Maki Kurata Acupuncture


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, acupuncturists 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 used. After use, the needle is safely discarded. The patient may feel the insertion slightly, but because the needles are so thin, many patients feel nothing at all -- until the healing Qi begins to flow. The use of moxa and other heat sources can result in a warm 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, now part of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 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.

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