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Treatment FAQ

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) utilizes theories and principles that date back nearly 3000 years. TCM is a gentle, effective and safe method of holistic healing that works on the physical, emotional and psycho-spiritual levels. TCM includes the modalities of acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, acupressure, energetic exercise, such as Tai Qi and Qigong, and dietary advice.

Traditional Chinese medicine regards the human body as a complete, self-regulating system that is always in a state of change. TCM follows the laws and cycles of nature and embraces the interconnectedness of all things.

Using the natural properties and flavors of medicinal substances to restore and balance the entire body energy, TCM plays an important role in preventing and treating disease as well as improving longevity.

Since the 1970s when traditional Chinese medicine first became available in the United States, over 15 million Americans have tried it. Almost everyone knows someone who had positive results. The risk is low and potential benefits are high.

What does traditional Chinese medicine treat?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the ability of Chinese medicine to treat many commonly encountered clinical disorders such as addictions, allergies/asthma, anxiety/depression, arthritis/joint problems, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, gynecological and neuromuscular disorders, chemical sensitivities, headaches/migraine, immune system deficiency, post-stroke hemiplegia and facial paralysis and stress, to name a few.

How effective is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Using the natural properties and flavors of medicinal substances to restore and balance the entire body energy. For over 3000 years, it has played an important role in preventing and treating disease as well as improving longevity. Chinese Herbal Medicine treats any disorders and diseases through internal or external absorption. Since Chinese herbs have different tastes, properties, natures, functions and entering channels, they can affect the flow of Qi and blood, and the balance of Yin and Yang of the human body.

Chinese Herbal Medicine has its own specific interactions with the human body. In conjunction with acupuncture, herbs are combined to induce long-lasting changes in a natural process that promotes well-being.

Is Chinese medicine and Acupuncture safe?

Because the treatment does not involve the use of drugs, patients do not have to worry about adverse side effects. However, there are certain conditions you should notify your practitioner about before undergoing treatment, such as hemophilia or if you have a pacemaker. Our Medical Center use only disposable needles.

Where can I find more information on Chinese medicine?

Please visit our Acupuncture information Links (direct to link and resource under news and events) page. Here you will find links to resources on that can provide you with more detailed information on the history and efficacy of Chinese medicine.

Who can benefit from Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine can help people with both acute and chronic health problems as well as those who simply want to increase their overall well-being. Those who want to increase vitality and energy, strengthen their immune system and find relief from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, allergies and asthma; can benefit from natural health care. Those who are seeking relief from pain, fatigue, depression and stress-related conditions, want to control their weight or stop smoking can also benefit.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body.

How does acupuncture work?

It is said that ancient Chinese sages, while observing the movements within nature and the universe, discovered that the body and all living things have their own energy systems of life force called "Qi" (chi). Qi is similar to what we know as electromagnetism or bioelectric energy. When this energy is disturbed or blocked, discomfort or illness results.

Unseen lines of energy, called meridians, are said to traverse the body. These meridians have superficial pathways along which acupuncture points are located and deep pathways that lead to the internal organs. The insertion of thread-like, stainless steel needles at these bio-electrically charged points stimulate the flow of Qi and help to restore equilibrium.

Studies indicate that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous systems, releases endorphins to reduce pain and stress, affects: sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, enhances the function of the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, also improves circulation.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture, when administered by a competent and well- trained individual, is rarely painful. The needles are extremely slender and are very different from the syringe needles used in western medicine. A sensation such as a heaviness or distended feeling indicates that the acupuncture is working. Acupuncture is very relaxing and rarely there is discomfort.

What should I expect during my first visit?

At your first visit, you will be asked to complete a patient information form and health history. It is a good idea to bring with you any copies of previous tests, lab results and any medications or supplements you are currently taking.

How long are the appointments?

While this can sometimes vary, generally a new patient¡¦s first visit will last between 60-90 minutes. Follow-up visits generally last between 40-60 minutes.

What should you expect during and after a treatment?

The treatment room is a private space where your history, questions, and aspirations are discussed. The initial visit is usually about an hour and a half. Your practitioner will take vital signs as well as detailed examination on the pulse and tongue, abdominal palpation and facial diagnosis.

During the session, you will lay comfortably on a treatment table where an average of 10 sterile disposable needles are gently and strategically placed in the body for about 20 minutes. After the treatment, you may be prescribed Chinese herbal medicine as appropriate.

How long will it take to get better?

Because each patient's health problems and response to treatment are unique, the number and frequency of treatments vary. Most health problems take more than one treatment to resolve. Expect to have four treatments before re-assessment. Many problems may require ten or more treatments before significant benefits accrue. Along the way, though, you should see an overall improvement in your health as well as your illness.

What type of services does the clinic at UEWM offer?

The UEWM's Clinic offers treatment and/or consultation with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling and massage.

What are the qualifications and training of UEWM's practitioners?

All of our practitioners have had rigorous training in both Western sciences and natural therapeutic traditions. Acupuncturists (L.Ac.'s) receive three to four years of graduate training in a broad range of subjects, including Western and Eastern concepts of anatomy, physiology and pathology, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. All of our acupuncturists are licensed by the California Acupuncture Board.

Can practitioners give out medical information or advice over the phone?

No, our health care practitioners must see you in person for an appointment before giving out medical advice, including advice on herbal remedies and supplements.

Can I see a doctor without being seen by students?

Yes, if you prefer, you may make your appointment with a licensed acupuncturist and specifically ask beforehand that students not be involved. If you have concerns about seeing students, please be assured that the overseeing faculty members supervise our student clinicians closely.

Our students are extremely well trained and bring their own individual life experience and expertise to your care. (For instance, many of our students are also massage therapists or have previously worked as western medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or other health care professionals).

Is insurance accepted?

We accept many insurance plans such as: PPO, HMO, Worker¡¦s Comp, and Medi-Cal, Regence, Premera, Aetna , First Choice and Cigna.

Appointments and lab work are usually covered at a certain percentage or with a co-payment, but natural supplements and tinctures are not covered. Please contact your insurance plan to verify your specific coverage for complementary and alternative medicine.

What is Tuina Massage?

Tuina is therapeutic massage composed of over 20 manipulations and techniques based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It provides excellent results in relaxation, rehabilitation and the promotion of general well-being. It also enhances the effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It is particularly effective in treating injuries of tendons, muscles and organ disorders, and in regulating and harmonizing the flow of Qi and blood.

What is Moxa?

Burning Chinese herbs (loose or compacted herbs) in sticks and cones used on skin or held close to the skin to warm channels and points of the body. Used to relieve traumatic pain or gynecological problems and alleviate debilitating conditions such as weakness and fatigue.

What is Cupping?

Using a flame (such as from an ignited cotton ball) to warm air inside a round cupping glass which is then applied directly to the skin (mainly on the back) to apply suction to acu-points and to remove toxins from the skin. This technique is used for muscle injury, joint pain, headaches and acute bronchial congestion.

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbs consist of a variety of naturally found products that promote health. The herbs may be dispensed in pills, capsules, tinctures or in raw form, which requires boiling as a tea. Most herb formulas consist of four to eight herbs and treat a wide variety of symptoms while stimulating the body¡¦s natural healing process. Since Chinese herbs have different tastes, properties, natures, functions and entering channels, they can affect the flow of Qi and blood, and the balance of Yin and Yang of the human body.

What is Qigong?

A system of meditative movements synchronized with the breath to induce relaxation and obtain a healthy state of balance by building and enhancing the body's Qi. Qigong enhances relaxation, increases internal circulation and life energy.

Where is the center located?

The UEWM clinic is located at 595 Larence Expressway Sunnyvale CA.

Do you provide parking?

There are ample parking spaces in front of the clinic.