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© 2019 by Horizon Integrative Medicine

What is acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture is a medical practice that entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.​

How does acupuncture work?

  • It works by stimulating specific points (acupuncture points) that have the ability to alter biochemical and physiological conditions in the body. Acupuncture points are areas of electrical sensitivity, which stimulates nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins (the body's natural pain-killing hormones). Endorphins play a significant role in the hormonal system, which is why acupuncture is effective in treating back pain, arthritis, PMS and infertility. Acupuncture also regulates serotonin in the brain, which affects emotional states and brings a sense of relaxation. Other physiological effects include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count, which supports the immune system.

Is acupuncture safe? Does it have any side effects?

  • Acupuncture is a drug-free alternative therapy, which avoid the side effects or addictive tendencies of standard medications.

  • The acupuncture needle is a fine hair-like, disposable (one-time use), sterile, FDA-approved medical device.

  • Usually patients experience no or very little side effects other than a sense of relaxation. There are a few risks such as bruising, fainting, muscle spasms and bleeding.

How many treatments would I need?

  • Every condition is different. For chronic conditions 1 or 2 treatments per week for several weeks or months may be required. For acute conditions, fewer treatments are required. 

What should I do to prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

  • Do not come to your appointment in an empty stomach. It is recommended to eat something light.

  • Please wear loose comfortable clothing to facilitate access to some acupuncture points.

  • Please do not take anti-inflammatories, pain medications or alcohol before your appointment.

  • Bring medical records and medicine lists including vitamins and herbal supplements you are currently taking.

  • Please fill out the online forms before your appointment; If the forms were not filled out online, please come in 20 minutes earlier to complete required forms.