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Acupuncture is the art and science of correcting imbalances or disharmonies in the body and mind by balancing the bodyís physical and energetic factors, and promoting the free flow of Qi (pronounced chee) and blood. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, health is dependent on the free and smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. The practice of acupuncture dates back to origins in China over 5,000 years ago. Acupuncture has a long history of success in China for many aliments, and today is practiced throughout the world to treat a growing list of conditions.

The practice of acupuncture uses very thin needles Ė about diameter of a human hair to manipulate Qi within the energy meridians. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is said to work by removing blockages to the flow of Qi and blood in the body and thereby to restore and maintain health. In addition, energetic factors such as yin and yang are gradually brought into balance and harmony. Modern clinical research has shown that acupuncture can also trigger the release of natural pain killers such as adenosine and endorphins, and thereby help to alleviate pain. At various locations along each of the different energy meridians are specific points where the meridianís energy can be manipulated in different ways. For example, a point on the top of the head pulls Qi (energy) upward while a combination of four points (the four gates) on the hands and feet strongly moves the Qi and blood in the body in order to remove stagnation and alleviate pain. Depending on your condition, one of many points may be selected for treatment.

For patientís safety, modern acupuncture relies on the use of super fine, sterilized disposable needles. Each needle is used once and then disposed of. Like all acupuncturists who are certified by NCCAOM, Dr. Ferreira is certified in, and strictly follows, Clean Needle Techniques. Dr. Ferreira also incorporates herbal treatment, nutrition, tuina (Chinese massage), fire cupping therapy(to treat Qi and blood stagnation), moxibustion (application of heated mugwort herb to points on the body), and medical Qi Gong (exercise) in treatment when needed.

Recent clinical studies have indicated that acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of conditions. Relatively few complications have been reported from the use of acupuncture. Acupuncture can, however, cause potentially serious side effects if not delivered properly by a qualified practitioner.

What can I expect from my treatment?

Your first appointment is 60 minutes during which we will explore your complete health history and what your goals for health and healing are. Dr. Ferreira will perform a TCM Pulse and Tongue Diagnosis, palpate acupuncture points and meridians and develop the initial treatment plan. An acupuncture treatment is given during first visit. The treatment plan will include a series of weekly treatments, nutrition recommendations, and possibly prescription of herbal formulas. Download the forms you'll need here »

Most patients are treated fully clothed, so wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing that allows access to points on the arms, legs, belly and back. Needles are inserted at specific locations on the body depending on the condition to be treated. Usually there is a mild achy sensation on insertion as the needle encounters and moves the Qi. This sensation resolves in seconds. The needles are left in for 30 to 50 minutes during which most patients achieve a relaxed, pleasant and pain-free state.

How many acupuncture treatments do I need?

Number of treatments is dependent on the nature of the condition and the length of time that you have had the condition. Some patients respond immediately to a treatment, others may respond in 2 to 3 treatments; still others may take weeks, months or more. Plan to come twice a week for several weeks then less often as the condition improves. Most conditions respond best with more frequent visits initially and when received on a regular basis. Regular treatments help to maintain the bodyís natural balance.

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