What is Acupuncture?

The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques (needles, moxibustion, and electrical stimulation). The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation. Dr Elizabeth Grady personally does not use electrical stimulation of needles, but can use electrical stimulation of the point itself (ears only).

Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable, yet complementary, forces: yin and yang. Yin represents cold, slow, or passive aspects of the person, while yang represents hot, excited, or active aspects.

According to TCM, health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state” – disease is due to an imbalance of yin and yang leading to a blockage in the flow of qi. Qi is the vital energy or life force regulating a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang along pathways known as meridians. Qi can be unblocked by using acupuncture at certain points on the body that connect with these meridians.

What Conditions Are Improved With Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is useful in the treatment of functional problems such as asthma, arthritis, allergies, and PMS, but is also effective for, but not limited to:

  • Addictions
  • Anxiety
  • Back and Neck Problems
  • Chronic Low Energy
  • Chronic Muscle Pain / Spasms
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Post-MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) Pain
  • Sciatica/Sciatic Pain

A Typical Session

During your first office visit, you will be asked at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. Dr Elizabeth Grady will want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Please inform me about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have.

After interviewing you on your health condition, Dr Elizabeth Grady will feel both wrists for your TCM pulses and look at your tongue. This will help her diagnose your current state and determine which points need to be needled.

Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people feel energized by the treatment, while others feel relaxed. Some points are very “strong” and will most likely be felt more than other, weaker points. Treatment may take place over a period of several weeks or more, depending on the condition being treated.

Acupuncture Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners, requiring that needles be manufactured and labeled according to certain standards. I always use needles that are sterile, nontoxic, and for single use only.

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