How Does Acupuncture Work?
The origins of Oriental Medicine are over 1,000 years old, and it has been practiced for centuries in east Asia. The modern medical world has been researching the effects of acupuncture and herbal medicine since the mid-20th century.
It has been discovered that acupuncture has an effect on the hypothalamus, which regulates the endocrine system and hormones. It has been shown to activate the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, which induces the relaxation response and reduces the effects of stress on our bodies. It stimulates endorphin and serotonin production, which affect pain perception and mood.
Studies have also found that acupuncture safely increases blood circulation, decreases inflammation, and enhances the effectiveness of the immune system by increasing the number of T-cells.
What Happens During Acupuncture Treatment?
Many people wonder if acupuncture is painful. In most cases only a slight sensation is felt on insertion of the needles, which are much thinner than a hypodermic needle that is used to give a shot or take blood. A slight tingling may be felt around the needle. Patients often experience a feeling of relaxation and well-being during and after treatment with acupuncture.
Other modalities may be used, such as:
Cupping - suction cups are used for muscle release and detoxification
Gua Sha - a massage tool is used to relieve muscle tightness and for detoxification
Moxibustion - acupoints are warmed with an herb known as moxa or an electronic device
Herbal formulas in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures or powdered granules may be prescribed. These herbs are strictly tested for safety and purity, and are only recommended after a careful review of a patient’s current nutritional supplements and prescription medications.
How many treatments do I need, and how often?
The number and frequency of treatments needed depends on the nature, severity and duration of the condition. Many patients experience a certain amount of relief after just one or two treatments. Severe or longstanding conditions can require more persistent care. Robin designs treatment programs tailored to your specific needs and goals.
North Beach Acupuncture FAQs
What does "referral only" mean? Who can make an appointment?
Since North Beach Acupuncture is an outcall/home-visit practice it is necessary in the interest of everyone's safety that I or one of my neighbors personally know the person making an appointment. Generally speaking, people whom I've already met, people who are on MJ & John's Labor Day Block Party email list, or persons personally referred by people on that list who live in North Beach, Blue Ridge, Crown Hill, Olympic Manor, Loyal Heights and Sunset Hill may make appointments.
Can I make an appointment at your office or clinic?
No, I do not have an office or clinic that I treat from. I keep costs low, and therefore my rates affordable, by offering treatments in the homes of neighbors who live within about a mile of my home in North Beach, generally in North Beach, Blue Ridge, Crown Hill, Olympic Manor, Loyal Heights and Sunset Hill.
What can I expect during a home visit treatment?
A treatment visit in your home will last about 60-90 minutes. I bring with me single-use, disposable, sterile acupuncture needles and alcohol swabs to clean the points beforehand. I take the needles away with me in my sharps container to be disposed of according to city and state regulations.
During your treatment you can lie in a reclining chair, on a sofa or on a bed. It can be helpful to have a pillow to place under your knees, and a towel or two to support your arms.
Infrequently a small drop of blood may be released from an acupuncture point after a needle is removed, so you may wish to place an older sheet or large towel over the chair, sofa or bed specifically for the treatment.
Loose, comfortable clothing such as a t-shirt, sweatshirt or buttoned shirt that can be easily pushed/rolled up above the elbows, and comfortable pants that can easily be pushed/rolled above the knees, such as sweatpants, are best to wear for your treatment. (Leggings or yoga pants that fit close to the calves are not ideal if they are too tight to comfortably be pushed 3 inches above the knee.)
I recommend setting your thermostat to a temperature that you will be comfortable with while parts of your arms and legs/feet are exposed.
***I will need access to a sink with hot running water and soap to cleanse my hands.***
You will rest with the needles for about 20 - 30 minutes during which it is best to remain mostly still. Small movements are ok, but muscles in which the needles are located should be used as little as possible as the muscle could cramp around the needle and cause discomfort. Sometimes people experience an itch (usually on their face) and I am happy to help scratch it if there are needles in both arms.
You can choose to rest with the needles either in silence or with relaxing music playing. If there is a bluetooth speaker in your home I can provide a selection of relaxing music from my phone.
Are you vaccinated? Do I have to be vaccinated?
I am fully vaccinated. I will also wear a mask during your home visit if you prefer.
You do not have to be vaccinated, but I would appreciate knowing if you are not so that I may wear a mask during the visit, since I will be in your space for around an hour or more.
For all persons with appointments, please reschedule if you test positive for Covid-19, are having symptoms of Covid-19, a cold or flu, or you've spent more than 20 minutes in close proximity to someone who tests positive for Covid-19.
What if there are small children or pets in my home?
I love children, *and* your treatment is a time to focus on your health, to fully receive the care you deserve. There will need to be someone who is available to care for any children under age 8 in a separate area of your home while you receive your treatment if they are not able to safely be on their own in a nearby room. Once your treatment is underway and you are resting I am happy to check in with independent children to make sure they're comfortable if you wish.
Although I adore animals, if you have curious pets that may jump up on you while you are receiving your treatment, I recommend keeping them in another area of your home until we can determine how they will react to your receiving a treatment. As with children, once your treatment is underway and you are resting I am happy to check in with your pets and give them some pets and scritches if they are welcome.
Click here to e-mail your questions and to find out if Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine can alleviate your condition.
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Robin (she/her/hers) does not discriminate on any basis, including sex, gender identity, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, marital status, pregnancy, age, any medical condition or diagnosis, handicap, disability or any other protected status in accordance with the requirements of local, state, and/or federal law as well as her belief in the intrinsic equality of all humankind.