What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient health science dating over 5,000 years old, and has been used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body.  History has shown that more people have benefited from acupuncture over the course of fifty centuries than the combined total of all other healing sciences, both ancient and modern.

Early physicians discovered an energy network traversing on and below the skin surface in the form of electro-magnetic meridians.  This energy network communicates from the exterior to the internal organs and structures at over 1,000 “acupoints” on the body.  This energy works in harmony with the body’s nervous, circulatory, muscular, digestive, genitourinary systems and all other systems of the body.

In normal health, vital energy (known as chi/qi) flows unimpeded in the meridian channels in a balanced state.  When qi becomes blocked or weakened, an effect in a body system or anatomic location becomes evident.  This disruption of energy flow can produce conditions affecting certain organs or in many cases the entire body.  Stimulation of key acupoints on the body can restore harmony to the affected area.

Is acupuncture painful?  How is it applied?

Acupuncture is a principle, not a technique.  Just as there are different styles of martial arts, there are many ways to stimulate an acupoint.  Besides the painless traditional insertion of a sterile needle, the diameter of which is no bigger than that of a single strand of hair, Dr. Alvarado also utilizes electric stimulationTei-Shin needle percussion, and state of the art laser technology to penetrate into the point of stimulation.

How many treatments are usual?

Internationally, the usual number of treatments is between 8 and 16 with 12 being the most common.  The usual frequency is 2-4 times per week.  Patients are urged not to enter an acupuncture or chiropractic treatment program with the thought of “trying a few” to see what will happen.  Even though the doctor may recommend 10 visits of initial trial therapy, the patient may be discharged should the patient respond completely within just a few treatments.  On the other hand, treatment could be continued to assist in stabilizing the condition.

Results are usually permanent where there has been little or no tissue or organ system damage.  Symptoms from chronic conditions may recur from time to time and may need booster treatments periodically.

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