top of page
  • What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
    Chinese medicine is an umbrella term that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, and Qigong exercise and meditation. Chinese medicine is one of the oldest, continuously practiced medical systems in the world and is utilized by nearly one-third of the world’s population as a primary health care system or as adjunctive therapy. The fundamental principles of Chinese medicine are to treat the person as an integrated whole in body, mind and spirit, and to remedy the root cause of illness and disease, not only the symptoms.
  • What is acupuncture?
    Acupuncture is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese medicine. It involves penetrating the skin with very fine needles that are manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation (electro-acupuncture). Acupuncture is utilized to treat conditions by stimulating certain critical locations on the body (acupuncture points) in order to control and regulate blood circulation, autonomic systems and endogenous mechanisms, to restore physiological balance. This includes re-establishing somatic, visceral, immune function and homeostasis, as well as promoting pain relief and tissue healing.
  • Is acupuncture painful?
    A slight prick may be felt when the needle is inserted, but it is quite different than the prick felt during an injection, as acupuncture needles are much finer. For example, 21-gauge needles are most commonly used for drawing blood for testing purposes, and 16- or 17-gauge needles are most commonly used for blood donation. Acupuncture needles are sterile, pre-packaged, disposable, and hair-thin. After the needles are inserted and stimulated, they remain in place for approximately 45 minutes. Acupuncture is often quite relaxing once the needles are placed and many people fall asleep during the treatment.
  • How should I prepare for my first acupuncture visit?
    Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and eat a protein rich meal/snack at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • What can I expect at my first acupuncture visit?
    After your chief complaint is discussed and systems are reviewed, a treatment plan is established based on tongue, pulse, and Chinese differential diagnosis. Allow 60-75 minutes for both evaluation and treatment at the first visit and 60 minutes for each subsequent treatment.
  • How many acupuncture visits are recommended?
    Treatment schedule will be recommended during initial consultation. However, depending upon symptoms and severity, frequency and duration may be adjusted for improved response and outcome. Keep in mind that change can be gradual for more chronic conditions. Each treatment and response to treatment is dynamic and will often include different point combinations and approaches. These combinations help stimulate healing and balance.
  • How does acupuncture work?
    There are hundreds of acupuncture points along the body’s 14 major meridians. The term “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) describes the energy that circulates through meridians. The belief is that illness is caused by a disruption of Qi, which leads to an imbalance of energy. While the terminology of Chinese medicine can be confusing and intangible at times, there has been much research focused on gaining a greater understanding of this medicine. Clinical research has demonstrated multiple biological responses with stimulation of certain acupuncture points. Specifically, it has shown to stimulate bone re-growth, regulate blood pressure, increase red and white blood cell counts, and stimulate production of pain modulating endorphins and enkephalins. The exact mechanism of action continues to be heavily researched and debated. There are many theories as to how acupuncture actually works. When acupuncture points are stimulated, it causes a dull ache or other sensations in the muscle. One theory holds that the stimulated muscle and sensory neurons send a message to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing the release of endorphins (naturally produced pain killers) and other neurotransmitters (body chemicals that modify nerve impulses), which help block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain and have other regulatory effects as well. Other experts believe that acupuncture works by transmitting signals via the fascia. Fascia is like a thin sheath that surrounds the musculoskeletal system. Some consider the meridians to represent myofascial chains – which helps explain why stimulating an acupuncture point in the lower leg can affect the back or other areas. Interestingly, research shows that acupuncture points have a lower electrical resistivity than surrounding areas. In a practical sense, the meridian system provides a navigable energetic map of the body for acupuncturists to locate and treat many conditions.
  • What conditions are treated with acupuncture?
    Acupuncture has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These bodies have declared acupuncture an effective treatment for the following conditions: Acute and chronic pain Arthritis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis Asthma and allergies Bell’s palsy Digestive problems Ear and eye problems Fatigue Fibromyalgia, other autoimmune diseases Immune system support Infertility and In-vitro Fertilization Insomnia Menstrual and menopausal issues Mental and emotional conditions Nausea, morning sickness Numbness and tingling Postpartum depression Sinusitis Skin disorders Stress management Stroke rehabilitation Urinary problems …and more
  • What is your appointment reminder system?
    You will receive a reminder email 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • What is our cancellation policy?
    We have a 24 hour cancellation policy which means you must give at least 24 hour notice that you will not be able to keep your appointment. Notifying that you will not be able to keep your appointment by a phone call to the clinic, voicemail or communication through the patient portal is sufficient. In the event that 24 hour notice is not given to cancel or reschedule a follow up visit, we charge a $75 insufficient notice fee. Should you need to reschedule your initial appointment and you aren’t able to provide a 24 hour notice then you will forfeit your $50 deposit and will need to make a new deposit if you would like to book again in the future.

As Seen On...

Dr. Allen as seen on WRIC Channel 8 News in Richmond, VA
bottom of page