What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of hair-thin needles into the body that affect the flow of qi (pronounced chee), our body's energy force. These points are found along the meridian pathways through which the body's energy or qi is thought to flow. Similar to the vast web of the NYC subway system, the web of meridian system is directly connected with an organ and has specific actions and functions that maintain our health and wellness. When there is illness or pain, this is an indication that these channels and/or organs are out of balance.  This imbalance disrupts the movement of qi, acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi. By manipulating needles at specific points on the body, Nieve is able to promote the body's ability to heal and restore balance. A comprehensive health system, acupuncture has had thousands of years of success in treating a wide range of conditions. From a western perspective, the stimulation of acupuncture points regulates the level of hormones in the body, improves the overall body's immunity levels, stimulates the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline, stimulates the secretion of endorphins (your body's natural pain reducers), dilates the blood vessles, and affects the ability of the nervous system to perceive pain. Below is a list of commonly treated conditions with acupuncture: 

Conditions Commonly Treated with Acupuncture

  • Pain and Athletic Injuries
  • Facial pain - TMJ, trigeminal neuralgia
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Old injuries and Painful scars
  • Stress, Fatigue, and emotional Disorders
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Stress-lines on the face
  • Early signs of aging
  • Insomnia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pregnancy related conditions
  • Gynecological Disorders
  • Fertility Support
  • Menstrual Cramps/PMS
  • Menopausal Symptoms
  • Digestive Issues
  • IBS
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Reflux Esophagitis
  • Chronic constipation
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Common Cold
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Addiction
  • Nicotine
  • Substance Abuse Support

What to Expect

Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't. Acupuncture uses sterile, single use, hair-thin, flexible needles that are hardly felt when inserted. Using gentle stimulation to move qi, a unique sensation called de qi is felt. 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 and leave the treatment feeling both mentally and physically relaxed, often with uplifted spirits. 

The Experience of the needles

Acupuncture needles range in size from 1/4 inch to several inches in length and a few thousandths to several thousandths of an inch in diameter. The commonly used needles are 1inch and 1.5 inch long. Other needle sizes are reserved for more specialized use. The vast majority of needles used in the US are stainless steel and are single use disposable needles. 

Acupuncture is rarely painful in the hands of an experienced and well-trained practitioner. When inserted, they slide gently into the tissue without “tearing” through it like larger hypodermic needles which have jagged, diagonally-shaped points. The practitioner places the tip of the tube on the acupuncture point and taps it gently but firmly so that the needle glides out of the tube and into the skin. When the needle is inserted, the patient may feel nothing or a sensation akin to a mosquito bite. Sensation after needles insertion varies widely from dull, achy, throbbing, puslating, zingy, or tingling. Occassionally you may notice numbness. It may seem like there is electricity at the needle or coursing through the channel. Yet another sensation is the feeling of water moving through a hose. All of these sensations are held to be the experience of Qi. Often, the practitioner slightly stimulates the inserted needle to elicit a noticeable tingling sensation which in Chinese is called Da Qi and in biomedicine is called “acupuncture distention sensation.” This indicates that the needle has successfully activated an electromagnetic conduction process in the body.

The needles are retained usually for 20 - 40 minutes, depending upon the nature of the condition. Sometimes the patient relaxes profoundly, sometimes he/she feels energized, often patients will fall sleep. Other times the patient enters a meditative state; the experience can vary widely during the course of treatment and between individuals. 

The Initial Consultation

When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment you will be given a comprehensive intake form. This form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Chinese 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. Remember, everything is connected!

After reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition, and examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods of Chinese Medicine. The acupuncture points selected will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 20 needles. Once the needles are inserted, you will rest for 15-20 minutes with the needles in place. 

The initial treatment includes a full intake and an acupuncture treatment that usually takes 90 minutes. Follow up sessions last between 45-60 minutes. A few things to consider before your treatment:

  • Be sure to eat something an hour or two before your treatment
  • Avoid the intake of caffeine or pain medications if possible
  • Wear loose fitting clothes or bring shorts and a tank top
  • Bring a list of current medications/supplements you are taking

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 5 to 10 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. Preventive treatments, treatments for general well-being, or seasonal "tune ups" may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. Acupuncture is safer than taking tylenol and is used by millions of Americans every year. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. Nieve is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed by New York and Vermont state. As required by law, Nieve uses pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.

 

 

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

I thank Nieve for all that she has given me. There is hope. I don’t know what I would have done without acupuncture. The pain from the arthritis is tolerable. To be able to sleep without Ambien is a plus. For me it’s a miracle. ~ A.D.K. Bronx, NY

Call for a Consultation

Nieve Shere M.S. LAc.
5 Park Street
Middlebury, VT 05753 

For new patients, please call the office to schedule appointments:
(main office) 802.989.7669 

Returning patients are welcome to call, email or schedule online: Book Appointment

For medical questions:
Email Nieve