838 State Farm RD,  Boone, NC  28607 | (828) 386 - 1172  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture
Answered by Ramsey Higgins, L.Ac.

What does acupuncture treat?

Pain, stress, anxiety, sports injuries, arthritis, sciatica, insomnia, depression, infertility for both men and women, pregnancy health, menopause, migraines, allergies, GERD, IBS, TMJ, women's health, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, addictions, headaches, weight management to name a few. Literally any physical, mental, emotional concern with the human body can be addressed by acupuncture because you are a whole and these cannot be separated out from your complete picture of health. Please call if your concern is not listed here.

How should I prepare for a treatment?

Wear or bring comfortable clothing to your treatment. This will allow me to be able to access the acupuncture points with ease, and it will help you to feel relaxed. Please try to avoid eating a heavy meal or skipping a meal before coming to your appointment.

Does it hurt?

The answer to this is "it's all relative." From one patient to the next their sensitivity differs greatly. Therefore, it is impossible to know if it will be painful for you. In most cases patients report initial sensations of tingle, slightly buzzy, dull, slightly achy, and within a minute or two, the needles can not be felt. The overall sensations are relaxation, clarity, calmness and renewed energy.

How does acupuncture work from a “traditional” point of view?

Traditionally, acupuncture works by balancing the subtle energies of the body. The concept of Qi (pronounced Chee) is essential to understanding how acupuncture works. The closest English language translation for the word Qi is “life energy." When Qi in our body is in balance, we feel healthy and strong. When Qi is not flowing properly, or when it becomes blocked, many different signs and symptoms of disease may arise. These can include pain, a weakened immune system, emotional difficulties, infertility, and ill health to name a few examples. Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the body to restore the normal flow of the body’s Qi. Once the body is in a balanced state, it can heal itself more efficiently.

How does acupuncture work from a modern, scientific point of view?

Scientific studies have shown certain acupuncture points to have effects on the nervous system, releasing neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing inflammation, and increasing the circulation of blood and bodily fluids. However, there are gaps in the modern theories that explain how acupuncture can do all of these things. We believe that these gaps will be filled by further research and with the advancement of technology. In the meantime, we combine traditional theories with modern scientific theories to explain how acupuncture works.

What are meridians (channels)?

Acupuncture points are not randomly placed on the body. A majority of them lie on what are traditionally known as meridians or channels. These meridians are viewed as pathways of Qi (energy) in the body. Just like the nervous and vascular systems, they connect different parts of the body with one another. In this way, meridians help explain how placing a needle in one point on the body can influence an area on a different part of the body. For example, there are points in the hands and feet that are commonly used to treat headaches.

How many treatments will I need?

Overall, many patients see changes within the first 3–5 treatments and significant improvements within 6–12 treatments. In this system of medicine, the effectiveness of each treatment typically builds upon the previous one. Many conditions require an average of 6–15 treatments to achieve the goal of the treatment plan. Acute conditions tend to resolve more quickly with an intensive series of treatments. Whereas, chronic conditions may require a longer and more consistent series of treatments. The number of required treatments may also depend upon the severity of the complaint. Once significant changes have been made, maintenance treatments may be required. Depending on the particular condition and the patient's age, this may entail a treatment every one to three months.

I will check your progress throughout your treatment plan and strive to provide you with an accurate prognosis. I will also refer you to another health care practitioner if I am unable to help you.

Are the needles reused?

No. I only use sterile, single-use, disposable needles. Furthermore, I am nationally certified in the Clean Needle Technique by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This is the only national organization that certifies practitioners in Clean Needle Technique for acupuncture. Clean Needle Technique is the standard way in which acupuncture is practiced in order to keep patients and practitioners safe. Expect to always receive the highest level of care available each time you visit my clinic.

Still have questions about Acupuncture?
Please never hesitate to give us a call at (828) 386-1172.