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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is part of a traditional Asian medical system developed several thousand years ago.  Extremely fine needles (about as thick as a hair) are inserted into specific points on the body.  When these points are stimulated they elicit certain functional responses in the body in order to re-balance the health of the person.

Oriental medical theory explains dysfunction of the person using a vocabulary that can sound unusual.  "Yin", "yang", "Qi"  "Damp"  "Phlegm" are  examples of some of the terms. Acupuncture points are chosen by your Doctor according to Oriental Medical principles that lead to your diagnosis. For example, someone with arthritis pain that is worse with cold, damp weather might have a diagnosis of "Wind Cold Damp Bi".  Acupuncture points are then selected that scatter the cold, expel the wind, and transform the damp. 

The acupuncture needles used are solid, made of stainless steel and do not inject anything into your body. Only single use, disposable needles are used.

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't. Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that you will hardly feel when inserted. When needles are stimulated they may produce a unique sensation that Oriental medicine calls de qi. Patients often describe de qi as a heavy, achy pressure, or spreading, traveling feeling. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common. Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically.  Your comfort is always a priority, and we will check during your treatment to make sure everything is OK.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is almost always necessary.  There should be some measure of improvement within the first 4 to 6 treatments, although most patients feel a difference after the first treatment. The condition's severity and how long a patient has had can be an indicator of how many treatments will be needed.  Acute conditions usually take less time to treat than a condition that has become chronic.

Acupuncture can be used to prevent health problems also.  "Tune-Ups", as some patients have called them, are treatments where imbalances in a person are re-balanced before a major problem arises.  The change of seasons is a beneficial time to have one of these treatments.  We also treat many patients for stress, as acupuncture can re-balance the body and have a very calming effect.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. Acupuncture is used by millions of Americans every year.

Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. All Doctors at Desert Herbals have passed comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and are licensed by the state. As required by law,  pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles are used to ensure your complete safety.

Your First Visit

When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment  you will fill out initial paperwork including a health history.  Next, you will sit down with your Doctor and discuss your concerns, your symptoms and your history.  The initial intake could take up to 15 minutes, or more.  This intake is important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account. For example, it is important not only to know that you have trouble sleeping, but also if your low back hurts, or if your digestion is off. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark and is tied together.

You Doctor  will examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine. The acupuncture points chosen will depend on your condition, but you can expect anywhere from one to 20 needles. Once the needles are inserted, you will rest comfortably for 15 to 45 minutes with the needles in place. Your Doctor will check with you during your treatment to make sure you are comfortable. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture works by activating the body's own healing powers, so it can be beneficial for many health conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented many symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be effectively treated with acupuncture. Below are some common conditions we can treat, but please feel free to contact us about your specific health condition.

Herbal Medicine is often combined with acupuncture to properly treat a condition.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine


  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Leg, ankle and foot pain
  • Arm, wrist and hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Dental pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Postoperative pain
  • Passing of kidney stones
  • Shingles
  • Eye pain

Digestive Issues & Nausea

  • Heartburn, Acid Reflux
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Chronic loose stools or constipation
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hemorrhoids

Mental and Emotional Well-being

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Respiratory Complaints

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough

Reproductive Issues

  • Infertility
  • Increased efficacy of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Menstrual difficulties
  • Menopausal issues

Immunity Issues

  • Chronic infections
  • Easy to get sick

Supporting Treatment for

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Lyme and associated infections


  • Dizziness and Vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Eye disorders
  • Kidney stones
  • Gall stones



205B School of Mines Rd.
P.O. Box 233
Socorro, New Mexico  87801
(575) 835-4787 (phone)

844-795-8502 (fax)