What Is Acupuncture?
The main purpose of Traditional Acupuncture is to promote Balance and Harmony, which in turn creates healing in which good health may prevail. It seeks the “root cause” of the disturbance, illness, not merely address symptoms. Acupuncture is both treatment and a pro-active resource of preventive medicine. Traditional Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine help all body systems: skeletal, muscular, circulation, respiratory, cardiac, digestive eliminatory, sexual organ systems. It aids the endocrine system, it boosts metabolism and creates a higher standard of wellness. Acupuncture is a time tested tool for creating mental and emotional well-being, improved lifestyle and increased happiness and productivity because Acupuncture creates balance in both the mind and body which are inseparably linked together. Acupuncture not only alleviates symptoms, but it addresses the root cause of the problem by helping to rebalance the body’s internal environment. Acupuncture is both a scientific system of diagnosis, assessing the “constitutional and conditional” aspects, as well as a treatment for acute and chronic disorders. Above all it is a protocol for maintenance of health.
East Asian Medicine incorporates adjunct healing modalities: Shiatsu/T’ui-n-na/Amma Massage, Moxabustion, Cupping, Herbology, Right Foods, Right Exercise, Right Thinking, and Tai Ch’i. In East Asian Medicine the organic function of the entire metabolism and individual organs and their systems play an integral part in one’s total wellness. For example, adrenal exhaustion can lead to anxiety and emotional fragility, as well as making the person feel very tired physically.
Acupuncture means “needle piercing”, yet there is no piercing action such as that created by hypodermic needles. The action is more a “threading” motion. Thin gauged, sterile, disposable needles are placed in “empirical points” (acu), along specific meridians called “Energy Channels” (Meridians), which relate to each organ of the body and their specific energetic and organic functions, at a very shallow depth (1/32 of an inch). The needles, a 38 gauge, have approximate thickness of two to three strands of human hair, and are placed on the body, and possibly the face, head and neck. The standard needle length used is 1 inch for body areas, and ½ inch for the face, ears, and thin skinned areas. Needles are left in place for 15 to 20 minutes per area needled. Point selections vary from treatment to treatment and selection will depend upon protocol in diagnosis. A variety of points may be selected for stimulation such on the ears, face, neck, abdomen, back, feet, hands, arms, but may not include all these areas in one session. Usually both front and back are treated – supine and prone positions. When it is not possible for the patient to be placed on their stomach, such as a pregnant woman, the side position is used. In some cases, a patient will sit in a chair. There are more than 1,000 known acu points. Electromagnetic research has validated the existence of acu points. Kirilian photography confirmed the “energy fields” surrounding all living things, and consequently, validated Acupuncture. Western medicine may not know how to explain how Acupuncture works, but they acknowledge that it does work!
East Asian Medicine Philosophy is based on the concept of “energy flow” – Vital Life Force Energy is called Chi (Qi), pronounced “chee”, or “key” - QI. When it is unbalanced it becomes “stuck, blocked, depleted, excessive”, Chi can go in the “wrong direction” ie. , when you vomit the Stomach Chi goes up instead of down. Acupuncture restores the Harmony of Chi. Furthermore it promotes and reestablishes the free flow of Chi. The conditions of Chi are: it is always moving, has a direction, creates a pattern, and is always changing. If the Chi cannot do these things, then it is imbalanced and requires adjustment. This is the root of good health.
Does Acupuncture Hurt? No, because the needles are so thin and delicate and Wah’s needle technique is deft. The needles may “prick” a little, but there is no major discomfort compared to pain from hypodermic injections, body piercing, tattooing, child birth, etc. Most patients become so relaxed that they fall asleep! Endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals, are released from the brain and enter into the bloodstream. One feels calm, balanced.
On your first appointment, in-depth case history is taken. This usually lasts for 30 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the patient’s complexity. A “constitutional and conditional” diagnosis is made prior to the actual Acupuncture treatment commencing. Most initial visits include case history and treatment. Time allotted is 90 minutes. But again, this may be lengthened on need. Most cases front and back are treated in the same visit. Differences will vary case by case. A relaxed atmosphere is provided. In supine positions, a guided meditation may be given. All treatments are specific to the individual’s needs. Treatment is often accompanied by one or two other modalities: Shiatsu, Seiki, Reiki, Earth Crystals, Cranial Movement, Guided Imagery, Auricular Therapy – Ear Acupuncture, Essential Oils.
Frequency of visit is determined by the patient's constitution and condition , whether it is acute or chronic state. Another factor is if the complaint is , for example, job related, occupational hazard, repetitive motion, injuries and strain. Such occupations as athletes, dancers, musicians, construction workers, computer programers are target groups for physical trauma, and injury. We strive toward "stabilization". Initially treatment may be needed 2 to 3 times a week for a couple of weeks, then to once a week, to every 2 to 3 weeks. Maintenance with Acupuncture is crucial after stabilization is achieved and is used with home protocols to keep improved health.
The Big Question Everyone Asks – How Does Acupuncture Work?
There are myriad reasons, both from the annals of ancient Asian literature on Acupuncture and East AsianMedicine, as well as current scientific research which has been conducted on the efficacy of Acupuncture. The scientificallydocumented studies accumulated from a bio-mechanical perspective support both usage and efficacy. The following biological mechanismsfrom a Western perspective afford further explanation and give weight on how and why Acupuncture works.
Bio-Mechanism I - Neuro-Modulations: The brain has neuro-modulators. Pain decreases when these neuro-modulators called opioid peptides are released. Four particular opioid peptides from the braincirculate thru the nerves during an Acupuncture treatment. There is one in particular, called the beta-endorphin, which plays a star role in Acupuncture Analagsia. Studies conducted in 1974 demonstrated that beta-endorphins are released in patients sufferingfrom ‘physical pain’. When administered Acupuncture these opioids are released. In a control group which was experiencing ‘nophysical pain’; consequently there is no increase of beta-endorphin, a neuro-modulator.
Bio-Mechanism 2 - Control Regulations: It is recognized that Acupuncture stimulates deeper areas of the brain,such as the limbic system. The limbic system regulates how we perceive and respond to pain stimuli. When Acupuncture stimulationis given, there are decreasing sensations of pain. Simultaneously the limbic system computes this phenomena.
Bio-Mechanism 3 - Local Affect Site: Research conducted more than 20 years ago ascertained that a neruopeptide called Calcilonin gene relates to peptide CCRP. This peptide is released at the needle site – acu point site. CCRP promotes vasodilatation and increases greatlyto the affected local injury site with its injured tissues. It helps speed-up recovery and healing. Studies also indicate increase of blood flow as soon as the Acupuncture needle is inserted. This further increases vasodilatation when the Da Qi – the Big Qi – Energy is ‘felt’ by the recipient. Da Qi sensations can be experienced as ‘it hurts’, or ‘feelsuncomfortable’ for a momentary time. Then the sensation passes away.
Bio-Mechanism 4 – Segmental Analgesia: Our painsignals travel via unmyelinated C fibers to the spinal segment and then go thru the dorsal horn. This pathway is called the pain or nociceptive pathway. When you receive an Acupuncture needle either near the site of pain, or in the vicinity of theinnervated spinal segment corresponding to its pathway, pain signals will travel from the dorsal horn. However Acupuncture stimulusblocks the sensation of pain. The reason for this is Acupuncture stimulates alpha delta fibers which test studies confirm decrease activity in the dorsal horn.
Bio-Mechanism 5 – Myofascial Trigger Point Release: Development of trigger points occurs whenever there is an injury, or repetitive motion and/or acute stress. Trigger pointscluster around the injured site and retain more electrical activity. This electrical activity is detected by EMG testing. EMGs producesacetylcholine (ACh) release. ACh presence stimulates muscle fiber endplates, which in turn inhibit the calcium pump. Depolarization leads to local contraction of sarcomeres in affected area(s). Muscle shortening happens with depolarization. When your acupuncturist needles the trigger point(s), a physical disruption of dysfunctional muscle activity takes place. Simultaneously, increased vasodilation takes place. Together this promotes healing of the affected tissues.
Bio-Mechanism 6 – Calming the Parasympathetic Nervous System: Studiesdocument that Acupuncture has clinical efficacy on a variety of autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases,epilepsy, anxiety, panic attacks, nervousness, disturbed circadian rhythms, and insomnia. It also helps sub-fertility and polycysticovary syndromes. Acupuncture can control the Autonomic Nervous System. AMS includes functions such as blood pressure, pupil size,skin conductance and temperature, sympathetic muscle nerve activities, and heart rate and its variability.
The Autonomic Nervous System is comprised of two neural centers: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Communications occur thru neurotransmitters. It has two chemical messengers:acetylcholine and norepinephnine. ANS is responsible for organ regulation and bodily functions. It makes certain allsystems operate correctly. Your lungs take in air and circulate it thru the body, your kidneys and liver detoxify and purify bodilymaterial and so forth. Some common functions are heart rate, urination, metabolism, breathing rates, saliva production, digestion,elimination, water and electrolyte balance, sexual functions, and tear production.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System is the involuntary nervous system responsible for slowing down heartrate, calming feelings/emotions, relaxing the sphincter muscles, and aiding ease of breathing, slowly and evenly. Nerve fibers of the PNSarise from the Central Nervous System. Specific nerves include the cranial nerves, glossopharyngeal nerve and vagus nerve; three spinalnerves in the sacrum called the splanchnic nerves. Due to its location the PNS is referred as having a ‘craniosacral flow’ andthe SNS has a ‘thoracolmbar flow’. Acupuncture activates distinct brain regions in a variety of diseases which are caused bythe imbalance of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. It also modulates adaptive neurotransmission in brainregions to facilitate autonomic response.
Bio-Mechanism 7 – Skeletal Release: Muscles, ligaments and fascia are connected to our skeletal structure, as well as to our joints. Wherever needlestimulation occurs there will be a relaxation of tightened soft tissue surrounding muscles and ligaments at the site. Nerve messagesare sent along pathways which facilitate a correction of skeletal imbalance and assists proper organ functioning at each spinalinnervation.
Origins of Acupuncture
The benefits of Acupuncture have been around for over 6,000 years. Developed in China, Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine spread throughout Eastern Asia with the influence of Buddhism. Acupuncture is now a primary healthcare system in Asia, and is a complimentary system in Europe and the United States. Acupuncture protocols are recognized by leading medical schools and hospitals such as Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson Hospital, UCLA, and both medical and non medical physicians. The World Health Organization, The Institute of Health, and the Cancer Research Institute recognize Acupuncture treatment protocols effective for a variety of acute and chronic conditions.
Benefits of Acupuncture
A testimony: “Beginning with helping me to manage my pain, Dr. Wah has gone on to assist my husband with smoking cessation (drug free) using acupuncture. She has also de-stressed our daughter and helped her with her migraines. The depth of her knowledge regarding nutrition and homeopathic solutions is helping us all to take far better care of ourselves, and feel much better in general…” -Miriam Foltz
“The Chinese method is holistic, based on the idea that no single part can be understood except in its relation to the whole.” –Web That Has No Weaver, Ted Kaptchuk OMD
FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE – Non Surgical Face Lift
The Ancients believed in seeking longevity. To have longevity is akin to attaining physical wisdom. Long life is supported by exercise, rest, proper eating habits, ingesting of herbs, good elimination, sufficient fluids and the general balance of Body/Mind/Emotions. This is coupled with Good Thoughts and Good Intentions. One’s Spirit, called Shen, moves toward a state of Harmony. There is an old Chinese saying, “You are responsible for your face after 50.” Our face records our history. In East Asian disciplines, the face reflects all body systems and organs – lungs, stomach, heart etc, and it reflects the emotional journey you have and are taking. Everyday our face mirrors our physical/mental/emotional states because our body is interconnected with our feelings and thoughts. Whenever there is an altercation of facial coloring, any growths on the skin or changes in the facial tissue, the progression from wellness toward disease may be observed. Our face is the story teller of our health.
Facial Acupuncture is a natural “Chi Lift”- it rejuvenates facial tissue and gives the face a bright and alert appearance. In ancient times Acupuncture was given to facial areas and was originally intended to address “constitutional imbalances”. In current times, Facial Acupuncture is a treatment unto itself, although points on the face can be included in a treatment targeting other concerns. Whenever there is a pathological change in the internal organs or on the four limbs, there will be a correlation on the surface of the skin. Coloration of the facial skin also correlates to Organ Energy and Functions. The Five Colorations which reveal maladies in certain organs are: Blue for Liver imbalances; Red for Heart imbalances: Yellow for spleen; white for Lungs; and Black for Kidneys.
A normal treatment regiment will consist of 12 consecutive treatments once or twice weekly. Frequency of visit is dependent on the condition of your skin and general health. Maintenance visits are encouraged to keep gains made.
A relaxed atmosphere greets you as you lie down for your first “Constitutional Acupuncture Treatment”. A history of your health is taken prior to actual treatment. Then the face is cleansed. Tiny, sterile ½ inch needles are placed in selected points on the face and neck. Leg and arm points are also used along with facial points for the Constitutional Acupuncture. You will relax for 30 minutes. Afterwards the needles will be removed and an herbal poultice mask will be applied for ten minutes then cleansed. A facial massage is given. Following this visit you commence with your facial regiment at home.
It is important to follow a course of treatments in order to retain the benefits Facial Acupuncture offers. The effects of the treatments can last with scheduled “booster” treatments, as well as following suggestions for home care which include cleaning, Facial Acupressure, skin foods, herbs, essential oils, exercise and other lifestyle measures.
Benefits of Facial Acupuncture
Acupuncture Includes Three Treatment Modalities
1) Constitutional and Facial Acupuncture Treatments: Traditional Acupuncture with Needles
2) Acupressure – gentle finger pressure to the facial tissue and muscles
3) Herbal Adjunct Therapies: Aroma Therapy, Flower Essences, Skin Foods, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Self Care and Home Treatments
A Testimony - “I first met Dr. Laila Wah in 2004 when I attended a presentation she gave at the Mind, Body, Spirit Expo in Valley Forge, PA. Her presentation on f acial acupuncture interested me, because at the age of 52 I had just developed my first wrinkle. She explained that this treatment, also referred to as an “acupuncture face-life” was a safe and effective alternative to other more invasive procedures. A course of treatment consisted of weekly session over several months. I volunteered to receive a “mini treatment” at the Expo, because I wanted to see if it would get rid of the wrinkle, even temporarily. I was amazed to see that the wrinkle disappeared and did not return until two days later.”
“I intended to undergo the full series of facial acupuncture treatments as soon as possible. However, because of other complicated medical problems requiring treatment, I was not able to return to Dr. Wah until 2008. By this time I had wrinkles over my entire face… with acupuncture I began to see improvements immediately after my first treatment… When I looked in the mirror after my second treatment I was amazed to see that I looked younger. Later that day, after disclosing my age to a new acquaintance, I was told, ‘No one would ever believe that you were 56. You look much younger.’ I can’t wait to see what the rest of the treatments will bring.” - J.E. Horowitz MD
“Man follows the ways of the Earth, The Earth follows the ways of Heaven, Heaven follows the ways of Tao, Tao follows its own way.” – Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center have found statistically Acupuncture can improve conception for women, particularly if a woman is also undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVG). Women also experience significant reductions in abdominal pain, and other bodily pains, reduced nausea and stress two hours after oocyte aspiration (egg collection). Comparisons are made to women receiving conventional analgesia.The American Pregnancy Association suggests fertility treatments are most effects when there is a combination of Acupuncture, herbal remedies, and conventional medical interventions.
“Jing…is Essence…the substance that underlies all organic life… Jing has two sources… Prenatal Jing…inherited from the parents… Prenatal Jing is fixed at birth… Postnatal Jing… is derived from the purified parts of ingest food…” – The Web That Has No Weaver, Ted Kaptchuk OMD
FOR EMOTIONAL CONDITIONS: ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, MOOD
Acupuncture is a time tested tool for creating a sense of mental and emotional well-being, improved lifestyle and increased happiness. Acupuncture creates Balance in both the Mind and Body which are inseparably linked together. The ancients understood that true wellness meant the balance of Mind-Body-Emotions, which allows Spirit to be free and Joyful.
The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health approved Acupuncture as adjunctive therapy to help treat emotional concerns. Pilot studies conducted at the University of Arizona and studies by the National Institute for Mental Health conclude that acupuncture is a very reliable and effected treatment for depression, anxiety, stress, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, phobias and everyday stressors. A tremendous amount of studies have been conducted, and papers written on the validation of Acupuncture to help address emotional imbalances. Also see Errington-Evans N. (2011) Acupuncture for anxiety, CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, Acupuncture and Mental Health, Acufinder.com.
Not only does Acupuncture alleviate symptoms associated with mental health issues, but Acupuncture can treat the root cause of the problems by helping to re-balance the body’s internal environment. In East Asian Medicine the organic function of the entire metabolism and individual organs and their systems play an integral part in one’s total wellness. For example, adrenal exhaustion can lead to anxiety and emotional fragility. Mental health disorders are also medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feelings, moods, and affects one’s ability to relate to other and handle the demands of daily life. Everyone occasionally faces major upheavals or emotional distress. How we handle issues is the difference between serious imbalance and temporary emotional stress.
Anxiety, stress and depression are the most common mental-emotional conditions affecting people today. It is often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Anxiety takes a variety of forms: mild worrying, obsessive thoughts and worrying, feeling fearful, to having phobias, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a nervous stomach and panic attacks. Conventional treatments include anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping pills, and seizure medications, all of which have side effects which include blurred vision, headache, nausea, drowsiness, low libido and so forth.
BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR EMOTIONAL ISSUES
A Testimony - “When I was a young girl, age 10, I started having migraines with severe blinding pain. After Acupuncture treatments with Laila, my migraines stopped and I’ve been pain free.” – Masha Zavolsky
“In order to make all acupuncture thorough, one must first cure the Spirit.” -- Chi Po
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT
Traditional Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine help all body systems: skeletal, muscular, circulation, respiratory, cardiac, digestive, eliminatory, and sexual organ systems. It aids the endocrine system, boots metabolism, and creates a higher standard of wellness. Acupuncture helps alleviate symptoms but foremost, it addresses the “root cause” of the problem by helping to rebalance the body’s internal environment. In East Asian Medicine the organic function of the entire metabolism and individual organs and their systems play an integral part in one’s total wellness.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT, TARGETS ON THE AREAS OF STRESS AND INJURY.
It is endorsed by both The World Health Organization and The Institute of Health, leading universities such as Harvard, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and hospitals throughout the United States. Acupuncture for Pain Management addresses such conditions as pre and post operative care, sports injuries, repetitive motion injuries, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, breakages of limbs, whip lash, knee pain, and back pain.
A Testimony - “I was in a serious car accident and my body was totally in distress. Having weekly treatments with Laila helped put my body and life back together… I continue to receive her Acupuncture treatments and have recommended her services to family and friends.” – Maureen Maher
“The Earth’s condition is receptive devotion.” – I Ching
FOR THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMO THERAPY
A Testimony - “I have been a patient of Laila’s for over 18 years. During that time Laila has always treated me with respect and compassion. She is warm, caring and very mindful of her patients’ needs…. What I am most thankful for is the time she spent with my dying father who was fighting cancer. Laila was able to give him some pain-free time that he would not have had otherwise. She was hopeful and inspired him to keep fighting. He felt very comfortable with her. He always felt like she treated him with respect and dignity and wanted to help heal him and relieve his pain. For this I am eternally grateful to have had a way to bring him some peace.” – Kris Spadaccino
“Let us cultivate love and compassion, both of which give true meaning to life…” – His Holiness the XIV Dali Lama
AND TRAUMA CARE
of loved ones, a family member, friends, a community, or a pet,
and/or the experience of any physical-emotional trauma (physical
assault, rape, being a witness to violence) , greatly disturbs our
mind and body's equilibrium.
hurt, pain and grief strikes one's very core. Results can last for
very long periods, even a lifetime. Post traumatic stress
disorders and grief may leave one quite debilitated.
uniquely and singular treatment is available to sufferers. Laila
Wah OMD combines from a long tradition of spiritually attuned
therapies and draws from her parallel intuition to give solace and
remedy. Combining hands-on techniques: Reiki - hands gently lain
upon the body; Seiki - hands off the body moving the energy
currents surrounding the recipient's form; gentle Shiatsu - light
Acupressure and muscle-meridian stretching; cranial release of
compressure in the cervical spine and tightness of the skull; are
joined with Crystal Chakra Balancing of core centers, with distal
points by Acupuncture, case appropriate, Sound Therapy, Mantra and
Silent Intentions to ease strain and suffering.
ensuing results are calming of the emotional centers, deeper
balancing of the physical body, and the ability to move forward in
one's daily life. Most patients feel more integrated after the
for daily survival after experiencing shocking events or sorrow
are necessary and poignant. By entering into a Rebalancing
Treatment for Grief and Trauma Care, one more easily assimilates
into the living and Beauty of Life.
COST EFFECTIVENESS OF ACUPUNCTURE
Receiving Acupuncture, making lifestyle changes with
exercise, diet, stress reduction techniques and other adjunct
therapies can save a patient thousands of dollars and the wear
and tear upon the body, reduce emotional angst, and avoid long
absenteeism off the job . The following is a summary by
Richard Hammerschlag, Ph.D, and Stephen Birch made in the 90s and
taken from various articles on Acupuncture usage. Medical costs
are now higher, and more Acupuncture is available throughout the
Nation, but these examples still hold true.
Acupuncture treatment often results in the avoidance of surgery. In a case of 29 patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knees, each was awaiting arthroplasty surgery. Randomly chosen to receive a course of Acupuncture, 7 out of the 29 were able to cancel their scheduled surgeries.
Acupuncture treatment results in decreased days in hospital or
in a nursing home. 78 stroke patients were receiving
standard rehabilitative care. Half were chosen and given
Acupuncture. Those who received Acupuncture recovered faster, and
spent less time in hospital and in the nursing home.
treatment allows low-back pain patients to return to physical
labor. 56 patients at a workers’ compensation clinic were
randomized to receive either physical therapy, occupational
therapy exercise or the standard care plus Acupuncture. Those
receiving Acupuncture, 29 patients, 18 returned to their original
or equivalent jobs, 10 to a lighter employment, while of the 27
receiving standard therapy, 4 returned to their original job or
its equivalent, and 14 to lighter employment.
Acupuncture treatment can result in no surgical intervention, fewer hospital visits, and greater return to employment. 69 patients with severe angina pectoris received 12 Acupuncture treatments in 4 weeks. They were also advised to perform self-Shiatsu 2x daily and they received counseling in stress reduction, exercise and dietary protocols. Of the 49 who were scheduled for coronary bypass or balloon angioplasty surgery 30 had surgery postponed by the 2 year follow-up date for clinical improvement.
A Testimony - “Laila was able to help my husband with Bell Palsy. He had a complete response with Acupuncture alone and was extremely impressed with the remarkable results. He was able to return to normal without any medication. She is a credit to her profession and is a wonderful person.” – Kris Spadaccino
“The body and mind are closely connected and each influences the other. That is why you should never lose hope, however seriously sick you may be. Tell yourself that there is always a remedy and that you have a chance of recovery.” – His Holiness the XIV Dali Lama