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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineSeveral thousand years ago, East Asian practitioners discovered that the body forms disharmonies as a result of the various physical and mental stresses of life. Oriental medical theory explains these disharmonies as an imbalance of opposing forces called yin and yang. This imbalance disrupts the movement of the body's vital energy (qi) along the meridian pathways, which are channels through which the body's energy is known to flow. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi. By inserting and manipulating needles at specific points on the body, I am able to return the body to its natural balance and promote the body's ability to heal itself.

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineMany 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. Refer to the chart on the right for a comparison between a hypodermic needle, a hair and an acupuncture needle. These needles are so fine that approximately 35-40 acupuncture needles can fit into the barrel of a hypodermic needle!
These needles are also sealed, sterile and one time use for your safety. Immediately after insertion or when I gently stimulate the needles you may feel a unique sensation that Oriental medicine calls de qi. Patients often describe de qi 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. Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying. Often patients fall asleep during a treatment and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more than one treatment is necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 4 to 8  treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after the first few. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Preventative treatments and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineYes. Acupuncture is used by millions of Americans every year. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, approximately 2000 didactic hours and 1000 clinical hours to complete the Masters of Science of Oriental Medicine degree (MSOM). This training includes; acupuncture, herbal, Oriental medical philosophy, also detailed biomedical study and training in Clean Needle Technique. I have passed all of the comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and am licensed in the states of Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. 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. The acupuncture intake form 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 everything 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.

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineAfter reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition, and I will examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine. The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition. 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 treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

Other types of treatment; moxibustion, tuina, cupping, gua sha, essential oils, microcurrent or electrical stimulation, and herbal therapy may be combined with each treatment as appropriate for the patient's current condition.

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 this is by no means a complete list.  Please feel free to contact me about your specific health condition.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Pain

  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Leg, ankle and foot pain
  • Arm, wrist and hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Dental pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Postoperative pain

Digestive Issues & Nausea

  • Heartburn, Acid Reflux
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Chronic loose stools or constipation
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Respiratory Complaints

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies

Reproductive Issues

  • Infertility
  • Increased efficacy of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

 

​Dr. Debra Cahill, DOM, LAc
Doctor of Oriental Medicine
Licensed Acupuncturist

Grand Junction, CO Office
518  28 Rd. Suite B-106
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Moab, UT Office
150 East Center Street, Suite105
Moab, UT 84532

970.242.0020

 

 

 

 

Comparison of a
Hypodermic needle to
an Acupuncture needle.

Acupuncture -

 

 


 Auricular acupuncture is only one type
of acupuncture treatment. Ear points are
often combined with body points in a
full treatment or used alone for stress relief.