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Learn more about acupuncture and what it can do for your health. At Great Lakes Acupuncture, we provide you with the best in alternative medicine to improve your well-being and bring your health into balance.

What Is Acupuncture?

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is an essential part of traditional Oriental medicine, a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical history of over 3,000 years. This therapy works with natural vital energy inherent within all living things to promote the body's ability to heal itself. This system of health care is used extensively by one-quarter of the world's population residing in Asia and is rapidly growing in popularity in the West.

Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the bio-chemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy behind all life forms and life processes. Based on Oriental medicine principles, there are two imaged poles "Yang" (positive) and "Yin" (negative) inside the human body. A balance status between "Yang" and "Yin" should be maintained for health. The vital energy constantly flows in order to keep this balance status along specific pathways called "meridians." Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians and their associated physiological systems.


Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has predictable effects upon the vital energy passing through it. Stimulating acupuncture points either by inserting needles or by applying pressure helps the energy flow, and so influences the balance status. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus corroborating the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients.

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Acupuncture FAQ's

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What Is Acupuncture Treatment Like?

The treatments involve the use of pre-sterilized and only once used needles, about the thickness of a human hair. The needles are inserted into the selected points from over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body, thereby precisely regulating the body's functions. During the treatment process, stimulation is often used by manually manipulating needles and by applying micro-electric pulses to needles to reach good treatment results. Usually, each treatment process takes 40 to 60 minutes.


As in any form of healing, the patient's attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of a course of treatment. Patients are encouraged to actively participate in their healing process.


Most people experience acupuncture treatment as a feeling of warmth, tingling, comfort, slight heaviness and sometimes a subtle sense of the body's own electrical energy flow. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment.

How Do Acupuncturists Reach Their Diagnoses?

It is the task of an acupuncture practitioner to discover the patient's problems.

To do this, the practitioner first interviews the patient. The patient may be asked about current and past symptoms and medications, as well as family health history. There may be special questions about hearing, vision, headaches, muscle and joint problems, sensitivities to heat and cold, perspiration, breathing, coughing, thirst, appetite, digestion, urination, and sleep. The patient also may be questioned about exercise, diet, relationships, personal habits, home environment, work, and emotions. The practitioner observes the patient's face, body and tongue. The shape, color, and coating of the tongue reveal information about the nature and course of an illness.


The practitioner then feels that patient's pulse at each wrist. This special pulse taking can indicate problems throughout the body. It is a subtle and complex art. Many practitioners use pulse taking as only one of several means of diagnosis, to be confirmed by other assessments.


From these procedures, the practitioner will reach a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and classification.

Does Acupuncture Have Side Effects?

The National Institute of Health (NIH NIH)) stated, "One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the adverse effects are substantially lower than many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions. Acupuncture treatment is effective." Acupuncture helps the vital energy flow smoothly, regulating the body's functions to induce the body to a balanced state of health. Therefore, acupuncture treatments usually have no side effects.

How Many Treatments Will Be Needed?

The number of treatments depends on the diseases to be treated, and differs from person to person. For complex and long term disease, it may be recommended to have one or two treatments per week for a couple of months or longer. For acute problems, three to four treatments may be enough to fix the problems. For example, quitting smoking usually only needs about three treatments.

Can Acupuncture Cure My Condition?

It depends. Basically, acupuncture can be used for many medical needs, such as pain, neurological and functional problems and other common diseases. In most conditions, acupuncture can successfully relieve the symptoms and help people to recover their functions.


Although acupuncture can treat many conditions, there are circumstances that can be dealt with more effectively by Western medicine. In such cases, your acupuncturist will recommend that you contact a Western medical doctor. Acupuncture should be seen as complementary to Western medicine.

"It has been 1½ years since my last acupuncture treatment and I have been in perfect health ever since! My last physical showed all “normal”. I’ll be 79 next year and am on no medication.


Charlene Jiang was able to identify what ailed me when many other doctors failed. After one month of treatments in 2012 I regained complete health. Before I came here, I was ready to die – that’s how bad things were!"


Loesken V.