WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body. The needles are solid, sterile, and disposed of after each use. They are inserted into the muscle and surrounding tissue, just below skin level. As the needle penetrates the skin, the sensation is similar to a small "mosquito bite," followed by a dull ache. This sensation typically fades after 15 to 35 seconds.

The needles redirect the flow of your body's energy, or qi (pronounced Chee). Qi moves through your body in a series of channels called meridians, similar to how blood flows through your arteries and veins. Your qi becomes imbalanced when it is blocked in a meridian. Acupuncture needles encourage the qi to flow from congested areas to empty areas, establishing balance in the meridians.

When your meridians are balanced, so is your body - this helps you feel and look your best!

WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE TREAT

Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years to treat all types of conditions. In addition it is used as preventative medicine to promote health and longevity. The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization studies find acupuncture to be effective in helping numerous health conditions and have published their own list. Although far from an extensive list, here are a few of the more common things we tend to treat:

Stress is a major factor in many illnesses and acupuncture works well to manage stress

Neurological conditions: headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, Bell's palsy, paralysis from a stroke, peripheral neuropathy, Meniere's disease, sciatica, disc problems

Psychological conditions: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, OCD, insomnia, addiction

Musculoskeletal disorders: sciatica, low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, tendinitis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow

Cardiovascular disorders: high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, cold hands & feet, poor circulation, muscle cramps

Autoimmune disorders: lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis

Respiratory conditions: common cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, hay fever

Gastrointestinal conditions: IBS, colitis, gastritis, acid reflux, gas/bloating, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernia, liver and gallbladder disorders, weight control

Urogenital disorders: cystitis, prostatitis, low sexual vitality, erectile dysfunction, urinary retention, kidney disorders

Gynecological and obstetrical disorders: PMS, painful/heavy/irregular periods, amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, menopausal disorders, hot flashes, prolapse of the uterus or bladder, infertility, morning sickness, pregnancy related disorders

Conditions of the ear, eyes, nose and mouth: conjunctivitis, red/itchy/watery eyes, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, toothache

Skin conditions: eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss

CAN I GET ACUPUNCTURE WHILE PREGNANT OR TRYING TO CONCEIVE

Yes! Acupuncture is safe during all stages of pregnancy and is an effective treatment for many pregnancy-related conditions. Regular acupuncture treatments also help balance the cycle, increasing the chances for a healthy conception. All of the acupuncturists at Milwaukee Community Acupuncture are thoroughly trained in the treatment of women's health, fertility and pregnancy.

PEDIATRIC ACUPUNCTURE

Children of any age, from babies to teens, can benefit from acupuncture and many of them enjoy getting treated. Children typically respond quickly to acupuncture and generally only a few points are needed. When we treat babies and toddlers the needles are simply inserted and removed, with no retention time needed. We do require an adult to accompany the child and sit with them during their treatment as we may need to be with other patients while the needles are retained. Most importantly, the child needs to be willing to try acupuncture.

SPORTS MEDICINE ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat those who practice martial arts. More recently, it has been common for professional sports and Olympic training teams to have an acupuncturist on staff. It is an excellent treatment option for athletes to deal with both acute and chronic injuries that impede training and performing at optimal levels. At MCA we treat a wide array of patients suffering from sports injuries from high school athletes to those at the professional level. Acupuncture is not only helpful for treating injuries in athletes but also for giving them a competitive edge by increasing circulation, boosting energy and the immune system, and preventing injury. There are virtually no side effects to acupuncture and there is no downtime after treatment. For most athletes it is a viable and extremely helpful treatment option.

ACUPUNCTURE FOR VETERANS

Here at MCA we value the service of our military veterans. Acupuncture is beneficial to those who have served helping them deal with PTSD, chronic pain, and other physical and mental injuries sustained while serving our country. Many of our patients are taking less pain pills, sleeping better, having less anxiety, and improved mood. If your service has left you suffering mentally or physically we would love to help you get back on your feet. VA vouchers were previously accepted at MCA, but due to changes in the VA system and the implementation of the VA Choice program we are no longer a registered provider. We are currently working on becoming a part of the VA Choice program and hope to be able to accept vouchers again soon.

WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE FEEL LIKE

Acupuncture is a relatively painless procedure.

You may or may not feel a sensation with each needle. You may feel a small pin-prick as the needle penetrates the skin at the surface which will quickly diminish. People generally describe the sensation they feel as a dull ache, warmth, a slight itchiness around the needle, or a radiation of sensation for 15-35 seconds.

After the needles are in they are generally retained for 30-60 minutes. Most people will sink into a deep relaxation with the needles and many even fall asleep.

After an acupuncture treatment, most people report feeling an increased sense of relaxation and calmness.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT A TREATMENT

On your first visit we will have a brief discussion about your conditions and health history. Your acupuncturist will also look at your tongue and feel the pulse in your wrist, as these are additional diagnostic tools. This information will be used to develop a treatment plan.

Next the needles are inserted and retained for a period of 30-60 minutes depending on your condition and preference. During this time most people feel a deep sensation of relaxation and sometimes fall asleep.

After the needles are removed the acupuncturist will discuss your treatment plan and future appointments.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I COME

Acupuncture generally works by stimulating the body's innate healing response. The number of treatments you need depends on how much support that healing response needs. After your initial evaluation, your acupuncturist will recommend a treatment plan based on their assessment of your condition.

It is important to note that acupuncture has a cumulative effect. The closer together your treatments are, the more powerful and effective the results tend to be.

In general, acute disorders or severe pain require more frequent treatments, often 3-4 times per week until symptoms are reduced. Chronic disorders usually require treatments 1-2 times a week until symptoms are reduced.

WHY DO YOUR TREATMENTS COST LESS

By treating patients in an open, communal setting, we can see more patients per hour. This allows us to reduce our rates so that our patients can come in more frequently.

WHAT IS CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE

A Chinese herbal formula consists of a number of herbs that work in harmony to treat imbalances in your body. An herbal formula may be prescribed on its own or in conjunction with acupuncture. When combined, herbs help to prolong the effect of the acupuncture treatment. Chinese herbs come from mineral and plant sources. Many of the herbs themselves are commonly eaten, such as orange peels, barley, yams, mushrooms, ginger, and mint.

Side effects are very rare, and usually consist of mild digestive upset. It is important to notify us of any allergies you have before taking an herbal formula.

As for quality assurance, we order only herbal formulas from companies that meet international Good Manufacturing Practice standards, which perform rigorous testing to verify correctness of species and rule out contamination.

WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING

Dry needling is the insertion of either acupuncture needles or hypodermic needles into trigger points to help alleviate muscular pain. Dry needling is very similar to orthopedic acupuncture techniques, where "Ashi" points, or painful points, and myofascial trigger points are needled. In orthopedic acupuncture these points are typically needled in combination with traditional acupuncture points, whereas in dry needling only the myofascial trigger points or ashi points are needled. Typically those performing dry needling are physical therapists, occupational therapists or chiropractors, while those performing orthopedic acupuncture are acupuncturists. We do not offer dry needling at Milwaukee Community Acupuncture, however, we do treat orthopedic conditions with a different style of acupuncture.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE

Read the Book:
Why Did You Put That Needle There?
Our patient's often start to wonder what exactly acupuncture is doing, how these tiny needles make them feel so good or why we put needles in the hand for back pain. Fellow community acupuncture clinic owner, Andy Wegman, wrote a little book that covers all the basic acupuncture related questions. You can listen to him read his book, download it for free, or buy a copy from Amazon. We also have copies for perusing or for purchase in our clinic lobby.

View The Documentary:
"Community Acupuncture: The Calmest Revolution Ever Staged!"
Filmed by Brian Lindstrom and co-produced by community acupuncturist, Jessica Feltz, this 35 minute film follows six diverse community acupuncture patients and shows the impact of affordable acupuncture on their lives and communities. Lindstrom tells the story of the community acupuncture movement: how a small group of loud-mouthed, over-educated, under-employed activists and a massive group of ordinary people with average incomes revolutionized healthcare services by using large empty rooms, old recliner chairs, and two-cent needles.