding or deleting Qi (energy) from the system.

What to Expect

Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing. Acupuncture needles have a very fine diameter (about the size of human hair) and are flexible and disposable. Needles are retained for 10 to 40 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. Often, people will fall asleep during treatment.

Despite an overwhelming number of positive reports from most people receiving acupuncture, some people experience minor negative side effects, which are quite normal and usually temporary. For example, some people initially report worsening symptoms, which is defined as part of the “healing crisis” wherein the move to a healthier state temporarily disrupts the body’s imbalance. Additionally, some patients report temporary fatigue after acupuncture, which can be countered by drinking lots of water and taking it easy for the remainder of the day. In some first sessions, patients report undergoing a strong emotional release, which is often seen as positive, but can be surprising to those who don’t consider themselves being emotional.

All in all, acupuncture provides beneficial reduction in symptoms for the following conditions:

  • Addictions
  • Acid Reflux
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Back Pain
  • Bells Palsey
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cold and Flu
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Heartburn
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Joint Pain
  • Migraine Headache
  • Pain Management
  • PMS, Dysmenorrhea, Amenorrhea
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sciatica
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stroke Sequelae

Is Acupuncture Expensive?

Most health insurance programs have acupuncture benefits. Depending on your plan, there may be a small co-pay or co-insurance due at the time of your appointment. The Clinic is a PPO for Group Health, Uniform Medical, Premera, Lifewise Associates, and many others. Please check with your carrier’s website or contact our clinic to learn about your plan benefits. For those clients electing to pay for services at the time of treatment, early payment discounts apply.