acupuncture medicine new york

Medical Acupunture

"Specialty certification in Medical Acupuncture has added another dimension to how I can help my patients. It has been a journey of discovery that has opened my eyes to the possibilities that were not shown to me during my conventional medical training. Having both Western and non-Western training, I am able to view each medical problem in the broadest context and apply the best or best combination of treatment modalities that will promote health and healing.

I have found that many people's questions around the subject actually offer the best dialogue to determine your choice to include acupuncture in your treatment."

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient technique, originating in China over 2,000 years ago, that encourages the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning and blood flow. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.

How does Acupuncture work?

The classical Chinese explanation is very poetic, in that it describes channels of energy running in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points. It is theorized that the acupuncture needles unblock these "obstructions," and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs or muscular system correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, blood flow and energy production activities.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system through peripheral afferent fibers (nerve fibers that carry signals to the central nervous system) to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals (such as endorphins and enkephalins) and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body's natural healing abilities, thus promoting both physical and emotional well-being with minimal side-effects.

Does Acupuncture really work?

Acupuncture is not for everyone. It is not a cure-all for all types of diseases. However, it can help ameliorate a lot of symptoms so that a person can live a more satisfying life. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today, acupuncture is practiced throughout the world. It is now being used more and more in the United States by patients and physicians.

Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time as other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefits from all your treatments.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

No, absolutely not. In fact, most of my patients start as skeptics, then come to believe after they see that it has worked for them. As a case in point, acupuncture is also used successfully on cats, dogs, horses, and other animals. These animal "patients" do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better.

Of course, just like in life, a positive attitude towards wellness will reinforce the effects of the treatment(s) received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment, for that matter. A neutral attitude (or "blank slate" mind) will not block treatment results, but you should have a willingness to let go of the symptoms that are bothering you. Many people hold on to symptoms as a crutch. Acupuncture is about less mind and more letting go – allowing the treatment to work its effect.

Is Medical Acupuncture different from Traditional Chinese Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. Medical Acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Unlike Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs are not prescribed. The Western-trained acupuncturist has the ability to use a Western medicine or acupuncture or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness. This provides a broad multidisciplinary approach to your healthcare.

What is the scope of Medical Acupuncture?

Medical Acupuncture is a system which can influence several areas of your health:

  • Promote Health. We strive to keep you feeling healthy and well.
  • Prevent Illness. We counsel you on how often you may require treatments to strengthen and aid in prevention of illness.
  • Treat Medical Conditions. We help you restore your health when an acute medical condition has knocked it off balance.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment modalities in many medical and surgical disorders. The approach at Pedre Integrative Health tends to be multidisciplinary, as most problems are multidimensional and complex.

The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

  • Digestive Disorders. Gastritis and hyper-acidity, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Respiratory Disorders. Sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, persistent bronchial cough, recurrent chest infections, and recovery from a respiratory infection.
  • Neurological and Muscular Disorders. Headaches, migraines, acute/chronic neck pain and tension, rib pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendonitis, low back pain, muscle spasm, trigger points, sciatica, and osteo-arthritis of the knees. For acute muscular disorders and pain, the sooner it is treated with acupuncture, the faster the recovery.
  • Urinary, Menstrual and Reproductive Disorders. This includes a treatment protocol we use for Infertility.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person and by problem. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute conditions,usually fewer visits are required, and for health maintenance, four sessions a year may be all that is necessary.

Are there any side effects to Acupuncture?

Usually not. As energy (i.e. circulation and nerve signals) is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Often, one has an endorphin release during the session that feels like "runner's high." You may get sleepy and dose off for a while during the treatment. For most people with stressful lives, this is one of the big pluses of coming in for regular sessions, as most never have time to just sit and relax.

After the acupuncture, the original symptoms occasionally may worsen for a few days, or you may experience other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urinary patterns or emotional state. These should not cause concern or alarm, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is doing its job, and usually pass within a day or two. It is quite common with the first one or two sessions to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time period, and never require anything more than a bit of rest. It is always best to have a non-hectic day after your acupuncture sessions so that the treatment may "sink in."

Are there any do's or don'ts for me on the day of the treatment?

Yes. To enhance the value of each treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages for at least 6 hours after your treatment. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor.
  • For best results, do not engage in excessive alcohol consumption or substance use the day prior to treatment. This may seriously interfere with the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem.

What are the needles like?

People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there should be no pain; although an aching sensation, known as "De Qi" (pronounced "deh chee"), may persist. Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid and made of stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) so that needle insertion through skin is not as painful as injections or blood draws. Because sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used there is almost no risk of infection from the treatments.

Is Acupuncture covered by Health Insurance?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs; other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. If your policy does not cover acupuncture treatments, you will be responsible for the additional charge for these services.

Make an Appointment