Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions. It is a practice based in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), designed to regulate the flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture can help prevent illness, treat health problems, and promote overall balance and well-being.
TCM is a system of healing that is based on the belief that a type of life force or energy known as chi (pronounced "chee") flows through channels in the body called meridians. Each meridian connects to an organ or group of organs that governs particular bodily functions. The chi depends on a balance of the two opposing energies of yin (negative) and yang (positive). Illness results when too little or too much chi exists in a meridian, or when the chi stagnates or is blocked. Stimulating certain points with fine needles can balance and restore the flow of chi.
Western researchers have found that acupuncture points correspond to points on the skin that have less electrical resistance than other skin areas. There is some evidence that stimulation of the skin can affect internal organs by means of nerve reflex pathways. One theory is that acupuncture stimulates the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. Another theory is that it stimulates the pituitary gland, which in turns stimulates the adrenal gland to release anti-inflammatory chemicals.
What to expect at your acupuncture session
At your first session, your acupuncture provider will spend time discussing your medical history, nutritional habits, lifestyle, and other environmental factors. Your initial visit will last approximately one hour. Most follow-up visits last about 30 minutes.
During your session, you will lie on a padded table. Your practitioner will insert very thin needles into specific points on your body. All acupuncture needles are sterile. The needles may cause pressure or a mild tingling sensation, but they usually don't hurt. Sometimes you won't feel them at all.
Most acupuncture sessions will last for half an hour, but your first session will be an hour long so you can talk to your acupuncture provider about your health history and lifestyle. Your acupuncture practitioner will design a treatment plan for you. See what a treatment looks like.
How to schedule an appointment
To make an appointment, please call the Kaiser Permanente Center for Complementary Medicine at 844-800-0788. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Complementary Medicine is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to come to our facilities and receive chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage treatment. Whether you are a member or nonmember, you will receive the same high-quality care.
Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Our Lakewood, Midtown, and Westminster Medical Offices are also open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.