What is Acupuncture?


Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world.  The term describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. As part of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the symptoms of disease are the result of an imbalance of energies in the body. The treatment focuses on restoring and maintaining balance in the body, mind, and spirit.

The power of acupuncture and herbal medicine is its dedication to treating both the symptoms of disease and the underlying disharmony causing those symptoms.  In TCM, this unique method of treatment is known as “root-branch” treatment.  The general purpose of acupuncture is to activate the vital energy, or “qi” of the body.  Common treatment strategies include the dispersing of stagnant or “stuck qi” and blood, harmonizing imbalanced qi, creating a better environment for the production of qi and blood, and drawing more qi and blood to the affected area.

During treatment, a patient sits or lies down comfortably while a series of very thin, single-use, sterile needles are inserted into specific active treatment sites on the body, known as meridians. The practitioner manipulates each needle until a sensation known as “de qi” (or “the arrival of qi”) is felt by patient, practitioner, or both. De qi is generally described as a pleasant tingling, or as a heavy or dull throbbing sensation. De qi is important because it indicates that the qi has been correctly stimulated by the needle.

Needles are generally retained for 15-20 minutes, depending on the specific treatment strategy. At the end of the treatment, needles are removed and discarded safely.

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How does Electro-Acupuncture work?

Electro-Acupuncture is very similar to traditional Acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated using very thin, sterile, single-use needles inserted at specific points on the body. In Electro-Acupuncture, the needles are attached by small clips to a device that creates electric pulses along the needle. Needles are stimulated in pairs so that gentle current can be passed from one needle, through the muscle, to another.  Several pairs of needles can be stimulated at the same time. Electro-acupuncture can be used for a wide variety of conditions.  It is particularly effective in dispersing stagnant qi, such as occurs in a chronic pain condition, muscle spasms, and neurological disorders. 

During Electro-Acupuncture treatment patients may experience a tingling sensation similar to the de qi (or "arrival of qi").  In many cases, the current used is below the threshold for sensation, so the tingling may not be felt.

It is important to provide your practitioner with a complete medical history.  Electro-acupuncture should not be used on patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, heart disease, strokes, or on patients with metal implants or pacemakers.  


What is Fire-Cupping?

Cupping, which dates to the early fourth century, is one of the oldest methods of treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In a typical cupping session, smooth glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball dipped in alcohol, which is burned and then run through the inside of the cup. This action removes all the oxygen from the cup, creating a vacuum.  The cup is then quickly turned upside down on the specific area to be treated.  The vacuum gently lifts the skin upward toward the cup and temporarily adheres the cup to the skin. Cups can be left in place to remove deep stagnation or moved gently over the skin. Cupping releases toxins, increases the blood flow, realigns qi, and resolves obstruction, muscle soreness, and pain.

Cupping is an excellent treatment for a wide variety of pain, lymphatic, and respiratory conditions. Cupping can even reduce the appearance of cellulite.


Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbal Tincture

How is Herbal Medicine is used in your treatment?

Herbal medicine is one of the most important modalities in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for centuries.  Many current pharmaceuticals are based on or modified forms of Chinese Herbs or Herbal formulas. Herbal formulas have been shown to be safe and effective over many years of clinical experience and research, both in China and America. Formulas are powerful treatments even when used alone, but they also enhance Acupuncture and other TCM treatments to speed healing.  Unlike western medications, traditional formulas are tailor-made to suit each patients individual constitution and presentation of disease. Herbal medicine also differs from western medicine, because it values the balance and interaction of all the ingredients in a formula above the effects of any individual ingredient. This focus on the individual is characteristic of and a key success factor in all TCM treatments, especially herbal medicine.

Herbal formulas often use ingredients from all parts of plants—leaf, stem, flower, root—and also ingredients from animals and minerals.  

Herbal formulas are traditionally brewed into a tea from raw, dried herbs. Herbal formulas have progressed over the years to fit how we live. They now come in the many easy to take forms such as tinctures, tablets, capsules and granules.  Patients can often select whichever form is most comfortable and convenient for them.

Other Modalities

Gua Sha and Tui Na

Gua Sha

Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a reddish skin rash known as petechiae. In Traditional Chinese Medicine,  sha is the term used to describe static blood or external toxins in the skin before and after it is raised as petechiae. Gua sha is one technique that intentionally raises sha rash or petechiae.

During treatment, the area to receive gua sha is lubricated with oil or alcohol. The skin is then rubbed with a tool or smooth spoon in downward strokes until petechiae is raised. If no blood stasis is present, the petechiae will only turn pink. If blood stasis is present, the petechiae may be dark purple. Sha should fade in 2-3 days. Sha that does not fade in that period of time may indicate poor blood circulation.

Gua sha is effective when patients have acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, or stagnation of qi and blood. It is also an extremely effective treatment for respiratory conditions, including cough, cold, and flu.  Patients generally report an immediate relief from pain and muscle stiffness, or improved breathing in the case of respiratory complaint. 

Tui Na  

Tui na translates from the Chinese as “push-grasp.”Physically, tui na is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading movements which remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulate the flow of qi and blood to promote healing, similar to principles of acupuncture, moxibustion (the burning of moxa, a Chinese herb, on or near a person’s skin) and acupressure. Tui na is a strong therapeutic method, very different from a typical relaxation massage.  Tui na techniques range from light stroking to deep tissue work which would not be used by practitioners striving for patient relaxation.

Tui na is used to treat or complement the treatment of many conditions, especially specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems. 

During a tui na session, the patients wears loose clothing and lies on a massage table. The practitioner will concentrate manipulation on specific acupressure points, energy trigger points, and muscles and joints surrounding the affected area. Treatment sessions can last up to 30 minutes. Patients may feel either relaxed or energized by the treatment and release of pain.

Gua Sha
Gua Sha

Kinesio Body Tape

How Kinesio-Taping is used in treatment?

 Elastic therapeutic tape, also called kinesiology tape, Kinesio tape, KT Tape, RockTape is an elastic cotton and Spandex strip with an acrylic adhesive that is used with the intent of treating pain and disability from athletic injuries and a variety of other physical disorders. In individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain, research suggests that elastic taping helps relieve pain. Point of Health Acupuncture uses Kinesio-Tape to extend the benefits of our musculoskeletal treatments. The tape typically stays on for up to 5 days extending your pain relief and speeding up the healing process.

How is works

Turns down the volume on pain

More specifically, it runs interference on pain. Ever whack your shin and rub it, and suddenly realize you feel better? kinesio tape on the skin can interfere with painful signals which are directed to the brain. That's pain relief!

When the signals arriving to the brain are altered, it does not produce the sensation of pain. When kinesiology tape is properly applied, many of our customers call it “magic” or think that it fixed their injury instantly. In fact, it helps to change how your body interprets pain, turning down the pain “volume” that your body hears.

Decompresses swelling and inflammation

When kinesio tape is applied to the skin, it has a microscopic lifting effect underneath the skin and between the many layers. This allows the by-products created by inflammation to be removed more quickly.

Delays fatigue

Research has shown that kinesio tape on skin can attenuate muscle fatigue. In rehab, this is very important, not only for the parts of your body that are currently hurting, but also for the surrounding areas as they help to pick up the slack for muscles that are currently not working well.

Normalizes muscle tone

When someone is injured, fatigued, sick, or inflamed, the symphony of muscle action that normally takes place with great accuracy often falls out of tune. This can happen all over the body. For instance, research has shown that people who sprain their ankle tend to have altered activity of their hip muscle as a result. Kinesio tape helps bring dormant muscle back to life and help calm down the overactive muscles. It helps your body coordinate movement as if it weren’t hurt, hence allowing it to heal properly.

Distributes physical stress

Unlike conventional taping, which prevents movement – Kinesio tape allows full movement of a taped area.  Through elastic properties and quick recoil, kineso tape can help distribute forces to other nearby areas through the fascia, ligaments, and even bones.