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What is acupuncture?

Mannequin with Chinese Meridians and Acupuncture PointsAcupuncture is the practice of inserting tiny needles into certain meridian points on the body to stimulate what is called Qi  (pronounced Chee). The Qi in the body provides us our lifeforce, our energy, and it flows through all living things. When there are disturbances in the Qi it can get stuck or blocked causing various signs and symptoms from everything to headaches, rashes, to obstructive bowel disease. By inserting the needles we can unblock the Qi and balance the meridians.

There are meridians or channels that run the entire course of the body. Each one of these meridians is related to a specific organ or body system, there are 12 primary meridians. The meridians are: Lung, (LU), Spleen (SP), Heart (HT), Kidney (KD), Pericardium (PC), Liver (LR), Large Intestine (LI), Small Intestine (SI), Stomach (ST), Urinary Bladder (UB), San Jiao (SJ), and Gallbladder (GB).  By stimulating different points on the meridians you can affect different areas of the body reducing and or eliminating symptoms and conditions.

Acupuncture needles treating shoulder injuryAcupuncture is just one branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine also known as “TCM,” which has developed and evolved over the centuries. This wildly practiced form of TCM is just one component in the TCM realm ranging from everything to acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha to herbal recommendations.  

What is acupuncture used to treat?

There are a variety of common conditions which are improved with acupuncture treatment. Please contact us for a consultation if you experience any of these symptoms or conditions:

Headaches Migraines
Low Back Pain Neck Pain
Sciatica Shoulder Problems
Elbow Problems Sinus Problems
Congestion Insomnia
Eye Pain Knee Problems
Constipation Irritable Bowel
Jaw Disorders Plantar Fasciitis
Dizziness Tinnitus
Asthma Genitourinary Disorders
Smoking Cessation Hiatal Hernia

What is cupping therapy?

acupuncture cupping treatmentCupping is stationary or moving suction cups that are applied to the skin to help bring stagnation within the organs/ meridians/along the meridian pathway, to the surface. Cupping works great with congestion in the lungs due to cold, flu or chronic sinus and allergy problems, also with midback conditions and sciatica. Often this causes bruising which is a normal response. The cups stay in place for 20 minutes.

FAQs About Acupuncture Treatment

Does acupuncture hurt?Acupuncture needle on hand during a treatment

  • Typically acupuncture does not hurt although upon insertion of the needles patients will feel a small prick.

Is acupuncture safe?

  • Yes, acupuncture is safe. There is a very slim chance of damaging any major organs or tissues due to the thinness of the needles. There are however certain points on the body that when needled, they need to be needled with caution because they are closer to the surface of the skin (Ie: lungs apices)
  • There are also certain points that will be contraindicated when a patient is pregnant or a patient has heart conditions
    o    Ie: LI 4, SP 6, GB21)

What is Moxibustion?

  • The application of burning herbs at acupuncture points
  • The primary moxa herb is called Mugwort
  • The needles and moxa affect the Qi in the meridians. It increases what is deficient, warms the body, and moves stagnation.

What type of needles does Dr. Gentile use?

  • Stainless steel needles, the brand is Seirin

How long are needles and what gauge are they?

  • There are two main types Dr. Gentile uses they are
    • 30mm long and 36 gauge
    • 30mm long and 38 gauge

How long does a treatment typically last?

  • A first visit for a patient new to acupuncture will take 1 hour.
    • This allows Dr. Gentile to do a full consultation and history to come up with the best course of treatment.
  • Acupuncture treatments typically last anywhere between 20-30 minutes for routine visits
    • If there are other things (moxibustion, cupping, gua sha ect) that need to be done treatment time may be 45 minutes.

How many treatments will I need?

  • It’s hard to give a solid answer. Each person responds differently to treatment similar to chiropractic, therefore treatments will be determined by the doctor.
  • If a patient is doing acupuncture for smoking cessation treatments are on the higher side usually 10-20 treatments and treatments will be re-evaluated each visit.

How deep do the needles go?

  • The needles typically don’t go any further than ¼ to ¾ inch deep
  • Certain areas like the abdomen may have more towards the ¾ inch depth of penetration

Dr Gentile’s Philosophy of Chiropractic and Acupuncture Treatment

Dr Gentile explaining acupuncture treatmentDr. Gentile is a Doctor of Chiropractic graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, and board certified in acupuncture.  Dr. Gentile has found that the combination of chiropractic and acupuncture not only works but is extremely functional. Chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations and misalignments while stimulating the nervous system and removing interference. Acupuncture works to open up and balance the meridians and allow the Qi to flow freely. When this happens there is less dysfunction and fewer symptoms. Together these two practices help the body to maintain a perfect balance with fewer symptoms.