Acupuncture, or more accurately, Acu-Moxa therapy, is a 2000+ year old therapeutic
system. It originated in ancient China and spread to other countries in East Asia (such as
Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.) It has since been used as an effective form of medicine far in
advance of the development of scientific methodology and Western Biomedicine.
The practice consists of techniques that utilize needles and a combustible plant fiber
known as Moxa that are applied to the skin and other superficial tissues of the body to
produce specific therapeutic effects.
What can Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of complaints, which include, but are
not limited to:
Post-workout recovery by speeding up the clearance of lactic acid and
can remedy many signs of overtraining such as joint and tendon strain.
Musculoskeletal pain ranging from the common complaints of neck,
shoulder, low back and sciatic pain to rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
Digestive complaints ranging from irritable bowel syndrome and
heartburn to ulcerative colitis
Allergies that produce respiratory symptoms such as allergic rhinitis
Gynecological concerns such as menstrual irregularity, menstrual pain,
infertility, or perimenopausal symptoms.
Who can get acupuncture?
Virtually anyone can get acupuncture. The youngest person our acupuncturist ever treated was
only six weeks old and the oldest person he treated was well into their 90's.
Acupuncture is good for people who are relatively healthy and just want to
optimize their well-being to people who are experiencing serious illness.
How to prepare for a treatment
Wear clothing that will allow access to your belly, back, below your knees,
and below your elbows. Skinny jeans and sports bras can be a challenge to
work around, but the most important thing is that you are comfortable.
Eat about two hours before your appointment. You don't want to receive
your treatment on an empty stomach, as this can increase the possibility
of dizziness or nausea.
Get your exercise in before your appointment, not after. Strenuous activity
should be avoided in the few hours directly surrounding your treatment.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture's effects have not yet been fully explained by Western science. This being
said, the most likely explanation is that acupuncture is able to cause functional changes
in the operation of the nervous system which then can have secondary and tertiary
effects on other systems in the body such as the function of the endocrine (hormonal)
or the circulatory systems. Acupuncture also seems to have a direct effect on the motor
and sensory nerves of the body which regulate muscular tension as well as the
transmission of pain.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
The answer to this question really depends on who is doing the treatment. As a
practitioner of Japanese Acu-Moxa therapy, my goal is to deliver the treatment with the
least amount of discomfort possible. Japanese technique tends to use the finest gauge
needles with insertion depths of only a few millimeters. This stands in contrast to the
far more prevalent Chinese system of treatment known as TCM which uses larger
needles and deeper insertions to produce a sensation of soreness or heaviness around
How many treatments will it take?
Acupuncture is best used as an ongoing therapy that seeks to maintain the physiological
balance of the body's self-healing response, thereby preventing the occurrence of
disease. When considering the resolution of specific symptoms, the number of
treatments necessary will depend on any number of factors related to the individual
patient and will be discussed once the basic assessment and first treatment has been
done. Most clients will feel some change in their symptoms within a few treatments
although more time is often necessary to resolve the problem. There are several factors
which can be used to make a general prognosis:
If the symptoms have been present for a few months progress can often be made
within 2 to 6 treatments.
If the symptoms have been present for a year or more it will often take many
weeks or months of regular treatment to resolve the problem.
If the symptoms involve severe acute pain, frequent treatments involving two or
three visits in the same week may be necessary until the symptoms are brought
under control. When the client feels adequate relief, a few more treatments are
done on a weekly interval to prevent a recurrence of the pain.
Age makes a difference. The body's healing response declines as we get older. As
a result, children and young adults tend to respond more quickly than people
who are middle-aged, who in turn respond more quickly than the elderly.
If the symptoms are seasonal, as in the case of allergies, treatments are done
weekly for 6 to 8 weeks prior to the time that symptoms are expected to
Lifestyle makes a difference. For instance, a person who works at a computer for
8 to 10 hours a day will find the resolution of symptoms such as tension
headaches, shoulder pain, or carpal tunnel symptoms will take more time than a
person who has no such daily stressors.
Meet Our Acupuncturist: Aaron Rubinstein, L. Ac.
Aaron received his Bachelor of Science Degree in
Psychology from Texas A&M University in 1993. He
received his Master of Science in Oriental Medicine
from the Texas College of TCM in 2000. His interest in
Japanese styles of acupuncture has taken him to a
host of locations to study with many of the top
practitioners and teachers in the field. He has written
professional articles that have been translated into
Japanese and internationally published.