What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient technique in which a skilled practitioner inserts hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to prevent or treat illness. Practiced for over 4000 years in China, where it originated, acupuncture is part of the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which views health as a constantly changing flow of energy, or qi (pronounced "chee"). Acupuncture is believed to help regulate imbalances in this natural flow of energy, which results in disease. Acupuncture is also a method for pain management. Some common uses for acupuncture include: back pain relief, sciatica pain relief, neck pain relief, shoulder pain relief, and headache and arthritis joint pain relief.
What you can expect
On your first visit, Richard Guarino, D.C. will personally take your medical history and perform a physical examination including neurological screening. Depending on your ailment, you may also have your first acupuncture treatment at this time. Only sterile disposable single use needles are utilized. Sometimes the needles are connected to electrical stimulators which can decrease treatment times and increase effectiveness. Some patients notice pain relief after just a few sessions. In those whose conditions have taken years to develop, treatment may take longer.
While scores of illnesses have traditionally been treated by acupuncture in Asia, its primary use in the United States has been for chronic arthritis pain relief and other ailments such as headache, sinusitis, PMS, and for back pain relief. Also, acupuncture may assist with withdrawal symptoms from addictions such as drug and alcohol dependency. Today more innovative applications for acupuncture are being explored by both conventional and alternative practitioners, including its use as an analgesic to reduce pain during surgery and for cancer patients (such as for mesothelioma patients) seeking symptomatic relief.
Is the treatment painful?
No. Extra care is taken to insure that you are comfortable. Most patients are surprised at how relaxing treatment can be and many actually fall asleep. If you are apprehensive regarding use of needles, we can also use non-needle methods such as acupressure.