What is Acupuncture?
Over the past 5,000 years, acupuncture has evolved into a complete healing system that includes the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions. This unique and ancient system of understanding the human body incorporates the treatment of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Health and harmony is achieved when the correct quantity, quality, and movement of Chi (pronounced "chee") exists throughout the body. Chi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain, and disease. Illness, or lack of harmony (imbalance), is a result of the reduced quantity, quality, and movement of Chi.

What is Chi?
(pronounced "CHee")
Chi is energy, life force, vital force. It is also spelled Qi. What can affect Chi?
Chi is affected by stress, medicines, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle. Some affect Chi positively, and some affect Chi negatively.

What happens when the flow of Chi becomes blocked?
Chi is meant to flow freely throughout the meridian network carrying its vital force to all the body's parts, organs, and systems, thereby encouraging them to function with each other in a natural, harmonious way. That leads to sound health. But any sustained blockage or other disruption of a balanced flow or distribution of Chi may bring on pain, a weakened immune system, and ill health.

It's important to realize that while such blockage causes diminished Chi in one organ or part, it may also cause excessive buildup of Chi in another area. That phenomenon can be understood by visualizing a meridian carrying Chi as like a freeway carrying cars. On a freeway we know what happens when one or more lanes become blocked. It's a similar idea on a meridian. A blockage may cause a deficiency of Chi beyond the blockage and a buildup of Chi before the blockage, which may mean diminished activity of some organs and accelerated activity of others. Either way, Chi is unbalanced, so its flow must be normalized through an acupuncturist's skilled and expert care.

What can be done about blocked, unbalanced Chi?
After the initial consultation and examination, the acupuncturist completes the diagnosis and begins carrying out the treatment plan. The objective is to normalize the flow and distribution of Chi and balance its circulation by stimulating the selected acupoints via needles or other means. The treatment plan will most likely call for treating one to twelve or more points on each visit. At the practitioner's discretion, herbal therapies may be prescribed.

What will my acupuncturist do?
Your acupuncturist will begin by taking a full health history. This may include asking questions, assessing the energetic pulses, looking at the tongue and/or abdominal palpitation. These are effective diagnostic tools that enable your acupuncturist to obtain a clear picture of your overall health. If signs of weakness, imbalance or blockage are found, your acupuncturist may use a variety of non-invasive and gentle treatment methods to restore the balance and flow of Chi, thereby facilitating your natural ability to heal. Some of these techniques may include: acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, tuina, pediatric massage, moxabustion or cupping.

What kind of pulse will the acupuncturist take?
This pulse is an energetic pulse - it is unlike what your MD would count. The energetic pulse is an acupuncturist's key diagnostic tool, and it changes moment to moment. It is like a gas gauge on a car. If the gasoline is Chi, the pulse is the gas gauge to show how much gasoline is in the tank. The pulse tells an acupuncturist the quantity of Chi a patient has and the quality.

Why does an acupuncturist want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is another diagnostic tool that acupuncturists use. It represents how the patient's health was approximately three months ago. Different areas on the tongue represent different areas of the body. An acupuncturist will look at the shape, color, coating and moisture to help determine a diagnosis.

How many visits will I need to make?
Your acupuncturist will determine the number of treatments needed to help a patient after a diagnosis is reached.

Do the needles hurt?
Most patients do not feel the needles go into the skin. The needle is the thickness of a human hair and is only inserted 1/10 of an inch. After insertion the patient may feel Chi sensations which can feel like warmth or tingling throughout the body.

Can you use acupuncture on children?
Absolutely. We have treated infants as young as 9 days old. Infants and children can be treated for a wide range of conditions and respond faster to treatments than adults. Caring for your child's health with acupuncture is safe, natural, drug-free and effective. It's the perfect way to allow your child to grow and thrive.

What type of education does an acupuncturist have?
After obtaining a Bachelors degree, an acupuncturist will go to school for 4 years to attain a graduate degree in Oriental Medicine; this program is similar to medical school for a medical doctor. An acupuncturist will then take the National Board Examination to become certified. After completion of the board exams, an acupuncturist will apply for licensing in his or her state of employment.

What is cupping?
Cupping is one of many ways to treat local congestion of Chi. A partial vacuum is created in a jar, usually by means of heat, and then the jar is applied to the skin.

What is moxabustion or moxa?
Moxa is an herb that is used to warm up a meridian or pathway of Chi. It smells like incense.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Sometimes. At Hipple Acupuncture, we are happy to fill out our form so that you can send it to your insurance company for reimbursement. Flexible or Flex spending accounts do typically cover acupuncture.

How much does acupuncture cost?
Acupuncture treatments at Hipple Acupuncture cost $110 for an initial treatment, which may last up to 1 1/2 hours. Any following treatment lasts for one hour and costs $85 for adults. Children's acupuncture treatments vary in length of time needed, and range in cost accordingly beginning at $40 for fifteen minutes up to $85 for a full hour.

What can acupuncture treat?
According to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes for Health, and clinical experience, Acupuncture is useful in the treatment of:

  • Chronic and Acute Pain: Injuries, headaches, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia
  • Neurological Disorders: Post-stroke recover, Bell's Palsy & Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders
  • Upper Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu.
  • Digestive Disorders: Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers
  • Urinary and Reproductive Disorders: Cystitis, menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility, menopausal symptoms.
  • Immune Function: Recurrent infections, supportive treatment fo cancer and AIDS patients.
  • Addictions: Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs.
  • Eye and Ear Disorders: Tinnitus, Meniere's disease.
  • Chemical/Emotional Imbalances: Depression, Anxiety & Insomnia

What About Other Conditions?
Please contact Hipple Acupuncture to find out about other conditions that can be treated with Oriental Medicine.