What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin, which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems. Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as an effective treatment modality in many conditions.

Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic care system. It promotes natural healing and can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function.

Modern Western research supports the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat these conditions and more:

How does Acupuncture work?

Eastern Explanation:

Energy, which is termed Qi (pronounced Chee), flowing through the body can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major roans. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

Western Explanation:

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamic-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are two hundred times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. As such, acupuncture is used to treat back pain, arthritis, pain resulting from premenstrual syndrome, and infertility.

Moreover, the substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. Consequently, depression is also treated with acupuncture.

Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, pain relief, muscle spasms alleviation and increased T-cells, which stimulates the immune system.

Chinese Herbs

The practice of Chinese Herbs has been refined for over three thousand years and this medicine can be very effective for a variety of problems. Herbs come in pill, granular or bulk form.


Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues. One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscle, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. It was developed thousands of years ago.

When your body receives acupuncture and Chinese herbs, they facilitate physical strengthening and increase your resistance to disease and disharmony, thereby improving your body’s ability to function at its optimal level.

Dr. In Yu, DAOM LAc.

Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Clinical Faculty at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine

The advanced skills Dr. Yu has acquired both clinically and in research are used to the benefit of her patients. She approaches each patient as an individual, developing a treatment plan that is specific to his or her needs.

Her treatments focus on restoring and strengthening the patient, increasing the body’s self-healing ability and bringing the patient back to a state of harmony.

Dr. Yu believes in healing the body through natural ways. Patients are treated for various ailments including chronic and acute issues including pain, emotional imbalance, stress, digestive problems, women’s health concerns, infertility, seasonal allergies, and weight problems.

At NorthWest Acupuncture, we prescribe individualized treatments that are supported by medical evidence. We use the highest quality herbs and sterilized, disposable needles for your safety at all times.