Medical Acupuncture is performed by a physician who is trained and licensed in conventional Western medicine and has extensive training in acupuncture and Eastern medicine philosophies. This approach allows the doctor to use a combination of both approaches to treat and illness, injury or chronic condition.
Acupuncture involves positioning very thin needles on various points on the body depending on the symptoms or pain of the patient. Accurate placement of the needles draws energy to the desired areas and allows for positive energy flow. Acupuncture can be effective for treating both injuries and chronic conditions.
Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Acupuncture can be given at the same time as other treatments, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or herbal prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist knows everything that you are doing, so he can help you get the most benefits from your treatments.
What Conditions can Acupuncture treat?
- Digestive conditions, including gastritis, hiccups, diarrhea, constipation and gastric hyperacidity
- Respiratory ailments, including sinusitis, common cold, seasonal allergies, asthma and bronchitis
- Neurological and muscular conditions, including headaches, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, acute sprains, tennis elbow and neck/back pain
- Eye conditions such as myopia, cataracts (without complications) and conjunctivitis
- Toothaches, gingivitis, etc.
- Post-Chemotherapy conditions, including fatigue, pain, dry mouth and dry eyes
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. For complex or chronic conditions, one or two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, fewer visits may be required. For health maintenance, four sessions a year may be all that is necessary.
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally, the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work.
It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time and do no require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
What are the needles like? Do they hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain or discomfort as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain.
Acupuncture needles are very thin and are made from stainless steel. Insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle, such as those for drawing blood.
Is Acupuncture Covered by Insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, but others do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Ask your health insurance company if they currently cover acupuncture.
What is Group Acupuncture?
If you do not have acupuncture benefits through your insurance carrier, we offer group treatments at $40 per session. Performed in chairs with several people in the same room, group treatments are a great way to maintain health while keeping the costs down. They are best for those with musculoskeletal pain and injuries, as the acupuncture points are limited. Only acupuncture points along the lower arms and legs, head, ears, feet and shoulders are used. Patients can expect to sit for 30-45 minutes during the treatment and are welcome to bring headphones to listen to music. Wearing loose fitting clothing so the doctor can easily access acupuncture points is recommended.
Private treatments are recommended for those with complex problems, conditions with emotional aspects or conditions of a private nature.
Sign up for a group acupuncture treatment here, or call us at 775-982-8255 for more information.
Qi Gong with Dr. Chen
What is Qi Gong?
Qi Gong (pronounced "chee gong") is an ancient Chinese movement art somewhat similar to Tai Chi. It is meant to promote health and improve the practitioner's own circulation of Qi (vital) energy within his or her body. The slow and rhythmic movements of Qi Gong are both easily learned and gentle on the body. Qi Gong is comprised of visualizations and external movements that improve health and longevity, as well as energy, balance, circulation, calmness, and focus. No experience necessary to participate. Classes are appropriate for any body type or athletic level. Please wear comfortable shoes and unrestrictive clothing. Please call 775-982-8255 to find out more information and the class schedule for registration.
About Dr. Chen
Howard Chen, MD, FAAMA, is board certified by the America Board of Family Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester and completed his residency at the University of Washington. He believes that the patient-provider relationship is that of a partnership, with both sides playing an equal part in health and well-being. In addition, he believes that optimal health care involves the use of all available treatments with have been shown to benefit a particular condition, including both Western and Eastern medical philosophies.
About Dr. Maul
Mary Maul, MD, FAAFP, FAAMA, is a fellow of the American Board of Family Medicine and American Board of Medical Acupuncture. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Utah in Ogden, Utah. Acupuncture for Dr. Maul is a way to connect to the patient healing process. She believes that all beings are meant to live their lives to their fullest potential. Disease and pain are a reflection of imbalance. Acupuncture assists in the healing process, connecting the spirit, mind and body. Dr. Maul has a passion for acupuncture. It is not only for pain but for well being.
In The News
Dr. Howard Chen discusses what a patient can expect with medical acupuncture treatment here.