What is Medical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an art of healing which involves stimulation of the body’s energy (or Qi — pronounced Chee) to promote the body’s innate (or natural) ability to heal itself and improve function.  When energy does not flow well, we may suffer from illnesses and/or pain. Acupuncture treatments will strengthen your body and hence your immune system.  Acupuncture can be used for acute problems such as sprained ankles or early infections or to treat chronic pain or chronic medical problems.

The underlying premise of this ancient Chinese approach to health views that the mind, body and spirit are all intertwined energetic systems and can not be separated from each other or from the Universe: diet, environment and so forth.  This philosophy speaks personally to Dr. Wilkinson and was a natural extension for her with her training as an Osteopathic Physician: DO.

Medical acupuncture refers to physicians who have taken at least 300 hours of continuing medical education. In certain cases lab tests may be offered in order for Dr. Wilkinson to better evaluate the functional status of your body in order to better provide integrative therapeutic options.

Medical Acupuncture is part of our Integrative Holistic Medicine approach at New Level Healing — we address the whole person, body, mind and spirit.

Acupuncture …


promotes health and well-being
prevents illness
treats various medical conditions

Acupuncture is a very complex and intricate system of treating and preventing both illness and pain.

Although acupuncture has been used by Asia for thousands of years and in Europe as an authentic therapeutic modality, acceptance by the U.S. medical community is developing slowly. While it is still considered complementary or alternative by many, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recognized acupuncture as a reasonable clinical option for postoperative pain as well as myofascial pain and lower back pain. In 2013, the U.S. Navy included a specific model for the training of physicians in medical acupuncture. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including but are not limited to: Acute and Chronic Pain, Digestive, Respiratory, Gynecologic, Genitourinary, Neurological and Muscular disorders as well as Autonomic Dysregulation such as ill defined Fatigue, Sleep disturbances, Anxiety, Depression plus Psychosomatic symptoms. Also, acupuncture, especially primarily utilizing the external ear, can be a tool to help manage addictions such as smoking, substance abuse problems and similar.

Acupuncture Techniques

Dr. Wilkinson only uses fine, sterile, disposable needles which are used one time only:
• There are over 1,000 points on the body
• In Neutral or Dispersion: no manipulation
• With manual stimulation or heat stimulation
• With Electromagnetic Stimulation:
• use of a box that is similar to the TENS Unit which allows more energy to be added to the circuit.

Auricular or Ear Acupuncture:
The ear is a Microsystem based upon a reflex somatatropic map which is organized on the external ear
• Can be used as a stand alone treatment or used to augment the body acupuncture treatment
• There are over 300 points on the ear alone.

Besides the use of needles, there are other modalities that can be utilized by the medical physician acupuncturist.

Cupping: use of negative pressure to draw out stagnant Qi, Blood and toxin with respect to pain/illness
• this is found in many areas of the world and in many different health modalities
• especially if trauma occurred intensely over a short period of time
• causes circular bruising which typically resolve within 5-7 days
• can provide immense almost immediate relief to an area experiencing pain or discomfort
Gua Sha (scraping): gua means “scraping” and sha means “redness”
• involves the application of an oil or a homeopathic cream to area being treated then uses special tool to open up multiple surface blood vessels thereby allowing the release of the pathogenic cause of illness or pain
• cause petechiae (red spots) or, rarely, bruising
•petechiae usually resolve within 3-5 days
• most commonly used in musculoskeletal pain or cold/flu-like illnesses but also useful in other cases
• very important to keep area covered for the next 48 hours to prevent other External Pathogens to enter.

Thermal Heating:
For certain conditions, the application of heat to the needles or areas being treated can be very beneficial in stimulating the needles to allow more healing

• Can stimulate needles
• dried mugwort (Artemisia argyi)
• treats Cold, Dampness or Yang deficiencies
• Especially useful in chronic conditions where Deficiency is almost always present
• warms acupuncture points, regions and meridians to stimulate smoother circulation of both Qi and Blood (Xue)

In Chinese medicine, Xue has a much broader use than in traditional Western medicine which views blood as transporting nourishment and removing toxins.  Xue, in Chinese medicine, is considered to be the material form of Qi – thus transporting Vitality and Nourishment and also being the basis for the formation of skin, bones, muscle or organs.  Xue is formed by the internal organs from food and drink (Nourishment) Illness can result from Deficient Blood, Stagnant Blood or Heat in the Blood.

Herbal, Homeopathic Remedies or Vitamin Supplementation:
Simplistically, the Chinese classify disease with respect to the Eight Principles: Yin and Yang; Interior with 7 Pathogenic Influences and Exterior with 7 Pathogenic Influences; Excess and Deficiency; Hot and Cold – plus the traditional functional influences associated with the internal organs. The use of herbal supplements, homeopathic remedies and more traditional vitamin supplements can be combined with acupuncture and medical treatments. Use of other supplements are also consistent with Dr. Wilkinson’s osteopathic training which stresses holistic care supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself.  Treating the environment which surrounds each person also is consistent with Dr. Wilkinson’s training with the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine which stresses the treatment of the whole person: mind, body and spirit.
Scar Infiltration and/or Scar Deactivation:
• scars can be a source of low grade chronic inflammation
• scars can interfere with flow of Qi in the meridians that travel through the scar
• scar rearranges tension in fascial tissue which can then lead to restriction of movement and creation of pain
• an osteopathic principle that form provides function to treat the body structures can help the body resume its innate healing ability
• may result in improvement in chronic visceral or musculoskeletal pain (even if pain is remote to area of scar

What to Expect for Medical Acupuncture Sessions

FIRST VISIT: 90 minutes
This will be a comprehensive interview to obtain both your medical history as well as your acupuncture history.
I have a questionnaire that I will send to you prior to our time together that will help me determine your Constitutional Make-Up which is an integral part of promoting overall sustained healing. Getting to Know You by Dr. Joseph Helms is a wonderful book that can help explain more about Medical Acupuncture. I will be giving you a SuperBill which can be submitted to your personal medical insurance company. Many of my patients are receiving partial reimbursement since I am a physician treating you

FOLLOW UP VISITS: 45 minutes

Usually once a week but more frequent if I am treating an acute condition and less frequent once response stabilizes i.e. your response is adequate for a full week between visits, we will then progress to meeting every 2-4 weeks. We also can have a maintenance program: chronic pain usually requires 1 month, 6 week or 2 month intervals between treatments. I also offer seasonal treatments i.e. seasonal “acupuncture flu shot” at change of seasons. Chronic medical problems (of lesser severity and chronicity) can be resolved adequately and may not need maintenance appointments but please call for treatment if symptoms return. More severe or more long standing chronic medical problems likely will need quarterly maintenance treatments once we have stabilized the issue.

“Seasonal Flu Shot”: works on boosting the immune system to help prevent illness (recommended in the Fall or at change of seasons).  This does not profess to replace the Flu shot but is a great way to naturally boost the immune system – especially if you get this done as soon as possible after exposure. Depending upon your needs, we may be done more than once a year
involves 3-4 visits at a set price. Will NOT involve a full Medical Acupuncture evaluation.

Stop Smoking Protocol: total 6 visits over 5-6 weeks
2 treatments a week for 2 weeks with 1st visit 60 minutes (all other visits will be 45 minutes)
Reinforcement treatment at Week 4; Week 5 or Week 6
Will NOT include a full Medical Acupuncture evaluation

Recall that acupuncture works with the energy or Qi of the body. In order to get the most out of each session, it is important to understand that your body will need to adjust to the treatment. For this reason, I request that you follow a few simple requests:

Take it easy for the rest of the day: avoid strenuous activity or exercise. Avoid the Extremes of Cold and Hot with respect to food, temperature etc. Certain medications or social habits are known to lessen the potential results of acupuncture. These include alcohol, tobacco, steroids or narcotics so please avoid or decrease use as tolerated

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

This is just a partial list of things that acupuncture can treat …

Acute & Chronic musculoskeletal pain: for acute injuries: the closer to time of injury, the more dramatic the response to acupuncture
Soft tissue contusion (bruising)
Acute muscle spasm
Sprains and strains
Nerve entrapment radiculopathies
Repetitive strain disorders
Carpal tunnel
Tennis elbow, Golfers elbow
Plantar Fasciitis
Myofascial Pain Disorders
Somatic dysfunction
Muscle Tension headaches, TMJ
Psychosomatic pain
Degenerative disc disease: radicular pain
Post Operative pain
Visceral pain: post-operative, adhesion pain
Neuromuscular Disorders
Neurologic pain: post Shingles, Headaches, peripheral neuropathies
Diabetic neuropathy
RSD: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Allergic Rhinitis (hayfever, seasonal allergies)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease
PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
Impotence, Infertility
Substance Abuse
part of a multi-disciplinary approach for narcotic, alcohol, etc.
Smoking Cessation
PTSD or “Soldier’s Heart”
Immune Dysregulation
Recurrent Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Viral Illnesses
Recurrent Pharyngitis
Recurrent Gastroenteritis
Ill-defined fatigue “I just don’t feel like myself anymore”; “I feel like I just don’t have the same energy or stamina that I used to have”
Mild depression
Early psychosomatic symptoms
Early functional disturbances
Sleep disturbances
Bowel dysfunction
NOT PROVEN EFFECTIVE AS PRIMARY TREATMENT: may be helpful for Secondary Effects (like nausea, vomiting, pain, fatigue etc.)
Severe and Chronic Inflammatory and Immune – Mediated disorders
Ulcerative Colitis
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Collagen-Vascular Diseases
Chronic Fatigue States or HIV disease
nausea, vomiting, pain, fatigue from conventional treatment of malignancies (cancers)
pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis etc.
cough from asthma
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tennis elbow

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm), 
Acne vulgaris
, Alcohol dependence and detoxification, 
Bell’s palsy
, Bronchial asthma, 
Cancer pain, 
Cardiac neurosis
, Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation, 
, Competition stress syndrome, 
Craniocerebral injury, closed
, Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
, Earache, 
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever, 
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease), 
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection, 
Female infertility, 
Facial spasm, 
Female urethral syndrome, 
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
, Gastrokinetic disturbance, 
Gouty arthritis, 
Hepatitis B virus carrier status, 
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3), 
Labour pain, 
Lactation, deficiency
, Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
, Ménière disease, 
Neuralgia, post-herpetic
, Neurodermatitis, 
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
, Osteoarthritis, 
Pain due to endoscopic examination, 
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans, 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
, Postextubation in children, 
Postoperative convalescence, 
Premenstrual syndrome, 
Prostatitis, chronic
, Pruritus, 
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome, 
Raynaud syndrome, primary, 
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection, 
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy, 
Retention of urine, traumatic, 
Sialism, drug-induced
, Sjögren syndrome
, Sore throat (including tonsillitis), 
Spine pain, acute, 
Stiff neck, 
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, 
Tietze syndrome
, Tobacco dependence, 
Tourette syndrome, 
Ulcerative colitis, chronic, 
Vascular dementia, 
Whooping cough (pertussis)