Acupuncture Specialist

Palo Alto Mind Body

Concierge Psychiatry & Psychiatrists located in Palo Alto, CA

Acupuncture is supported by a rapidly growing foundation of research showing that it’s a safe and effective treatment for diverse conditions, from headaches and fatigue to chronic lower back pain and sports injuries. M Rameen Ghorieshi, MD, MPH, and his colleagues at Palo Alto Mind Body proudly offer medical acupuncture administered by a board-certified acupuncturist on site. To learn how you might benefit from acupuncture, call the office in Palo Alto, California, or send a confidential email. We also serve many patients located in the surrounding Bay Area, such as South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, San Jose, and San Francisco.

Acupuncture Q & A

Palo Alto Mind Body

How does acupuncture work?

In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture heals many health conditions by restoring biological energy that continuously circulates through your body. This energy, Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), follows pathways called meridians that are associated with organ systems in your body.

When a pathway is blocked, the affected system experiences stress and develops disease, illness, and pain. As acupuncture needles are placed in precise locations associated with the blocked meridian, your normal energy flow is restored, allowing the body to use its inherent ability to heal.

Medical acupuncture targets areas where acupuncture needles can stimulate peripheral nerves. The nerves then send messages to the brain, which in turn releases morphine-like compounds called endorphins. As endorphins bind to opiate receptors, they produce a pain-relieving effect.

Researchers have found several other ways that acupuncture produces therapeutic results. For example, the treatment affects brain chemistry, triggering beneficial neurotransmitters or neurohormones.

Another mechanism of action was illustrated when acupuncture brought pain relief to a group of adults with knee osteoarthritis. By taking functional MRIs before and after acupuncture treatments, researchers were able to show improved connectivity between areas of the brain.

What should I expect during an acupuncture session?

The needles used during acupuncture are different from those used for medical procedures. Acupuncture needles are ultra-thin, flexible, and tapered, qualities that allow them to slide smoothly into the targeted area.

In most cases, patients don’t feel anything as the needle is inserted. After the needle reaches the appropriate depth, you may feel a dull ache or tingling sensation.

During an acupuncture session, your board-certified acupuncturist at Palo Alto Mind Body may manipulate the needles, twirling them or transmitting a low-intensity electrical current through them. Throughout your acupuncture session, you should not experience pain or discomfort.

Sessions typically range from 60-90 minutes, depending on your particular condition and severity.  The course of treatment may also depend on your health history and factors such as diet and lifestyle.

Regardless of specific your particular lifestyle choices, both historically-proven traditional Chinese medicine and the ever-growing western scientific evidence have shown medical acupuncture to be highly effective against key metal and physical conditions.  

What health conditions may benefit from acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is being used to relieve pain caused by a variety of health conditions. For example, treatment guidelines developed by the American College of Physicians recommend acupuncture for treating chronic lower back pain.

The World Health Organization publishes a list of diseases and conditions that are proven to effectively treated with acupuncture. A few examples from the list include:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Depression
  • A headache
  • Facial pain
  • Knee pain
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Neck and back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Sprains

In addition to the conditions above, the acupuncturist at Palo Alto Mind Body also specializes in treating:

  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Sports injuries

If you’d like to consider acupuncture or if you have questions about whether it may benefit your health problem, call Palo Alto Mind Body or request a confidential appointment online. Please note, we also serve many patients located in the surrounding Bay Area, such as South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, San Jose, and San Francisco.