Acupuncture is a time-honored method of treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dr. Dawn Potter uses acupuncture to gently restore balance to the body’s vital energies, stimulating healing and promoting well-being.
Very fine, sterile, one-time-use needles are inserted into specific points on the skin to adjust and regulate the flow of energy in the body. Gentle physiological responses occur, which create the circumstances for the body and mind to re-balance, release pain and heal.
Dr. Dawn practices primarily Traditional Chinese acupuncture, with some Tan Balance Method incorporated. She may also use non-needle techniques, such as acupressure, press pellets, or low-level laser for those who are too young or frightened of needles.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture directly addresses the Life Energy, or Qi (“chee”). You can read more on Qi on our Traditional Chinese Medicine page. Thousands of years ago, the ancient Chinese mapped the Qi pathways in human beings. These pathways, known as meridians, can be thought of like rivers. They carry Qi energy to all organs, tissues and cells in the body, ensuring proper physiological and structural functioning.
Acu-points are specific areas on the skin through which the Qi in the meridians can be accessed. Though the Chinese have had knowledge of these points and their locations for thousands of years, Western science can now confirm their existence and locations through electro-magnetic testing.
These acu-points are the needle insertion sites. Stimulation of these points regulates the Qi energy in the Meridians, correcting imbalances and improving flow. This promotes harmony within the body and assists the body’s own healing mechanisms.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Not generally. The needles are very thin, similar to a cat’s whisker. In fact, about 10 acupuncture needles fit inside the hole in a typical hypodermic needle. Some patients may feel a light pinch upon insertion at a few points, but once the needle is in place, any unpleasant sensation dissipates.
Many people fall into a deep relaxation during treatment and most find the experience to be relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoyable. On children, acupressure, laser, massage, cupping and press pellets can be used instead of needles, along with herbal supplementation and nutritional recommendation.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, when performed by a trained professional. The needles are made of surgical steel and are sterile, individually-packaged and disposable. No needle is ever used twice, so there is virtually no risk of infection.
Can I combine acupuncture with my current medical treatment?
Yes. Although acupuncture can stand alone for many conditions, it may also be used as a complementary therapy to conventional medicine. In fact, acupuncture is recommended by many fertility specialists, neurologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, pain specialists, psychologists and oncologists to complement their own therapies.
Acupuncture is also the perfect adjunct to massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, chelation and other alternative therapies.
How many treatments will I need?
The length, number and frequency of acupuncture treatments will vary. After your first visit, Dr. Dawn Potter will have a clearer understanding of what you need and will make her recommendations at that time.
Generally, acute problems require less time and frequency of treatment. For example, an acute sprain may require only one or two treatments, whereas a more chronic or severe ailment may require several treatments. Positive results are generally seen after 6 to 12 treatments.
Typically, acupuncture treatments last from 20 to 45 minutes, with treatments once or twice weekly to start. You will be able to schedule your appointments less frequently when your condition has improved satisfactorily. Once feeling well, most people come in once every 4 to 6 weeks for maintenance, but others come weekly or twice monthly for relaxation, stress relief and overall health maintenance.
For more information on what to expect as a new patient, please visit our New Patient FAQs page.
What does western medicine say about acupuncture?
“The data in support of acupuncture is as strong as that for many accepted western medical therapies….One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.” – National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture.
In research studies, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the immune system, positively affect the circulation, blood pressure, rhythm and stroke volume of the heart, increase secretion of digestive juices and enzymes, stimulate production of red and white blood cells, and regulate hormonal balance. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” brain chemicals.
Many hospitals, rehab centers, fertility clinics, and cancer care facilities have already integrated acupuncture into their treatment services, and more are doing so each year.