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What is Acupuncture?

Having evolved over thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the oldest continually practiced medical modalities in the world. It involves the use of fine needles at specific points on the skin's surface which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions via the nervous system.  Here at Tranquil Body in Charleston, SC, acupuncture is used to release stagnation and restore balance by provoking movement of blood and energy within the body.  The goal is to stimulate the body's innate ability to heal itself.  Needles are gently used to activate sensory receptors and nerve fibers which transmit impulses to the brain.  

Acupuncture is also known to increase circulation and blood oxygen levels, decrease blood pressure, elevate and balance immune function, and decrease inflammation.  There are no limits to what conditions acupuncture can work with, however, it is important for the patient to be willing to recognize and shift particular lifestyle habits that have attributed to their present condition.

Every treatment is customized according to your present condition and will likely change with each visit.   Other modalities may be applied during your acupuncture treatment, depending on your needs. Massage techniques may be used to release muscular stagnation and to relax the body.  Heat therapy is applied through the use of warm towels and an infrared heat lamp is to encourage movement of blood and energy and to dispel spasm and tension.  Cupping therapy uses a form of suction to pull stagnation and toxic build up to the skin’s surface where it may be carried off by the capillaries to be excreted.  By doing so, blood may move freely throughout the area to properly oxygenate and heal the tissue. Herbal, dietary, and lifestyle recommendations will also be offered throughout the treatment process.  Chinese herbs are used in the form of tea, pills, and topical tinctures and rubs.  They may be suggested to balance the body and assist with healing a variety of illnesses.  Herbs are considered to be more gentile on the body, producing far less side effects than medications, and much less invasive than surgery. 

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't.Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that you will hardly feel when I insert them. When I gently stimulate the needles they may produce a unique sensation. Patients often describe this as a heavy, achy pressure, or spreading, traveling feeling. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common.  Any sensations of discomfort will be minimal and will immediately dissipate. Most patients find acupuncture treatments deeply satisfying and leave feeling very relaxed, both physically and mentally.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is often necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 2 to 6 treatments, but you should begin to feel some relief after the first treatment.  Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the severity and duration of the condition.  Results are often accelerated by making appropriate lifestyle changes. Preventative treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed or seasonal basis.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. Acupuncture is used by millions of Americans every year. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. I have passed comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and am licensed by the state of South Carolina. As required by law, I use pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.

Your First Visit

When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment I will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake form which asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes your whole health history into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.

After reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition, and I will examine your pulse and tongue. The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 10-20 needles. Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for 15-20 minutes with the needles in place. Many people find acupuncture treatments deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture works by activating the body's own healing powers, so it can be beneficial for many health conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented many symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be effectively treated with acupuncture. Below are some common conditions I can treat, but please feel free to contact me about your specific health condition.

  • Tendeno-muscular pain

  • Joint pain

  • Arthritis

  • Headaches & Migraines

  • Sciatica

  • Tendonitis

  • Jaw pain (TMJ)

Digestive Issues & Nausea
  • Heartburn, Acid Reflux

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Chronic indigestion

  • Chronic loose stools or constipation

  • Morning sickness

  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Depression

  • PTSD

  • Addiction

  • ADHD

Respiratory Complaints
  • Sinusitis

  • Allergies

  • Common cod or flu

  • Asthma

  • Bronchitis

Reproductive/Endocrine Issues
  • Infertility

  • Increased efficacy of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

  • Menapausal symptoms

  • Endometriosis

  • Irregular Periods

  • Thyroid Imbalance

  • PMS

Neurological Issues
  • Post-Stroke

  • Bell's Pulsey

  • Parkinson's Disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Neuropathy

Acupuncture Charleston, SC

acupuncture for pain