Acupuncture

Experience the Benefits of Acupuncture

Our clinic in downtown Campbell provides traditional and medical acupuncture, occasionally with additional stimulation using electro-acupuncture and infrared therapy for better results.  As is required by law, we use single-use, packaged, disposable, sterilized needles for your health and safety, and to prevent any infectious diseases.  All of our acupuncturists maintain current licenses with the California Acupuncture Board.

See the National Institutes for Health website on acupuncture for additional information and guidance.  For the World Health Organization's list of a wide variety of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials, see the full report, or their list.

More recently (2017) the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) identified the need for an updated review of the literature with greater rigor than was possible in the past, and commissioned the acupuncture evidence project.  AACMA engaged experienced clinician and researcher, Dr John McDonald PhD, to conduct the research and analysis for the project.  This review draws on two prior comprehensive literature reviews, one conducted for the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in 2010 and another conducted for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USVA) in 2013.  The research identified by these reviews was pooled, then a search of further literature from 2013 to 2016 was conducted.  Trials were assessed using the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) levels of evidence, with risk of bias assessed using the Cochrane GRADE system.  Read the full paper here.

acupuncture needles inserted into a patient's back
ear acupuncture being administered in a patient's ear
A patient is relaxing on a table with needles applied for facial rejuvenation
How does acupuncture work?

From an anatomical and physiological viewpoint, acupuncture stimulates the body’s tissues (nerves, vessels, myofascial/connective) to respond in such a way that is intended to encourage the healthy circulation of blood [18], body fluids [17], and lymph [30, 31] release of pain and stress-relieving hormones [14, 15,19, 29], as well as proper function of nerves and muscles [12, 13, 26, 32, 35, 36, 37]

What is classically known as an "acupuncture point" is an area of the body known to have a higher concentration of relevant tissues, primarily neurovascular bundles, to achieve a therapeutic response [16, 20, 21, 34].  A researcher from the Department of Aneasthesiology, and another from a Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCLA discuss the known related anatomical tissues that correspond to traditional acupuncture points with an emphasis on nervous tissues as the primary set of tissues that transmit needle sensation.  They state, in their article Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture based on the principle of meridians.:

"In 1984, Dung listed the following anatomical structures found in the vicinity of acupoints: large peripheral nerves; nerves emerging from a deep to a more superficial location; cutaneous nerves emerging from deep fascia; nerves emerging from bone foramina; motor points of neuromuscular attachments; blood vessels in the vicinity of neuromuscular attachment; along a nerve that is composed of fibers of varying sizes; bifurcation points of the peripheral nerves; ligaments rich in nerve endings; and suture lines of the skull. These observations confirmed that there were no particular structures that were unique to acupoints. The prevalent finding that nerve bundles were involved in almost all such locations was also validated previously." (Zhou, Benharash. Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture based on the principle of meridians. 2014. link to paper)

Research shows that stimulation of the body with acupuncture also regulates the release of pain-relieving hormones [1,6, 10, 11, 19, 22, 33] anti-inflammatory compounds [223], neurotransmitters [3, 16, 24], and hormones [4, 27, 28] that have broad effect on the body, but especially relieve pain and inflammation [5, 7, 2533]  In traditional Chinese medical terminology, which was pre-biomedicine, we would say that the needles activate and adjust the body’s ‘Qi and Blood’ in order to encourage the optimal state of the nervous system, myofascial tissues, fluids, and functional movements of a person’s body.

During an acupuncture treatment, you will lie on a padded table while sterile, single-use needles are inserted into the body at specific acupuncture points, which primarily are at major neurovascular bundles.  At our center in Campbell, our acupuncture treatment plans are specifically designed for the individual and their unique set of complaints and health history.  We will explain your personalized program and what treatment is recommended before beginning any treatment.  Acute or temporary illness may require only a few treatments, while chronic conditions may require several regularly scheduled treatments over several months.

I diagram of the neurobiological physiology of acupuncture and how it affects the digestive system
neuro-imaging - MRI and PET scans of the brain

Yang, M., Yu, Z., Chen, X., Guo, Z., Deng, S., Chen, L., Wu, Q., & Liang, F. (2018). Active Acupoints Differ from Inactive Acupoints in Modulating Key Plasmatic Metabolites of Hypertension: A Targeted Metabolomics Study. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 17824. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36199-1

What will I feel? Does it hurt?

Rarely does acupuncture cause significant and persistent pain, but one can expect to experience a variety of possible sensations including pressure, tingling, heaviness, fullness and/or aching. It also not uncommon to feel a slight pinch, sting, or burn upon the needle’s insertion but this should last only an instant and will not be felt as lasting pain.  The difference in sensation is due to the types of nerve fibers stimulated by the needle - therapeutic needle stimulation feels more achy, dull, and/or numb.

 

Some patients experience a dull, achy or heavy sensation in certain points for longer periods of time following a strong treatment. This is generally nothing to be concerned about, a sign of a strong therapeutic response, and usually goes away within 24 - 48 hours. If you are uncomfortable or feel any severe, sharp, pricking pain, immediately tell the practitioner so they can adjust the needles or help determine what you might be experiencing.

We also provide non-needle, low-level laser, a.k.a "cold-laser" or "laser acupuncture" for those who are unable to receive manual acupuncture.  Ask us if laser acupuncture is effective for your complaint or condition.

Are there any conditions that are contraindicated for acupuncture?

Most conditions are safe and actually benefit from acupuncture's effects [8].  To avoid any contraindication, be as upfront and informative as possible with your practitioner during the interview and examination portion of your visit.

Notify the practitioner if you are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant, as this will allow the practitioner to adjust their treatment methods.  While most acupuncture points are safe during pregnancy, there are a handful of points that should be avoided. Knowing your intention to conceive allows your practitioner to support you in your journey.[9]

Also be sure to inform your practitioner if you suffer from anemia, clotting disorders or other blood-related diseases.  It is also important to inform your care provider of any medications you may be taking that might affect your blood, especially Coumadin/Warfarin-containing medications.

Are there other services you offer in addition to acupuncture?

In addition to acupuncture, Abundant Heaven also offers several other modalities and treatment approaches. This includes, but is not limited to, medical massage, Craniosacral therapy, herbal medicine, Gau Sha/myofascial scraping, cupping/myofascial decompression, infrared heat therapy, and electro-acupuncture.  Each of these techniques has specific benefits and is offered when it is medically indicated.
 

If you would like to learn more about our treatment methods or to schedule an acupuncture session, give us a call today at 408-628-1888.