Acupuncture is the most well known therapy of a complete indigenous medical system that is over 3000 years old, referred to as traditional Chinese medicine.  It is a safe and very effective natural therapy that is used to relieve pain, heal illnesses, prevent disease, and improve well being. 

Acupuncture is a physical therapy which consists of gently inserting tiny, hair-thin needles into specific points on the body.  The needles are then gently stimulated either manually of with low-frequency electrotherapies to mobilize and harmonize the body's Qi and Blood, thereby enhancing the body's natural healing response.

There are many different styles of acupuncture- Classical, TCM, Five Element, Japanese, French/Vietnamese, Korean, Auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture), Shonishin (Pediatric) to name a few of the most well known.  Like most Western practitioners of Chinese medicine, we use an eclectic approach, choosing the best approach for any given patient.

A typical acupuncture treatment may also involve accessory needling in the form of "Plum Blossom" or "Seven-Star" needling - a procedure in which a seven-pronged instrument is tapped against the skin for the purpose of microscopically breaking the skin surface to release toxins and relieve pain, especially pain due to "Blood Stagnation" - and bloodletting.  Additionally other physical therapies for accessing and moving Qi and Blood, including Cupping, Gua Sha, and Tui Na are commonplace during acupuncture treatment.

What can acupuncture treat?  Acupuncture is an effective therapy for a broad range of health concerns - from painful conditions to internal medicine to mood disorders and stress-related conditions, acupuncture is proven effective and safe.

Is acupuncture safe?  Acupuncture is incredibly safe when performed by a well trained, licensed and board certified practitioner.  Reported serious adverse events are extremely rare, and even more common side effects such as minor bleeding and bruising are relatively rare compared to conventional biomedicine therapies.  It is the safest invasive therapy in widespread use on the planet.

How Does It Work?  Several modern scientific theories have been presented as to exactly how acupuncture works, on its mechanism of action.  One theory proposes that stimulation of nerve fibers blocks pain impulses at the ‘pain gates’ in the spinal cord.  The impulses in the pain fibers are thus less likely to reach the brain stem, thalamus and cerebral cortex- the areas of the brain which process pain. Since most acupuncture points are either connected to, or located near, neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system.  Another theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the body to release endorphins (endogenous opioids), which reduce pain and which can ultimately effect diverse systems, such as the circulatory and hormonal systems.  More recent research suggests that it is through the fluid medium of the fascia, a thin connective tissue throughout the surface of the body, and covering the muscles and organs, that acupuncture works.  

Piedmont Acupuncture + Oriental Medicine 1415 West First Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101  336.777.0037

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