Frequently Asked Questions

Is there more to Oriental Medicine than Acupuncture?

Acupuncture of one of five branches of Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine). The others are Oriental herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, Tui Na massage, and Qigong breathing meditation. All comprise a 3,000 year-old holistic approach to healing and maintaining the health of the body, mind and spirit.

TOM/TCM is based on the understanding that the body is composed of two basic kinds of energy: electrical and chemical. These two forms of energy can be assisted through acupuncture (electrical energy field) and medicinal herbal teas (chemical energy field). Acupuncture and medicinal herbs work together with the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to restore and maintain good health.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical therapy developed over 3000 years ago in Asia to help restore the balance of the body’s energy, also knows as “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). According to classical doctrines of Traditional Oriental Medicine, there is an unceasing form of “Qi” flowing throughout the body. This vital energy originates from the major organs and flows along continuous circulatory channels called meridians. When the energy flow is smooth and in balance, one is healthy. If the balance is disturbed, then illness or pain results. Acupuncture serves to rebalance the healthy flow of energies, thereby restoring vitality and well-being.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture accomplishes this rebalancing by the insertion of fine, hair-thin needles into the body at specific points. Biochemical and neurological research has shown that the technique works by signaling the centers in the brain that control systems and organ functions.

Similarly, acupuncture has also been shown to have the effect of stimulating and strengthening the body’s immune system and organ function by just such a feedback mechanism. Acupuncture affects the levels of glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and hormones in the blood. It balances gastrointestinal, endocrine and nervous system function in the body. Acupuncture can also improve circulation and reduce inflammation.

What is Medicinal Herbal Treatment?

Herbal medicine is an integral part of TOM. An herbal prescription helps to continue the energy correction begun by the acupuncture treatment. TOM herbal formulas contain selections of herbs that not only possess different qualities and properties, but also target different aspects of the patient’s disharmony. Each herbal formulation is customized to treat the patient’s disharmony and constitution at that time.

The majority of Oriental herbal medicine is from organic substances such as plants, minerals and animal products. Herbal remedies rarely elicit side effects and have been proven safe and effective over thousands of years when used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. There are various methods of administering the herbs; the most powerful effect comes from boiling raw herbs into a tea; however, pills, capsules and powders are also available for convenience.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Here is a brief list:

Musculo-skeletal Complaints: Arthritis, joint problems, neck and back pain, knee, shoulder and elbow tendonitis, and bursitis.

Gastrointestinal: Irritable bowel, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and gastritis.

Mental Health: Anxiety and depression, seasonal affective disorder and phobias.

Cardiovascular Conditions: High blood pressure, palpitations and heart disease.

Gynecology & Fertility: Menopause, PMS, painful menstruation, infertility (male and female)

Respiratory Disease: Asthma, bronchitis, influenza, cough and common cold.

Addiction & Weight Loss: including alcohol, drugs, smoking

Genito-urinary: Bladder and kidney disease, genital herpes, sexual dysfunction and prostate conditions.

Pediatrics: Childhood diseases.

Neurological Disorders: Tinnitus and deafness, dizziness, headaches, paralysis, stroke rehabilitation, trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s Palsy and multiple sclerosis.




Click here for a longer list.


Is TOM/Acupuncture just a temporary solution, or will it cure the problem?

Illness, disease or ailment result when the flow of Qi is interrupted by various causes, such as physical injury, emotional trauma, stress or improper diet. What acupuncture attempts to do is to regulate the flow of Qi to re-establish the proper flow of energy and substances in the body. Picture your home’s plumbing plugged by a clog, filling to the point of bursting or backing up to release the tremendous pressure into other areas of the house. This analogy is not unlike the blockage of Qi in our bodies, which must be cleared into order to relieve pain and prevent the disruption and/or damage to other systems of the body, over time, if left unattended. So, in answer to the question above, when the Qi is regulated the body will be restored to its natural state of balance, and able to heal itself.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin made from silver alloy typically stainless steel. You may feel little or no discomfort as the needles are inserted as the process is typically painless. You may feel different sensations including slight soreness, numbness, warmth, or pressure. These energetic sensations differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and comforting.

We also offer non-needle stimulation of the acupuncture points.

Are needles the only equipment involved?

Acupuncturists may use several other techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, electric stimulation, photonic LED, and point stimulation to help with the patient’s treatment.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture therapy has been used for thousands of years in China. Acupuncture is the treatment of choice for one-fourth of the world’s population! The needles are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.

Will acupuncture conflict with my other medications?

Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments not to replace them. You should discuss this issue with your physician and acupuncturist.

What is the usual treatment plan?

Because Oriental medicine recognizes that each individual is unique, every patient receives a customized treatment program. Consequently, two patients with the same disease are often treated with totally different therapeutic methods. After a careful initial evaluation, we tailor a treatment plan to the specific needs of the patient. Acute symptoms often respond to treatment within a few visits, whereas chronic cases often require more time.

How many treatments will I need?

Since every person is unique in their own condition, the numbers of treatments will vary. The nature, severity and history of each patient’s problem, as well as the individual himself or herself, are all factors that are involved in how many treatments will be necessary.

One course of treatment is typically considered to be ten treatments. This ideally is scheduled in close succession, usually 2-3 treatments per week. Although some patients respond favorably after only one or two treatments for an acute condition, some may not improve until the eighth or ninth visit. In general, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions as they are usually of recent onset rather than a long-standing condition.

How long does each acupuncture treatment take & what can I expect?

In most situations treatments take between 40-60 minutes but can last longer in certain scenarios. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient and the skill of the acupuncturist. Be aware that on some days, visits may take longer due to the number of clients being treated.  Most patients report a sense of relaxation and well being; some people even fall asleep during treatment. With insertion of needles, a person may feel a momentary dull, achy or pulsing sensation in the location of the needle or a radiating tingle along the needled channel. TOM associates these sensations with the body’s energies being realigned.

How should I prepare?

Relax. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Eat a small, healthy snack prior to the treatment. Share even the most “insignificant” symptoms with the doctor, as these can provide valuable insight into the evaluation of your health profile. Look forward to being well.

What should I expect after my first acupuncture treatment?

After we administer the first treatment, experiences are varied depending on the ailment being treated. You may experience immediate, total or partial relief from pain or other symptoms. Some patients experience a sudden burst of energy while others may feel relaxed. Many people experience a calming satisfaction. Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do occur. These are no cause for alarm, and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The reabsorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the needle in place.

How much will it cost?

Here is a link to the Patient Information page with cost information.

What research is available about acupuncture?

Here is a link to our Resources page. This contains links to web sites that discuss acupuncture and research about acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.



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Harmony Integrative Medicine LLC
Jean Painter, DpOM, CH, Ac., L.Ac.
on 4/1 - 141 S. McCormick St. 103
Prescott, AZ 86303

Office: 928.776.4895
Fax: 928.776.4895