Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Acupuncture/ Oriental Medicine Treat? 

When we ask such a question, we tend to be thinking about specific clinical conditions like ‘asthma’ or ‘colitis’. Acupuncture, within the framework of Traditional Oriental Medicine, focuses primarily on the person, and secondarily on the illness.

To fully understand this, you have to turn your thinking on its head a bit. The Classical Acupuncturist usually views your symptoms (the reason you are coming for treatment) as a ‘branch’ expression of an underlying or ‘root’ imbalance.

Because Acupuncture treats the whole person, it has something to offer almost every condition. Having said that, some conditions respond readily to acupuncture treatment and some are notoriously difficult to treat.

In many cases, acupuncture can bring about a complete cure; in others, it is an effective management strategy. Of course, in cases of life-threatening trauma and emergency conditions, your first visit should always be the hospital!

One common perception is that acupuncture is mainly useful in the management of pain.This is completely untrue. Firstly, with regard to pain, Classical Acupuncture can often resolve the pain (rather than merely manage it). Secondly, Classical Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have a range of application that is far broader than pain conditions.

For example, acupuncturists routinely and successfully treat patients whose main complaints are related to immune and/or endocrine dysfunction. Below is a list of conditions and circumstances for which people commonly find acupuncture treatment to be effective.

General: Allergies, Asthma, Sinusitis, Headaches, TMJ, Back Pain, Sciatica, Musculoskeletal Problems, Insomnia, Anxiety, Dizziness, Depression, High Blood Pressure, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Addictions, Indigestion, Constipation, Sexual Dysfunction, Post-Operative Recovery, Palliative Care, Weight Control, Arteriosclerosis, Anemia.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Spastic colon, Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Food Allergies, Ulcers, Gastritis, Abdominal Bloating, Hemorrhoids

Women’s Health: Menstrual Irregularities, Menopause, Conception Difficulties, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Lactation Difficulties, Postpartum, Ovarian and Uterine Problems.

Men’s Health: Prostate, Infertility, Impotence.

Preventative Health: Prevention, Stress Management, General Wellness and Seasonal Attunement

Acupuncture Also Treats: Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects, Diabetes, Dermatological Disorders.

  • An Acupuncturist is like a Primary Care Physician for Natural Medicine. Most pathologies can be treated with Acupuncture, Herbs and Life Style Changes.
  • Classical Oriental Medicine treats Mind, Body and Soul.

“Why does my acupuncturist check my pulse and tongue?”

Pulse and tongue diagnosis are two of the more important diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. They are both used to derive a TCM diagnosis for your condition which is used to plan your treatment. Of the diagnostic tools, pulse diagnosis is one of the more important tools used in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture and herbal medicine. While tongue diagnosis provides valuable clinical information, the pulse can be used to gain a deep understanding of the patient on many levels. “Mastering” pulse diagnosis is difficult without the guidance of a skilled teacher. Even at basic levels, however, the pulse provides immediate and specific information that can help clarify contradictory diagnostic information and symptomology.

When your practitioner looks at your tongue, he or she is looking at the shape, color, size, coating and positioning or movement of the tongue, each of which offers a piece to the diagnostic puzzle.