Information about Acupuncture


Does acupuncture hurt?

Generally, no. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin — about the width of human hair. Most of us have had experiences with needles used for injections, which are large and hollow. Since acupuncture needles don’t inject anything into the body, they are solid and very thin. Patients sometimes experience a slight, sharp sensation when the needle is being inserted, but usually people only experience a sensation of warmth or gentle tingling when needles are inserted. If any therapy does cause you pain, please let your practitioner know immediately that you feel uncomfortable.
What does acupuncture treat?
According to the National Institutes of Health, acupuncture has proven to be effective in the treatment of pain, including back and neck pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis pain, and headaches. Our patients report improvement for a diverse range of issues, including asthma, digestive disorders, smoking cessation, stress management, and many other problems.

What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine integrates the best features of Western medicine and Chinese medicine. Integrative medicine approaches each individual as a whole person, rather than a set of symptoms. An integrative approach to medical care might include Western medicine and chiropractic as well as acupuncture, natural products such as herbal formulas, dietary therapy, massage, movement exercise, and relaxation techniques like deep breathing.

How long has Chinese medicine been around?

Chinese medicine has a rich and complex history. Over the centuries, the medicine evolved in its complexity as it adapted to the growth of Chinese civilization, the incorporation of scientific method, public health concerns and the advent of modern technology.

What does a treatment look like?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine solid stainless steel needles through the skin. A typical treatment includes needling 8-12 points chosen on the basis of the patient’s constitution and symptoms. Each session is highly customized for you and your specific health concern. Most points selected are on the limbs and head, although back and abdomen points can also be used. Dr. Roberts uses many approaches to address your overall health in addition to your current symptoms. Dr. Roberts uses western and oriental diagnostic techniques such Electric Meridian Imaging to understand the dynamics creating your health concern. This approach means acupuncture is deeply patient-centered in its approach to care.

How does it work?

There is no known mechanism for acupuncture although many theories have been proposed. According to Chinese medical theory, acupuncture promotes healthy circulation of blood and qi because, “Where there is free flow there is no pain, where there is pain there is no free flow.” The scientific evidence base for acupuncture’s effectiveness continues to grow. It is clear that for pain conditions such a chronic low back pain, acupuncture treatment is both beneficial and safe.

Can acupuncture help with pain?

Yes! Acupuncture promotes healthy circulation of blood and qi thus resolving pain. From a biochemical perspective, acupuncture analgesia is achieved by peripheral nerve stimulation that directs the brain to release endorphins, which in turn block pain pathways in the brain. The Department of Veterans Affairs, World Health Organization, and an increasing number health insurance providers recognize acupuncture as an effective intervention for musculoskeletal pain. As a drug-free
intervention with demonstrated lasting results, acupuncture is an alternative for pain management without the potentially serious side effects as prescription drugs and surgery.

How does it work alongside other medical providers?

Dr. Roberts can communicate healthcare providers to ensure the best quality care for the his patients. Many physicians are now approaching acupuncture as complementary to their to their patients and their medical practices. Many institutes integrate such therapies. To engage your primary care physician or other health care provider you can convey your preferences and the benefits of the care you receive through acupuncture.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Kids may not like getting shots, but that doesn’t mean they won’t like acupuncture! Common pediatric complaints like ear aches, bedwetting, ADHD and asthma all respond very well to acupuncture. Such treatments can include needling and non-needling techniques such as acupressure. As a general rule, acupuncture is safe for ages seven or older. Every child should be assessed for readiness for acupuncture on a case-by-case basis.

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Yes! Dr. Roberts has been trained to know which points are helpful for pregnant women and which ones are to be avoided. It’s important to let the doctor know if you are pregnant, or if you think you might be, so that your treatment can be as safe as possible for both mother and child. Acupuncture can help with several pregnancy-related conditions including morning sickness, back pain, premature cervical ripening, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), fatigue, heartburn, constipation, and gestational diabetes.

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