Seattle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Traditional Chinese Medicine in Seattle
Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is a system of health care based upon traditional oriental medical concepts that employ oriental methods of diagnosis, treatment, and adjunctive therapies for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and prevention of disease. Although what is called acupuncture in the West comprises several different therapies (such as moxibustion and cupping), mostly it consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years, and there are more than a thousand known acupoints. In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.
Q: What conditions are treatable with acupuncture?
A: The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture's effectiveness for over 40 common disorders, such as:

1) Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders Toothaches, earaches, sinusitis, rhinitis, laryngitis

2) Respiratory Disorders Colds & flus, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema

3) Gastrointestinal Disorders Food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, irritable bowel and colitis

4) Circulatory Disorders Hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris

5) Urogenital Disorders Cystitis, stress incontinence, neurogenic bladder, prostatitis, prostatic hypertrophy

6) Gynecological Disorders Menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, PMS, infertility, menopausal syndrome

7) Musculoskeletal Disorders Tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia

8) Psychoemotional & Neurological Disorders Depression, anxiety, insomnia, headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, intercostal neuralgia, post-stroke paralysis, dizziness, tinnitus

Additionally, acupuncture is an effective treatment to assist people who are trying to stop addictive behaviors, such as smoking or alcoholism. Although there is no evidence that acupuncture is effective as a treatment for cancer, clinical studies have found it to be effective in treating nausea caused by chemotherapy drugs and surgical anesthesia, and in relieving pain following dental surgery.
Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: Traditional Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of qi (pronounced chee--a fine, essential substance that nourishes and constructs the body) through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels. According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck and/or abundant. In this way, acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. In Chinese, there is a saying, "If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain." Acupuncture promotes and reestablishes the free flow of qi.
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. All licensed acupuncturists today use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles. There is virtually no chance of infection or contagion. Additionally, acupuncture does not interfere with any medical treatment you may already be receiving.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and their insertion is practically painless. It is nothing like receiving an ordinary injection. In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. In others, there may be some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the qi moving up and down the channels. Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing, and many fall asleep during treatment.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: This depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your condition. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of 5 - 10 treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. To help reduce the number of treatments, your practitioner may suggest dietary modifications, specific exercise regimes, relaxation techniques, self-message, and/or Chinese herbal medicines, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.
Q: What should I know about the proposed treatments?
A: Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in Oriental medicine terms and what treatment he or she is recommending. Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician.
Q: Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?
A: The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:

1) Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stockings.

2) Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex.
Q: Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?
A: Relax. There is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that you can get the greatest benefit possible from the treatment. Do not change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.
Q: What can I expect after treatment?
A: Patients often experience dramatic results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief, but rather the pain will diminish over the next couple of days. Generally, you should feel better. Acupuncture is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Over the past 2500 years medical scholars in every age have contributed to the development and refinement of the art of acupuncture in China. Acupuncture works!
To schedule an appointment with Jennifer Lewis-Gosch please contact her by phone at 206.854.5399, or email Jennifer @
Chinese Medicine Practitioner in Seattle. Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.