FAQs on Acupuncture Treatment in San Diego

FAQs on Acupuncture Treatment in San Diego

FAQs on Acupuncture Treatment in San Diego


Acupuncture is a 3,000-year old technique used originally in traditional Chinese medicine. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) promotes the use of acupuncture as a safe and effective measure for treating a variety of conditions. Used for pain relief, now, acupuncture is covered by many health insurance policies.

How is acupuncture done at the top San Diego acupuncture clinics?

By stimulating certain anatomic sites, called acupuncture points or acupoints, acupuncture improves body function and promotes natural self-healing. The practitioner will stimulate acupoints by inserting fine, sterile needles into the skin. To further enhance the effects of acupuncture, many acupuncurists use heat, pressure, or electrical stimulation.

How does acupuncture work?

As with other Chinese therapies, acupuncture is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe and body as two opposing forces: yin and yang. The body is healthy when these forces are in balance. Energy (called “qi”) flows along certain pathways in the body, which are referred to as meridians. This energy flow balances the yin and yang. If the flow becomes blocked, there is pain, decreased function, and/or illness.

Acupuncture is used to release the blocked flow and stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Research studies have confirmed acupuncture’s positive effect on the nervous, endocrine, immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems. When these various systems are stimulated, the body can resolve pain and improve overall well-being.

What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment session?

When you go to see the acupuncturist, you will first be asked about your health history. He/she will examine your tongue for color, shape, and coating, and perform a physical examination. Based on these unique assessment findings, the acupuncturist can recommend a proper treatment plan that is tailored to your particular condition. You will be positioned on a treatment table on your stomach, and the exact acupoints are stimulated using fine, sterile needles. These needles are retained in the skin for between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the practitioner’s technique. During and after these treatments, patients report that they feel quite relaxed.

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

The number and frequency of acupuncture treatments will vary from person-to-person. Some patients experience dramatic relief after only one treatment. For long-standing, severe, and complex disorders, several months of treatments may be needed on a weekly or biweekly basis. For acute conditions, the acupuncturist may only recommend total of 6 to 9 treatments. Based on your unique condition, the expected number of acupuncture sessions will be discussed during your initial consultation.

What conditions are treated with acupuncture?

There are numerous clinical studies that show the benefits of acupuncture for treatment of various conditions, which range from musculoskeletal problems to infertility. In addition, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) both recognize that acupuncture is a beneficial component in the treatment of numerous illnesses and conditions. Commonly treated conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Facial pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tennis elbow

What are the different styles of acupuncture?

There are many approaches to acupuncture. The most common styles used in the United States include:

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach – This is the most common style, and it is based on a diagnosis of eight complementary opposites: yin-yang, excess-deficiency, internal-external, and hot-cold.
  • French Energetic approach – This style is mainly performed by MD acupuncturists. It focuses on meridian patterns, mainly the yin-yang.
  • Korean Hand approach – This style is based on the principle that hands and feet have qui, so applying needles to these areas treats the entire body.
  • Auricular approach – For treatment of addiction disorders, this style is based on the concept that the ear is a reflection of the body. Therefore, applying needles to ear points will correspond to affected organs.
  • Myofascially-based approach – This style involves feeling the meridian lines for tender points. The needles are applied to the tender points, which indicate areas of abnormal energy flow. This is often practiced by physical therapists.

Sorrento Valley Pain Relief offers acupuncture to patients in conjunction with additional complementary and traditional treatment options including chiropractic, physical therapy, medication management and more. Call the top acupuncture clinic in San Diego for more information and scheduling today!

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