As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.”
According to Dr. Weil, the world’s leading proponent of integrative medicine, it is defined as “healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.”
The defining principles of integrative medicine:
- Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
- All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration, including body, mind, spirit and community.
- Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
- Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are to be used whenever possible.
- A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
- Recognition that good medicine is based in good science, inquiry-driven, and open to new paradigms.
- Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
- Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
Acupuncture is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. Since its inception more than 2,500 years ago, it has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health.
In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions. It is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a holistic health care system.
The best way to prepare is to eat a snack or a light meal before treatment so your body has sufficient energy to work with. It’s best to wear loose clothing so that your arms and legs are accessible for treatment. After treatment we recommend you drink a glass of water.
The first appointment includes a consultation with Dr. Vaughan and the first treatment. Dr. Vaughan will get a complete health history and establish a holistic evaluation of the condition for which you are seeking treatment. The first appointment may last between 1 and 1.5 hours, and all subsequent treatments are 1-hour in length.
Acupuncture treatments are not painful. Acupuncture is performed with hair-thin needles that do not resemble the pain felt from a hypodermic needle. During treatment, patients often fall asleep or are in deep relaxation.
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. When the acupuncturist places your needles it is common to feel a little pinch, mild sting or dull achy sensation; it should not be painful. Some people are more sensitive than others, so we adjust our technique and the gauge of needles according to each person’s response. We’ve needled many nervous first-timers and children and their responses are most commonly “that’s it? I barely felt anything!”.
Sixteenth century Chinese doctors believed that illness was due to an imbalance of energy in the body. In acupuncture, disposable, stainless steel needles are used to stimulate the body’s 14 major meridians, or energy-carrying channels, to resist or overcome illnesses by correcting these imbalances.
In the hands of a licensed practitioner acupuncture is a very safe, pain-free, effective treatment for many acute and chronic conditions that has been used for thousands of years.
In short, no, it’s not a placebo effect. Acupuncture works on animals, and animals don’t have beliefs about acupuncture (yes, veterinary acupuncture exists – and is common for dogs, cats, and horses in particular). Note: an acupuncturist must also be a doctor of veterinary medicine to treat animals.
One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that it is very safe. Other than an occasional bruise, there are no side effects.
Not to worry! Dr. Vaughan has treated many people who are afraid of needles. We offer a variety of needle-free treatments that produce results comparable to acupuncture, including micro-point stimulation. Please visit our Non-needle Treatments page to learn more.
Please call us with questions about cosmetic treatments.
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Feel free to call or email us! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.