What is Acupuncture?


Acupuncture began with the ancient Chinese who made observations about the human body in various states of health and disease. They discovered tender points, which, when rubbed or stimulated, appeared to help in the treatment of the person, either by alleviation of symptoms or cure of the disease. In later times, a very complex system of "points" and "energy channels" was described and incorporated into a complete theory/philosophy, to explain how it all worked.

Modern Western theories, such as the "Reflex", "Gate control" and "Neurohumoral" theories, help us to understand acupuncture on a scientific basis. Many traditional Chinese practitioners continue to use the Eastern paradigm, but the Western paradigm is gaining considerable scientific validity.

Methods of stimulation in acupuncture have varied over the years. Modalities have included pressure (in Japan - shiatsu), heat (using a herb called moxa or Artemis vulgaris), ultrasound and electric stimulation. I prefer the traditional and more effective method of needle stimulation, although I am using Laser treatment more often these days especially for children, for certain points on the body and for those with a particular fear of needles. Both laser and needles are very effective. Some patients who have been treated with both, have a preference with regard to efficacy, and request one or the other.


It is important before treatment begins, that a thorough assessment, examination and diagnosis be made and that the treatment be discussed. For this reason, a new patient, or a patient returning with a new problem, will require a longer appointment (40 minutes).

Treatment usually requires a 20 minute appointment (which includes review) and the patient is asked to arrive a little earlier and to wait for a few minutes after , so as to relax and gain the full benefit. The number of treatments depends on the condition and the rate of progress, but typically is between 4 & 10. Occasionally only one session is needed and for very difficult conditions it may be more than 10.