What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a set of health-related treatments that
are thousands of years old. The most famous treatment
involves the use of extremely fine needles at strategic
points on the body to influence specific complaints and
overall functioning. In addition to needles, acupuncturists
may also use heat, targeted at various points on the body.
By burning an herb called moxa (pronounced "MAHK-sa"
or "MOHK-sa") the acupuncturist ensures a consistent level of
heat for a constant period of time. And acupuncturists may
also use electrical stimulation and other techniques. Maki
uses a variety of techniques and adapts to the individual
needs of the patient.
How does it work?
According to the philosophical theory underlying
acupuncture, the body has natural energy running through it.
This force -- called Qi or Chi (pronounced "Chee") -- flows
through each of us, keeping body and soul in balance. It
flows along certain pathways that acupuncturists called
meridians or channels, usually associated with an organ.
However, illness and injury can slow down or stop Qi from
its free circulation, leading to other complaints. To assist
recovery, the acupuncturist stimulates certain combinations
of points, and the body responds by freeing the stagnant Qi.
Some cases respond almost immediately; some symptoms
disappear quickly but then return; others respond more
slowly; and some require different combinations of points
and treatment modalities. In successive treatments, Maki
will sometimes add points or new treatment modalities to
stimulate the Qi.
Are there different styles of acupuncture?
Yes. First, there are styles associated with different
countries: traditional Chinese style, Japanese style, Korean
style. And within each style, many practitioners have
developed their own methods based on what has worked for
them in the past. After studying traditional Chinese
medicine, Maki now specializes in Japanese acupuncture. She
has certificates in Kiiko Matsumoto style, Yamamoto New
Scalp Acupuncture, pediatric acupuncture, Toyo-hari, and
other forms. Since each patient is different, Maki uses the
style that is best suited to the individual.
Who may practice acupuncture?
In Pennsylvania, a practitioner must be licensed by the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In order to receive a
license, a practitioner must have graduated from an
acupuncture school accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine(NCCAOM), and must
have passed two exams. The state registration must be renewed
regularly, and for continued goodstanding with NCCAOM, the practitioner must enroll in continuing
education courses throughout his/her career. Before moving to Pennsylvania, Maki had established a successful practice in Massachusetts, where she is also licensed, and has attended acupuncture seminars throughout the country.
Does it hurt?
Modern acupuncture uses disposable needles. Each one is
sterile, and its package is unopened until the needle is
needed. The patient may feel the insertion slightly, but
because the needles are so thin, many patients feel nothing
at all -- until the Qi begins to flow. The use of moxa and
other heat sources can result in a hot feeling on particular
points designed to relax the body and stimulate the Qi.
What can acupuncture do for me?
Acupuncturists treat a variety of complaints. They may
be problems a patient has lived with for years: allergies,
headaches, anxiety, depression, arthritis, asthma, or
chronic pain. Acupuncturists also treat such acute problems
as high blood pressure, infertility, gyn problems, stroke,
carpal tunnel syndrome, common cold, flu, bronchitis,
diabetes, impotence, stress, and sports injuries.
Who is Maki?
Maki Kurata was born in Japan and is native Japanese.
She also speaks fluent English. She received her Diploma and
Master's Degree in Acupuncture from the New England School
of Acupuncture, Watertown, MA, and has several certificates
and diplomas in her specialty of Japanese acupuncture. She is also a Diplomate with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Maki has studied under several widely known acupuncturists, including Kiiko Matsumoto (Boston) and Sensei Kawai (Japan). She
also uses traditional Chinese methods, and incorporates a
wide variety of modalities into her treatments, combining and adapting treatments to the individual needs of the patient.
What do I do now?
Call for an appointment. The initial appointment usually
lasts up to 90 minutes, as Maki takes a detailed medical
history and listens carefully to the patient. Follow-up
sessions last around an hour.
Copyright © 2004-2011 Maki Kurata, Lic. Ac.